What’s Brewin with the Bruins by Chris Chirichiello of http://www.bruinsdaily.com
(Photo Credit: Portland Press Herald) Marchand’s game-winning goal last night versus the Winnipeg Jets ended the Bruins brief two game losing streak.
Brad Marchand is having one heck of a season and had another productive week for the Black and Gold.
The third-year forward scored the game-winning power-play goal last night versus the Winnipeg and tied the game versus the New York Rangers in a comeback for the ages at the TD Garden last Tuesday. The “Nose Face Killah” also received bonus points for making Jack Edwards almost leap off level nine after beating Henrik Lundqvist to steal a point and force overtime.
Marchand leads the Bruins (9-2-2) with eight goals (8th in the NHL) and has a ridiculous 44.4% shot percentage (8 goals on 18 shots) which ranks him fourth in the league. It seems like when the Bruins need that extra lift it has been Marchand that has always been there.
Last year, it was Tyler Seguin, but this year Marchand is finding the back of the net at will it seems like. He scored a career-best in goals last season (28) and he may break that this year even in a shortened season.
While on a breakaway during last night’s game, Marchand was tripped up and wanted to be awarded a penalty shot, but that wasn’t the case.
“I was hoping for a penalty shot, so I was a little upset (when one wasn’t called), but we were excited to be on the power-play,” Marchand said. “We knew we could get some chances and what happened was we scored.”
Through his first 12 games last season, Marchand scored only two goals. This year he has eight (missing one game to injury). A fun stat for you is that Marchand has a better shooting percentage than Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce (41.5%). Think about that.
The left-winger has a very quick release and his finishing ability this year was that of Seguin’s last year almost impossible to stop. Marchand will most likely cool off as the season wears on, but I bet Bruins fans were saying that after his first few games and Marchand is still lighting the lamp nearly every game.
Marchand has nine points in 12 games while sporting a plus-five rating. He is logging serious ice time as well and it seems like at this point, nothing can stop this “little ball of hate.”
Here are clips of Marchand’s goals courtesy of NHL VideoCenter
Tying goal vs. Rangers from Tuesday
Winning goal vs. Jets last night
What’s Bruin with the Bruins by Anthony Travilgia of http://www.bruinsdaily.com
(Photo Credit: Joe Makarski/Bruins Daily) Marchand’s third period power play goal ended up as the game winning goal as the Bruins beat the Jets 3-2 last night in Winnipeg
Heading into Winnipeg losers of their last two, the Bruins knew they needed to take two points out of this one and with Milan Lucic back in Boston due to personal reasons, the B’s needed some of their other role players to step up and carry the team, luckily for the Bruins they got the two points, and got key goals from two key players.
Goals by Daniel Paille, Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand helped the Bruins beat the Jets 3-2.
A lot of eyes have been closely watching Seguin as the 21 year-old has struggled in his third season in the National Hockey League, but last night was one of No.19’s best games of the season, and his hard work paid off with his third goal of the season.
The goal was very un-Seguin-like as the goal came off a tip from a Zdeno Chara shot from the point, but Seguin will take it.
“Even though it’s a tip that’s not usually my game, I’ll take it,” said Seguin. “Obviously when you’re not scoring and producing the guys see that you’re getting frustrated. The message I got over and over was to keep battling and to maybe take my grit up another level and my compete level up. That’s what I tried to do tonight.”
With things tied at two, and the Bruins on the power-play, Brad Marchand made sure he would once again step up and put the team on his back.
Marchand collected a nifty pass from Patrice Bergeron and beat Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec for his team leading eight goal.
“Its things we’ve worked on, trying to find holes and trying to use speed. It’s an example of when you execute it right, it will work” said Marchand.
Marchand has been one of the best Bruins forwards all season and is developing into a legitimate goal scoring threat. Marchand now has three goals in his last four games.
With the secondary scoring lacking a bit thus far the Bruins know they can only go as far as their key goal scorers will take them, and if the Bruins can get Seguin going things can get much better for a Bruins team that keeps finding ways to win.
What’s Brewin with the Bruins by Tim Rosenthal of http://www.Bruinsdaily.com
Thanks to the shortened season, the schedule makers at the National Hockey League were forced to make some strange and quirky decisions. Friday’s game between the Boston Bruins and Buffalo Sabres is just the latest example.
After defeating the Sabres last Sunday in Buffalo – with their third period comeback against the New York Rangers sandwiched in between – the Black and Gold return to the First Niagara Center for their first of five straight road games Friday night at the First Niagara Center.
Since their 7-4 loss to the Sabres, the Bruins have looked sharp defensively allowing just five goals in the four games since (3-0-1). But, even though Patrice Bergeron scored the game-winner on the man advantage last Sunday, the power play continues to be a sore spot for Boston as they are ranked dead last at 9.3 percent.
Buffalo, meanwhile, is coming off a 2-0 loss to the Ottawa Senators where they compiled a season-high 42 shots only to be stymied by Craig Anderson.
After the jump, lineups, storylines, linkage and tweets of interest
Gametime: 7 p.m.
Location: First Niagara Center
T.V./Radio: NESN/98.5 The Sports Hub
Records: Bruins (8-1-2, 18 points), Sabres (5-8-1, 11 points)
Bruins projected lineup
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Tyler Seguin
Chris Bourque-Chris Kelly-Rich Peverley
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg-Dougie Hamilton
Andrew Ference-Adam McQuaid
Sabres projected lineup
Thomas Vanek-Cody Hodgson-Jason Pominville
Nick Foligno-Tyler Ennis-Drew Stafford
Steve Ott-Mikhail Grigorenko-Nathan Gerbe
John Scott-Jochen Hecht-Patrick Kaleta
Christian Ehrhoff-Andrej Sekera
Robyn Reghr-Tyler Myers
Adam Weber-Jordan Leopold
Bruins to watch
After notching 25 saves in the last meeting, it looks like Claude Julien will go with Anton Khudobin again for Friday’s meeting. If so it will be his third start of the season, and this move might pay dividends. With a busy slate coming up in March, Tuukka Rask could use a little extra rest even though he might have to shake off some rust if or when he gets the start on Sunday. But the big picture is the stretch run and anytime Khudobin puts in a quality performance it means a little extra to give Rask a breather.
While Tyler Seguin’s struggles have been well documented, Chris Kelly is seeing the same type of slump early. Much to the disappointment of fellow colleague Anthony Travalgia, the veteran has only three points – all assists – and is a minus-3 through the first 11 games. No doubt Kelly’s linemates, Chris Bourque and Rich Peverley, have also struggled, but for a deep, veteran team like the B’s, I’m sure Claude will like to get this line going sooner rather than later.
Sabres to watch
After sitting out the last meeting, Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers will face the Black and Gold for the second time this season. The struggles of the former Calder Trophy winner have been well documented in Buffalo and was recently a healthy scratch against the Isles and B’s. Myers, a former first round pick, has just one goal and is a minus-9 on the season, both far from ideal stats for a top-four defenseman.
The Sabres’ secondary scoring has been an issue all season, but Tyler Ennis is starting to come along. The former first round pick has strung together a nice five-game stretch notching three goals and two assists. While Ennis and Nick Foligno have been a nice one-two punch, they will need to get production out of Drew Stafford, who is still without a goal on the season despite logging over 18 minutes a night. Look for Stafford to get some looks again as he tries to break out of his slump.
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The Days of Y’Orr crew have a good amount of material in store when they debut their pregame show tonight at 6:15 p.m.
With Nathan Horton on the last year of his contract, the Game 7 hero against Montreal and Tampa hopes to stay in Boston according to DJ Bean of WEEI.com.
Die By the Blade says the Sabres need production out of Stafford if they are to bust out of their offensive woes.
Sabres noise analyzes the team’s goaltending situation.
And Mike Harrington of The Buffalo News says Friday’s matchup might not be as much of a mismatch as you think.
Tweets of interest
Even though the focus is on the task in hand, the Bruins might want to bring some extra layers when they travel to Winnipeg for Sunday’s contest against the Jets (via@NHLBruins).
And in a rare instance, we are keeping today’s tweets of interest Bruins’ centric. Here’s what CSN New England Bruins Insider Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) tweeted in his conversation with Khudobin regarding the meteorite that hit Russia earlier today (our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and other effected by this circumstance overseas).
What’s Bruin with the Bruins by Chris Chirichiello of http://www.bruinsdaily.com
(Photo Credit: Joe Makarski/BruinsDaily) Tyler Seguin alongside David Krejci is a Bruins fan’s fantasy.
The Boston Bruins will embark on their longest road trip of the season starting this Friday as they travel to Buffalo. The black and gold will also have stops in Winnipeg (Tyler Seguin set your alarm the correct way please), Tampa, Florida and New York before returning home to host the Ottawa Senators at the end of February.
The B’s are off to their best start in franchise history (8-1-2) and will need to continue their torrid pace away from the TD Garden. The team has a 4-0-1 record away from home so it should not be an issue, but it is a crucial part of their schedule before the B’s will play a whopping 17 games in March.
Here are my five keys to having a successful five game road trip.
1. The Power Play must improve
The Bruins have converted on 9.3% (4-43) of their power-plays on the year. That is bad. That is unacceptable and it should not happen with the talent on this roster. When you have a man-advantage, you must punish the opposition as Andy Brickley stated the other night. The Bruins just do not attack the net on the man advantage and that must change because the chances are there and it will come back to haunt them. Sure, their defense is keeping them in games, but the Bruins need a nice 5-1 win on the road with two power-play goals to get their confidence back. And oh yeah, have Seguin on the power-play more than Chris Bourque. Also, why not try Brad Marchand on the man advantage? This “little ball of hate” has been lighting the lamp at will lately.
2. Give Anton Khudobin three starts so Tuukka Rask can clear his head
I know people want Rask to be “The Man” but why not give Khudobin some time and give Tuukka some time to rest? Khudobin is no push over. He is 2-0 this year and only has one loss in his career plus Tuukka will be called upon a lot in the month of March with 17 games to be played. There is nothing wrong with letting the back-up play if he is pretty good like Khudobin. Look for Khudobin on the road trip.
3. Leave Seguin with David Krejci
These two were paired together in the third period of the Montreal Canadiens game down 1-0. By the time you got comfortable after the intermission, the Bruins led 2-1 two minutes into the third period, goal by Seguin assisted by Krejci and then a game-winning Krejci goal assisted by Seguin. It is not hard that these two can make a lot happen while on the ice together. They are both play-makers and if each line essentially plays the same amount, why not try to utilize the best opportunities with these two alongside each other?
4. Third line scoring
The Bourque-Kelly-Peverley line must get going. This line has two goals in 11 games and has not put much together. It has been tough to watch as a fan, but once they gain more chemistry together, this line could finally get rolling. Chris Kelly has yet to score (sorry Ant) while netting 20 goals last season. Peverley netted 11 goals last season while dishing out 31 assists. Their statistics this year must balloon and they will, it will just take some, but Bruins fans are tired of waiting on this third line. Fans want the Bourque experiment to end, but he has played a few sound games in a row regaining his confidence.
5. Get Dougie Hamilton back on track.
Hamilton was off to a hot start in Boston, but lately he has been suspect over the last five games. He was a -1 versus the Rangers, a -1 versus Buffalo, and -2 versus Buffalo dating back to Jan. 31 to name a few. He has not recorded a point since Jan. 28 versus the Carolina Hurricanes.
Dougie is a rookie, but he is playing like a 10-year veteran. He has yet to record a penalty which is remarkable with the amount of time he is on the ice. Hamilton will be a star for years. I am not saying he is playing bad, but he needs to get his confidence back. Look for him to go on a little point streak during this road trip.
What’s Brewin with the Bruins by Tim Rosenthal of Bruins Daily
(Photo credit: Sharon Bradley) Tuukka Rask is one of the main reasons why the Boston Bruins are off to their best 10-game start in franchise history
By now, many Boston Bruins fans are aware of the team’s 8-1-1 record through the first 10 games – their best in franchise history. There have been some minor hiccups along the way, including their ongoing power play woes, but obviously for the most part things are looking up in The Hub of Hockey.
Here are 10 thoughts from your’s truly on the Bruins’ rampant start to the 2013 National Hockey League season.
1) Tuukka Rask’s stellar play
Many were wondering how Tuukka would respond as heir apparent to Tim Thomas, and so far he has been nothing short of extraordinary. The Finnish netminder is 5-1-1 on the season with a 1.96 goals against average and a .922 save percentage and is really positioning himself well from post to post.
This was the Bruins’ top question heading into the 2013 season and so far Tuukka has passed all the tests. But can he continue this roll?
2) The Tim Thomas trade
Count this as another win for Peter Chiarelli.
While the Bruins’ general manager might only get a second round pick in return – if Thomas actually reports to the New York Islanders – he got $5 million in cap relief by trading the two-time Vezina Trophy winner.
The Bruins now have a little over $8 million in cap space according to CapGeek.com. And after this hot start, they could potentially be that much better after the trade deadline. (Jarome Iginla or Steven Weiss, anyone?)
3) Brad Marchand leading the team in goals
After returning to the lineup Sunday from an upper-body injury, Marchand picked up right where he left off. The ‘little ball of hate’ scored the team’s first goal in the 3-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres increasing his team-leading total to six on the season. What’s more impressive is his shot percentage, which is at 42.9 percent.
Apparently, there’s no secret to his success.
“It’s different every time. You go through points of the year where things are going well and you go through others where things don’t click as well,” Marchand said after Monday’s practice. “You can go nine or ten games without a goal and go five games with goals. So it’s just how things go.”
Things are certainly clicking for Marchand right now on the scoresheet, but the Bruin with many monikers continues to play with an edge. And that is a welcomed sighting after slowing down when returning from last year’s suspension for his hit on Vancouver Canucks defenseman Sami Salo 13 months ago.
4) The play of Dougie Hamilton
So much for his struggles in the World Junior Championships. Even with the benefit of skating alongside Dennis Seidenberg – and with Zdeno Chara in a couple of instances – Hamilton has really provided a spark on the blueline as the second leading scorer on the team among defensemen. The 19-year old from Toronto sure has a bright future, but even now he is helping Peter Chiarelli’s decision to trade Phil Kessel to the Leafs.
5) Tyler Seguin
While one part of the Kessel trade has been doing quite well, the other is still looking for his groove. In what many expected another breakout season for Seguin, the 21-year old forward has only compiled three points thus far (two goals, one assist) and is still a little snakebitten. Seguin did provide a jolt in the third period of the Bruins’ 2-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens last Wednesday and he is still being assertive, which is a positive sign for coach Claude Julien.
Seguin, like Kessel, has been known to be a streaky scorer. So when he gets going, the goals should come in bunches.
6) The Merlot line
One of many benefits that Julien has is that they can roll all four lines on any given night. When the top lines struggle, Claude can usually count on Gregory Campbell, Shawn Thornton and Daniel Paille to provide more energy. Campbell and Thornton can drop the gloves at any moment and can muscle their way in battles for loose pucks, while Paille’s speed is something opposing defenses need to respect. All three can also provide a scoring touch if need be.
7) The power(less) play
Where to begin. Is it the lack of a “puck-moving defenseman”? Is it a lack of shots directed at opposing goalies? Is it because they don’t get many clean entries into the blue-line?
For a team that has struggled on the power play over the last few seasons, one would think this issue needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. They’ve certainly tried to spark the man advantage by putting David Krejci on the point and Tyler Seguin on the half-wall, but so far that has been to no avail.
Maybe things are heading in the right direction after Patrice Bergeron scored his game-winner on the power play Sunday night. But maybe its just hopeless optimism. Either way the man advantage continues to be a work in progress.
8) The polar opposite penalty kill
One thing that has been consistent in the Julien era has been the penalty kill and this year is no different. The Bruins are currently tied with the Chicago Blackhawks in PK percentage killing off nearly 93 percent of the opposing power plays.
That is impressive in it and itself, but the Black and Gold shorthanded units have come up huge in clutch situations that includes a 5-on-3 against the New York Rangers in the third period on opening night and two overtime kills in a shootout victory against the Winnipeg Jets. Even more impressive, the 6-foot-9 Chara was serving a penalty in both instances.
9) Claude’s coaching
It’s no secret that many consider Julien’s system a defensive first approach. But the players have bought in to the Bruins bench boss’ ways and it seems apparent again this year.
Aside from their 7-4 loss to Buffalo nearly two weeks ago, the Bruins defense has been solid allowing 2.1 goals per game. But the Black and Gold – even though they are in the middle of the league in scoring currently with 2.7 goals per game – also pride themselves using the D to transition into offense.
While they’ve had no stud 50-goal scorers, the B’s have often ended up as one the top 10 teams in scoring with several netting 20 or more goals. And Julien is pretty comfortable with that approach despite some early season struggles offensively.
“I don’t think we are a team that is bad at scoring. I think we are a team that scores by committee,” said Julien. “We struggle to get that 50-goal scorer – or this year that 30-goal scorer – but we are still a team that is usually in the top five in goals scored. I don’t anticipate that being an issue, but right now we are snake bitten with all the chances we have and that we haven’t been able to capitalize as we should.”
10) Familiarity breads success
Aside from Thomas, Michael Ryder and Tomas Kaberle, many members of the 2011 Cup run are still donning the Black and Gold. Not only has that been beneficial to the team’s hot start, but it’s also a testament to sticking with Julien’s system through good times and bad.
“It’s definitely huge,” Marchand said about the locker room familiarity. “It’s been a couple of years that we’ve been playing together and especially in a shortened season like we have this year where everything is so compact and we didn’t really have a training camp or a whole lot of practice time. It definitely makes things a little easier and it’s showing out there.”
In a shortened season, a veteran presence is a nice thing to have. And that can especially come in handy come playoff time.
On today’s episode of Felger and Mazzarotti on 98.5 The Sports Hub, the boys are debating a trade rumor involving Boston Bruins backup goaltender Tukka Rask and Columbus Blue Jackets superstar Rick Nash. And I have one answer to this rumor, Get me a # 61 Bruins jersey already. While I admit that the NHL has become the NFL where the top 15 forwards run the league, goaltenders have become Running Backs, good ones are a dime a dozen and you need more than 1 to compete to raise Lord Stanley’s Cup in June.
Let’s take a look at Nash’s career numbers
|2002-03||Columbus Blue Jackets||NHL||74||17||22||39||78||-27||–||–||–||–||–|
|2003-04||Columbus Blue Jackets||NHL||80||41||16||57||87||-35||–||–||–||–||–|
|2005-06||Columbus Blue Jackets||NHL||54||31||23||54||51||5||–||–||–||–||–|
|2006-07||Columbus Blue Jackets||NHL||75||27||30||57||73||-8||–||–||–||–||–|
|2007-08||Columbus Blue Jackets||NHL||80||38||31||69||95||2||–||–||–||–||–|
|2008-09||Columbus Blue Jackets||NHL||78||40||39||79||52||11||4||1||2||3||2|
|2009-10||Columbus Blue Jackets||NHL||76||33||34||67||58||-2||–||–||–||–||–|
|2010-11||Columbus Blue Jackets||NHL||75||32||34||66||34||2||–||–||–||–||–|
|2011-12||Columbus Blue Jackets||NHL||16||4||8||12||6||-10|
263 career NHL goals on a Bruins team that over its last 5 games is averaging 6 goals per game but before that a 2-1 game seemed almost insurmountable, the Bruins need a player that can wheel and snipe and play with Seguin and Marchand going forward.
by Tim Rosenthal http://www.bruinsdaily.com
BOSTON — Erik Cole’s second goal of the year at 10:27 and the much anticipated PK Subban-Brad Marchand fight highlighted the middle 20 minutes here at TD Garden. After 40 the Bruins and Canadiens are tied at 1-1.
- After nearly two go arounds Marchand and Subban finally dropped the gloves after they both served matching delay of game penalties (first time I’ve seen that occur, I think) late in the second period. Despite the size advantage, Subban could not land many jabs at the smaller Marchand, who would have earned a decision by the judges. Give both of these guys credit, though, they were underneath each other’s skin for so long that they had to drop the gloves the third time around. Both combatants won’t have much left in the tank after they serve their fighting majors.
- The Habs came out a much more focused team in the second and outshot the Bruins 18-9 in the middle stanza. Despite stoning Mike Cammaleri on a breakaway moments earlier, Tim Thomas could not fight a screen set up by Mathieu Darche and Cole redirected the shot from defenseman Jaroslav Spacek to even things up midway through the second.
- Although the Bruins got the best of the Maple Leafs coming off a back to back in their win last Thursday night, they were unable to take advantage of a Sharks team after playing in New Jersey the night before in their 4-2 loss to San Jose Saturday. The Habs heavily outplayed them in the second period, but maybe Marchand’s fight with Subban will energize the team out of the locker room for the start of the third.
- With the Winnipeg Jets ahead 6-4 over the Philadelphia Flyers — who lost to the Habs last night in Montreal — the loser of this game could find themselves in dead last in the Eastern Conference assuming the Jets hold on. Yes I know its early in the year, but who would have thought the defending champs could potentially be in dead last at any point during the season?
by Anthony http://bruinsdaily.com
(Ikeastan photo) With a team high 3 points (tied with Tyler Seguin) Brad Marchand is the Bruins player of the week
Despite a short week and just two games played by the Bruins, it’s time for the first edition of the season of the Bruins player of the week.
The black and gold kicked things off on Thursday losing to the Flyers 2-1 after raising their first banner in 39 years, and then bounced back on Saturday with a convincing 4-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
There were a few good candidates for player of the week, but Brad Marchand surpassed all the others.
In the two Bruins games Marchand had a goal and two assists and could have had at least two more goals but Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov robbed the second year forward multiple times.
After two games Marchand is tied with fellow sophomore Tyler Seguin for the team lead in points. Marchand clearly has been the best Bruin thus far as he tries to avoid the haunted “sophomore slump”
Marchand’s lone goal on the season came on Thursday when he beat Bryzgalov with a nifty move on a breakaway after a beautiful feed from Seguin.
Here is Marchand’s goal for those who missed it.
And here is Marchand after the Bruins 4-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
by Anthony http://bruinsdaily.com
After a late first period letdown two days ago in the home opening loss against the Philadelphia Flyers, the Bruins rebounded nicely picking up their first win of the year beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1.
Rich Peverley scored twice, and Tim Thomas made 25 saves en route to the first Bruins win of the season.
After a scoreless first period, things got interesting early in the first. Rich Peverley got his first of the year when he put home a loose puck after a Brad Marchand shot rang the post.
It was a lucky bounce for the Bruins, and Marchand was not afraid to admit it.
“Yeah. I just think getting a couple of lucky bounces. You saw on Pev’s (Rich Peverley) goal there–the first one—hit the post, it could have went anywhere. It just dropped in front for him to tap in, so we’re just getting lucky bounces right now” said Marchand.
Tampa Bay answered just over a minute later when a Nathan Horton turnover led way to a Martin St Louis breakaway. St. Louis beat Tim Thomas blocker side for his 300th career goal tying things up at one.
The only Tampa Bay lead of the evening was short lived as an Adam McQuaid shot from the point would deflect off of the body of Daniel Pallie and sneak past Lightning goalie Mathieu Garon.
David Krejci and Rich Peverley’s third period goals would secure the win for the Bruins in front of a sold out TD Garden crowd.
As good as Thomas was for the Bruins tonight, the Bruins second line stole the show. The trio combined for five points and finished the night a combined plus-6.
After scoring twice tonight, Peverley was happy with his lines performance.
“Our line played with speed and we were shooting the puck a lot more and I think it paid off. We had some good rebounds” said Peverley.
It’s no secret that Peverley brings a different type of style then the one Mark Recchi brought to the Bruins second line last season. Recchi was more of a “crash-the-net type of guy” whereas Peverley uses his speed to create scoring chances, and that works well for Patrice Bergeron.
” Yeah, it is. I mean I feel we are creating a lot of chances off the rush and even in zone by our forecheck and by the way we keep moving our feet” said Bergeron. “And it’s been, I thought we had a lot of chances last game as well and we didn’t finish and tonight same thing and we found a way.”
If the Bruins second line can stay consistent throughout the season, it will be another fun hockey season in Boston.
by Tim Rosenthal, http://www.bruinsdaily.com
BOSTON — The champs are here.
While WWE superstar John Cena might overuse that reference, the same holds true for the Bruins as they begin their defense of Lord’s Stanley for the 2011-12 season.
On Friday, Bruins veterans reported to training camp for off-ice testing before they hit the ice for the first practice of the season Saturday at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at the TD Garden. And its safe to say that they are eager to put last year behind already — even before they raise the banner on opening night — and focus on defending their title.
This year, they have a huge target on their backs as the defending champions.
And unlike the previous 12 champions, the Black and Gold are hoping they don’t suffer the same fate of the Stanley Cup hangover.
“The famous ‘Stanley Cup hangover’ talk is there,” said head coach Claude Julien. “We’re not different from anyone else. Teams are going to bring their best against you every night and we understand that part of it. We’re going to get ourselves ready [for the challenge] and respond properly.”
Although many players thoroughly enjoyed their summer of Stanley, they are doing their best to try to avoid the hangover during the off-season.
Forward Patrice Bergeron felt that his day with the Cup helped ease things a little bit.
“At some point you have to turn the page,” he said. “Honestly I felt like the day with the Cup helped me a lot in doing that. It was nice to share the Cup with my family and friends in doing that. But after that I felt like I needed to turn my focus on this year [and defending the Cup].”
Make no mistake, the Cup hangover is acknowledged from players and coaches alike in the organization. But at no point in the season will they use this as an excuse when they know they have that huge target on their backs.
Second year forward Tyler Seguin — who hopes to improve on his 22-point rookie season — believes his team has a great chance at repeating.
“Word being whispered around here is repeat,” said Seguin, who gained 10 pounds during the off-season. “I think we have the team to do it. There is the Cup hangover everyone talks about and we want to fight through it.”