BostonBruins.com — In May, it may have seemed like the Bruins were in for a long summer.
Yet here we are, four months later, and it feels like just yesterday that the players were cleaning out their locker stalls at TD Garden.
Of course, the B’s still would have preferred that their summers started a little later.
“It’s never a good thing [to have a long summer], but that being said, when it’s there, you have to make the most of it and try to make sure you’re all rested up and you feel good and you’re ready for a big year,” said Patrice Bergeron before the Bruins teed off on Tuesday at the 11th Annual Bruins Foundation Golf Tournament in Bolton, Mass. “So we’ve had the time this year to do that and to regroup, but it’s always better to have less time and move forward in the playoffs.”
BOLTON, MA — Throughout the course of his tenure at the helm of the Boston Bruins, Claude Julien has learned that there are some things he can control, and there are some things that are out of his hands.
And as he heads into this year’s training camp with some uncertainty surrounding his roster, he is keeping that in mind.
“You just got to move on,” Julien said, speaking for the first time this season at the 11th Annual Bruins Foundation Golf Tournament in Bolton, Mass. “There can’t be a distraction. Whether it is or not, we’ll just have to deal with it. It’s out of our control.”
BOLTON, MA — The weather wasn’t ideal, but there was still reason to celebrate: The 11th Annual Boston Bruins Foundation Golf Tournament had arrived. In the words of Dennis Seidenberg, that only means one thing: Hockey season is here.
“You go to the golf tournament, you know camp is right around the corner,” the veteran defenseman said. “You know it’s the kickoff of the season.”
The rainy weather didn’t dampen the spirits of the Bruins players, alumni, front office personnel and coaches who gathered with fans and sponsors for a round of golf at The International on Tuesday morning. Following the shotgun-style tournament, all attendees enjoyed dinner, a raffle and silent and live auctions.
WILMINGTON, MA — We’ve heard it over and over again. The Bruins have too many defensemen and not enough spots on the roster for all of them.
Now, for the second straight training camp, a group of defensemen who have been deemed NHL-ready -- nine, this year -- know they will have to compete against one another to prove they deserve to be wearing the Spoked-B come opening night.
According to Kevan Miller, though, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
“It breeds competition — healthy competition,” Miller said following Monday’s informal skate at Ristuccia Arena. “I think that brings the best out of guys and certainly will bring the best out of me, and I think it makes our team better. So I think it’s good. Good for the team.”
WILMINGTON, MA — Heightened emotions come with the territory when the stakes are high.
Last season, the Bruins wanted to beat Montreal in the second round of the playoffs. They wanted to advance to the conference finals. After winning the Presidents’ Trophy, they thought they had what it took to go all the way.
When those dreams were cut short, it was understandably difficult to swallow.
“It was tough because it ended a lot shorter than you had hoped,” said forward Milan Lucic, speaking for the first time this season after the team’s informal skate at Ristuccia Arena on Monday. “You look at a lot of things — up 3-2 in the series, and you hit all those posts in the series, and you lose to a team that we felt like we should have beaten -- but we didn’t.
“It was something that’s always tough to get over, but I guess once you do get over it, you try to use it as motivation to help you work harder to get yourself ready to come back this season hungrier.”
WILMINGTON, MA — With just a few days remaining until 2014 Training Camp officially opens, the Bruins were able to squeeze in one last informal practice at Ristuccia Arena.
Monday’s session marked the final on-ice session of the offseason, and with the vast majority of players back in town for the start of camp, the players were split into two sessions. The bulk of last year’s roster players skated in the first session at 10 a.m., while many of the Providence hopefuls took the ice for the second session at 11 a.m.
Defenseman Kevan Miller was the lone new arrival for informal practices and was one of the first players out on the ice (behind Patrice Bergeron, Jordan Caron and David Krejci). He spoke after the skate and said his offseason training went well and he’s excited to be back for camp. When asked about the competition that will naturally develop as a result of the fact that the B's expect to have nine NHL-ready defensemen at camp and only seven spots, Miller said he is looking forward to the healthy competition.
WILMINGTON, MA — Ryan Spooner knows that he would be remiss to take anything for granted.
He knows that the Bruins will likely have a couple of open spots at forward when training camp opens next week. Those spots are there for the taking, and he and his Providence counterparts are ready to pounce.
Spooner has been gearing up for this opportunity for a long time. Now, finally, he feels that his time has come to seize it.
“It’s my fifth camp — for my first four, there had been one spot open,” he said following Friday’s informal skate at Ristuccia Arena. “So to come back here and have a couple spots open is good.”
WILMINGTON, MA — Last year’s postseason went pretty well for Dougie Hamilton.
There’s only one way it could have gone better: If the Bruins, of course, had managed to advance past the Montreal Canadiens in the second round of the playoffs.
Still, during the postseason, Hamilton managed to elevate his game to perhaps its highest level of the year — possibly even the highest level of his young career. The 21-year-old defenseman finished the playoffs with two goals and five assists for seven points in 12 games, serving on the Bruins’ top pairing alongside Zdeno Chara. This came on the heels of his first full NHL season, during which he compiled 25 points (seven goals, 18 assists) with a plus-22 rating in 64 games.
WILMINGTON, MA — It was a full house at Ristuccia Arena on Friday, as members of the Bruins once again gathered for another day of informal captains’ practices.
Joining the crew on Friday were familiar faces Gregory Campbell, Matt Bartkowski and Dougie Hamilton, as well as Providence mainstays Ryan Spooner and Tyler Randell. Recently acquired goaltender Jeremy Smith was also out on the ice, joining Tuukka Rask and Niklas Svedberg.
All four captains — Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and Chris Kelly — were present and accounted for, as were the majority of Boston's roster players as well as a handful of Providence hopefuls.
“It’s pretty cool — definitely, you know, a little different than watching them on TV,” said the forward, Boston’s fourth-round pick in the 2011 NHL Draft. “But it’s definitely neat, and they’ve all been really nice — you know, really willing to help me on and off the ice so far. I just felt like it was good for me to get in this week and kind of get my feet wet before training camp and everything starts.”
Ferlin, who signed his first professional contract in April, has been a welcome presence at captains’ practices over the last couple of weeks at Ristuccia Arena. He inked his deal with Boston after spending three seasons at Cornell, racking up 72 points in 92 games.