Boston Bruins’ Tyler Seguin, center, hops over the boards as teammates Brad Marchand, left, and Patrice Bergeron, right, watch from the bench during an NHL team practice at the TD Garden, in Boston, Sunday.BOSTON — The Boston Bruins are well rested and had more players overseas than anyone else in the NHL. So they’re well positioned for what should be a sprint of a season following the NHL’s 119-day lockout.
When the lockout finally ended Saturday, the league announced a busy 48-game schedule beginning Saturday January 19. The Bruins and most other teams opened their shortened training camps Sunday.
“Now we’ve had enough rest, so we’re no longer fatigued from a Stanley Cup win. So I think it’s just more it speaks to motivation,” Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said before his team took the ice at TD Garden. “These guys are, `it’s a short season, anything can happen, it’s a sprint, so let’s get going.’ It’s more that the longer they’ve been out now the more motivated they are.”
The Bruins return mostly the same team from last season, a roster that included most of the players from the Stanley Cup triumph in 2011. That should give them a leg up on teams that need to build chemistry in just one week.
The Bruins struggled out of the gate last season as defending champions. One year later, the league’s labor dispute made what was already going to be a long offseason for the Bruins, after their first-round loss to Washington in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, even longer.
Among those players who played during the lockout were goaltenders Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin. Their ability to replace Tim Thomas will be a key for the Bruins’ success this season. Thomas, through his agent, recently reiterated to Chiarelli his desire to sit out this season and play again this year. Thomas will be on the Bruins’ roster as a suspended player this season, according to Chiarelli.
But having 10 skaters in good condition has got to be a plus, too.
“I think it’s certainly beneficial,” Bruins president Cam Neely said. “Any time you can play hockey games and be in as close to game shape as possible, it’s advantage if you’re not playing. So it’s pretty simple. Now having said that, that doesn’t mean that other teams won’t get ramped up quick. But I think it’s certainly beneficial to us to have so many guys as we did playing hockey.”
Chara doesn’t want his team to bank on the European experience giving them a leg up.
“It’s only an advantage if it works,” the Bruins’ captain said. “But I think it’s a good thing that we had more players than less playing in organized hockey. It just showed the willingness of the guys to stay in shape and going to sacrifice being with family and friends and be there to stay in shape and be there when the season started.”MORE IN Wire SportsNEW YORK — The NFL and the players’ union are close to finalizing the drug policy changes they... Full StoryEDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The Minnesota Vikings have seen the details. Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: Dutch father of microbiology Antonie van Leeuwenhoek discovers the existence of one-celled organisms; in 1967, The Doors are booked to play the Ed Sullivan show; in 1858, freedom fighter Dred Scott dies on this day in St. Louis.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: No money this year for western rail project, Lola Aiken memorialized in Montpelier, Supreme Court Castleton murder suspect will remain in jail, Shaftbury man fires shots from his AK-47 into neighbor's home.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1959, Soviet Premier Nikita S. Khrushchev arrives in U.S. for historic 13-day visit; in 1987, Secretary of State George Shultz and Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze sign nuclear reduction agreement.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City celebrates completion of its newest mural, on West Street opposite the post office, more than $2 million in federal grants will bolster Vermont's health centers, Patrick McArdle reports on pending sale of Vermont papers.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: Henry Hudson sails up the Hudson River as far as present-day Albany, Leo Szilard has epiphany waiting for the light to change, 3 kids report a West Virginia close encounter in 1952.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Who will run for mayor in Rutland next year? Has Bennington overcome its fear of twerking? Documentary 'Hungry Heart' packs the Paramount, and the city's Creek Path scores another million-plus dollars.