BOSTON - As 17,000-plus fans filtered out of the sellout TD Garden on Wednesday night, and the Bruins rushed onto a bus to fly out to Detroit, their 2-1 win season opening win over the Philadelphia still lingered.
The few remaining fans on Causeway Street cheered and screamed out to the bus as it pulled out of the Garden.
This is the breath of a new season, a clean slate. For now, after Game 1, two points are in the queue, and the Bruins are undefeated.
Chris Kelly jammed home the game-winner with just 1:51 left in the third period to break a 1-1 tie, and eventually send a happy crowd, and a happy team on their way.
The blueliner's stick broke in two, but the shot still made its way to Flyers goaltender Steve Mason and rebounded with enough pop that Kelly could power it home. Eriksson made sure to claim real estate in the blue pain and swat at the puck as well.
BOSTON - A young fan had a question for Zdeno Chara.
"This is for Chara," he began, microphone in hand, standing in an aisle of the lower bowl at TD Garden. "Do you think you're going to make it to the playoffs this year?"
It brought out a smile from the Bruins' captain, who was seated on a stage at ice level, for the annual "State of the Bruins" event held prior to each season. The rest of the crowd smiled with approval as well.
"What's your name?" asked Chara.
"Johnny," the young man responded.
"Johnny, I believe we will."
With that, Johnny had the confidence he needed.
BOSTON - In July of 2013, Bobby Robins received his first NHL contract from the Bruins at the age of 31.
Heading into training camp before the 2013-14 season, there wasn't much of an opportunity for him to crack Boston's roster. Veterans were solidified in their roles. He continued his leadership role with Providence.
After eight years with stops on the Binghamton Senators (AHL), Elmira Jackels (ECHL), Rochester Americans (AHL), Albany River Rats (AHL), Syracuse Crunch (AHL), Belfast Giants in Ireland, Jesenice in Austria, Bakersfield Condors (ECHL), Chicago Express (ECHL), Abbotsford Heat (AHL) and Providence Bruins, Robins was just happy to be part of the organization, and still chasing down his NHL dream.
"My expectations are obviously to help the organization win," Robins had said during that 2013 training camp. "Wherever they want to put me, they are going to put me there. I’ve signed for two years and I’m here to work for two years and do the best I can."
BOSTON - The 2014-15 season opens for the Bruins on Wednesday night against the Philadelphia Flyers at TD Garden. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN, 98.5 The Sports Hub).
The team held a pregame skate on Wednesday morning, with 13 forwards, seven defensemen and three goalies on the ice.
With Tuesday evening's transactions for the opening day roster, Krejci was placed on Injured Reserve. He sustained an undisclosed injury in Saturday's preseason finale, and Head Coach Claude Julien said Tuesday that it's not healing as quickly as they originally thought. Krejci is not eligible to return until after Saturday's game.
Campbell was placed on Non-Roster Injured Reserve on Tuesday. He missed the preseason with a mid-core injury, and just started skating last week. (Non-Roster IR refers to a player who "failed the club's initial physical examination in any League Year, or who is injured, ill or disabled while not on the Club's Active Roster," as outlined in the NHL's CBA.)
With Krejci and Campbell out, that opens the door up front for players to get opportunities, at least from the outset.
BOSTON - GM Peter Chiarelli announced on Tuesday that David Pastrnak had been assigned to the Providence Bruins.
The transaction came as the Bruins made a number of roster moves before submitting their 23-player opening day roster.
"We’ll have a little more time to watch him and assess him," said Chiarelli.
Pastrnak didn't have luck on his side at the start of training camp, tweaking his shoulder on just the second day of on-ice sessions by going awkwardly into the boards.
He only had the chance to suit up in the Bruins' two final preseason games.
BOSTON - While the Bruins' opening night roster for the 2014-15 season was still in flux on Tuesday morning, Ryan Spooner, Bobby Robins and Matt Fraser knew that their names would be there before the puck drops against the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night.
GM Peter Chiarelli announced that news with certainty on Tuesday morning, though the final 23-man opening day roster would later be submitted by 5:00 p.m.
They all know that being on the roster for opening night is merely an opportunity, but one that they'll gladly take.
"I'm excited. You know, extremely proud, and ready to go," said Spooner. "I've got a lot of strides to make. Right now, I'm just trying to play well and stay here."
"I've been up and down; I thought I've played well and had some stretches where I didn't play well, so it's about being consistent with it, and that's what I'm trying to do."
BOSTON - The Bruins hit the ice for practice at TD Garden on Tuesday morning, before the focus shifts to the home opener on Wednesday against the Philadelphia Flyers.
The opening night roster must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
Krejci left Saturday night's final preseason game in the second period and did not return. Head Coach Claude Julien stressed that it was something "very, very minor" and that they just decided not to push it.
"But there won't be any issues there," Julien said postgame on Saturday.
Krejci joined the team on their weekend trip to Vermont.
BostonBruins.com - Following Saturday night's final preseason game, the Bruins hit the road for a team trip to Vermont.
The tradition of heading away on a trip prior to the start of the season serves as an opportunity for the group to get away from Boston for a few days, spend time as a team, and get refreshed before the test of 82-plus games.
Some may think it's not more beneficial than being on the ice for the past two days. But the players welcomed the change of scenery, especially given the emotionally tough day on Saturday after they let it sink in that Johnny Boychuk was headed to the Islanders in a trade that brought back three draft picks to Boston. They needed the time to regroup.
"It was an awesome weekend," said Torey Krug, speaking with pool reporters over the phone Monday on the bus ride back from Vermont. He sounded at ease. "I think anytime you go away with your teammates, it's always fun, first and foremost, and we were up at the Vermont Police Academy, hanging out having a good time."
"We went through a bunch of different educational exercises and training. We had a lot of fun with it - it was a great weekend."
BOSTON - The Bruins dropped a 4-3 decision to Detroit in the shootout in their final preseason game on Saturday night. Patrice Bergeron scored a hat trick, forcing overtime.
But there was no talk of either topic postgame in the locker room.
News that came around 2:30 p.m. on Saturday just a few hours before puck drop was still difficult for the Bruins to take.
After six seasons in Black & Gold, Johnny Boychuk was traded to the New York Islanders in exchange for for two second round draft picks and a conditional 2015 third round pick.
"It stings for everybody, and it stung for me too and the coaching staff and even we were quiet," Head Coach Claude Julien said postgame. "That doesn't mean we don't support - we obviously support our organization and understand why they had to make some of those tough decisions, but it doesn't mean the sting isn't there."
BOSTON - On Saturday, General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced that the Bruins had acquired two second-round draft picks and a conditional 2015 draft pick from the New York Islanders in exchange for defenseman Johnny Boychuk.
The two second round picks are the Philadelphia Flyers' second round pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft (acquired by the Isles in a March 4, 2014 Andrew MacDonald trade) and the Islanders' second round pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
The Bruins would acquire the conditional 2015 third round pick from the Isles if New York trades Boychuk during the 2014-15 season to an Eastern Conference team.
Prior to the Bruins' final preseason game against Detroit on Saturday, Chiarelli addressed media at TD Garden regarding the transaction.
"This is a tough trade," said Chiarelli, stating what the gathered reporters in front of him already knew. "We all like Johnny."
"I spoke with him shortly after the trade consummated. I told him, 'you know, Johnny we brought you here from Colorado, you did everything we told you to do. You got better as a player. You were patient, you got better, you were part of the fabric of the team and this was really hard to do, but we've got - there's an element of business to it, an element of hockey and we tried to get ahead of it a little bit.'"