BOSTON, MA - The Bruins hit the ice at TD Garden for their first on-ice sessions at Training Camp on Thursday, with the 51 players taking part in camp separated into two groups.
The first group of skaters took the ice at 10:00 a.m., with the second set going through their paces at 12:15 p.m. Both practices mirrored each other, and were high-tempo, with only a stoppage for a Zamboni clear halfway through each session.
Head Coach Claude Julien's focus heading into camp centers around acclimated the new players to the Bruins' system, improving his group's execution and getting to know the players vying for a spot on his opening night roster. So it was no surprise when he went straight to the drawing board on the glass next to the B's home bench, the players all taking a knee as their coach quickly eased them back into their routine.
"The one thing I can say is everybody came in really good shape, and that’s a real plus because when even the Providence players come in shape, the way we’ve asked them to come in shape, that’s a good sign," Julien told reporters, of his observations from the first two days of camp.
BostonBruins.com - The wait is over, as a new, fresh sheet of ice at TD Garden is down, and the first sound of the goal horn for the 2013-14 season is less than a month away.
Here's what you need to know about the camp's schedule and when you can see the B's in-person...
Training Camp for the Black & Gold officially opened on Wednesday, September 11 with physical testing before on-ice sessions kick off on September 12. The first two days on the Garden ice are closed to the public on September 12 and 13, but we'll bring you all of the coverage from camp on BostonBruins.com, the Bruins mobile app and live updates from the practices and locker room via Twitter @NHLBruins ^CS.
BOSTON, MA - Anxiety. That's what the opening of Training Camp brought for the 51 players who reported to TD Garden Wednesday morning.
It could be your first camp, or your 15th camp. Some liken it to the first day of school, coming back from the summer, catching up with teammates and being forced in front of the camera for photo shoots and interviews to kick off the new campaign.
Only, there's no recess here. Intense, physical testing to make sure this group in Black & Gold is in peak condition to start the 2013-14 season. It's also in front of your bosses (the B's brass and coaching staff), so make sure you're on point.
"Oh man, the anxiety," Torey Krug had said on the eve of testing. "You prepare all summer. You know, I have so much confidence going into the testing that I'm going to do better than last summer and pass all of the tests, but there's just something about it, with the management and coaching staff sitting there, watching the tests and it adds that little element to it."
Everyone gets a passing grade.
"No disappointments, no surprises," said Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien, who took in the off-ice action of his players on Day One. "It was all great news for a coach to see that these guys are ready to go."
BOSTON, MA - Training Camp is officially open for the NHL and the Boston Bruins, who reported to TD Garden on September 11 for physical testing and media availability.
Patrice Bergeron and Gregory Campbell have done a slew of interviews throughout the past couple of weeks about their conditions. Both were on track for camp and had been on the ice skating. Now that camp has arrived, they both have the go-ahead to join their teammates on the ice, as they have at Captain's Practices.
"They're going to practice with us, they're going to be on the ice," Head Coach Claude Julien told gathered reporters, of the duo's conditions after physical testing. "And when it comes time to play those exhibition games, it'll be a conversation again with our trainers in making sure if they're going to play, that there's not a risk factor."
WILMINGTON, MA - The final Captain's Practice took place Tuesday morning at Ristuccia Arena, with the recovering Gregory Campbell leading a 15-skater group, that included defenseman Matt Bartkowski, through on-ice drills. The pair marked the only B's on the ice from last season's Boston roster, as most stayed off the ice in preparation for physical testing on Wednesday at TD Garden. (Full roll call found here.)
That day - September 11 - marks the opening of training camp, when players officially report for the 2013-14 season.
It begins with the off-ice testing (that includes a 300-year shuttle test), and segues into five straight days of on-ice sessions. The Saturday and Sunday practices at TD Garden, which both begin at 10:00 a.m. ET, are open to the public, followed by Monday's session (also at 10:00 a.m.) at Ristuccia Arena, before the group heads to Montreal for the first of seven preseason games that night. Puck drops at the Bell Centre at 7:00 p.m. ET.
BostonBruins.com, the B's mobile app and Twitter updates from @NHLBruins will bring you all of the coverage from camp, and will be keeping a close eye on the competition.
BOLTON, MA - There's one event every year that draws the likes of Cam Neely, Ray Bourque, Rick Middleton, Derek Sanderson and other Bruins alumni, mixed in with Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron and the current Bruins roster.
Heading into training camp, more than 50 members of the Black & Gold, past and present, join together at the Boston Bruins Golf Tournament, to benefit the Bruins Foundation.
On Monday, just two days prior to training camp kicking off for the current Bruins, the entire team, along with GM Peter Chiarelli, B's management, scouting, coaching and support staff, took part in the 10th annual tournament at The International in Bolton, MA.
Since Captain's Practices currently under way are player-run, this marked the first time Head Coach Claude Julien's 2013-14 team was all together. Prior to and during the event, they all caught up, shared laughs, and hit the links, with those in attendance appreciating that they carved out the time amidst their ramped-up training schedules.
BostonBruins.com - Last December, Matt Bartkowski was Providence's guy.
The blueliner played 20-25 minutes a night against the opponent's top lines with the Bruins' American Hockey League affiliate. His uptick in consistency was rubbing off on his defense corps, and coincided with the team's solid play, as they became one of the hottest teams in the league (going 7-2-0-1 to start December with a goal and five assists from Bartkowski in that span).
"Right now, Matt is definitely still a prospect," Providence Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy had said to BostonBruins.com back on December 26. "But I don’t want him to wake up one day and just be a guy that, you know, Boston can just use in a pinch. We want to convince him that, you’re going to be the 'next guy.'
"So he’s taken on that mindset…and that challenge."
WILMINGTON, MA - When the group filtered out for Captain's Practice Sunday at Ristuccia Arena, there was alternate captain Patrice Bergeron, hitting the ice with his teammates again.
The centerman has been skating for about three weeks, and working out for more than a month, but it was a welcome sight to see him take the ice with the B's. He's the last Bruin to arrive in Boston, as we've been chronicling the returns every day, so it's also an indication of just how close we are to Training Camp (which kicks off on the 11th of September).
Alas, "Gang's all here!"
When I spoke with Patrice this past Thursday, as he was in NYC taking part in the annual NHL Player Media Tour, he gave an update on his health then - that he was feeling good, basing all of his workouts on "feel" and paying attention to his pain threshold.
BostonBruins.com - There's a reason fans say "we" in reference to their beloved sports teams. They're a part of it, the journey, from the summer, through the season and late into June. And they want to be as much a part of it as possible, from attending games and events, to following the team's every move.
Now, Bruins' fans will get to go behind the scenes like never before, with the new all-access TV series "Behind the B" presented by Alex and Ani, slated to air during the 2013-14 season. The special hour-long premiere episode debuts this Monday, September 9, at 8:00 p.m. ET on NESN, and 12 more half-hour long episodes will follow (air dates to be announced). It's being narrated by Worcester, MA native Denis Leary.
BostonBruins.com - The group assembling at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington, MA for Captain's Practices grows larger by the day. on Friday, defensemen Adam McQuaid and Matt Bartkowksi were the latest B's to join in the informal skates.
Defensive prospect Joe Morrow, acquired in the trade with Dallas in July, also hit the ice with the group for the first time in Black & Gold. He joins Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser as the trio of "prospects" who came to Boston with Loui Eriksson from the Stars.
The group of 15 forwards, nine defensemen and two goalies was by far the most on the ice at a time this week, and it allowed for the first 5-on-5 scrimmage during Captain's Practices. It was also the skate most resembling a B's practice, with hardly any stoppages and the sounds of gliding skates, crisp passes, slap shots and the outbursts of stick taps for a teammate's slick goal once again filling the rink.
With about two weeks of these practices in the books, here are a slew of observations…