BOSTON, MA - Following their 3-1 season opening win over Tampa Bay, the Bruins hit the ice for a Friday morning practice at TD Garden. Next up, the B's host the new Atlantic Division rival Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night in the second game of a three-game homestand to kick off the 2013-14 season.
Boston admitted they felt out of sync to start Thursday night's game, even if they did jump out to the 1-0 lead off Chris Kelly's penalty shot.
So practice served as a day of improvements heading into Saturday night (working predominantly on breakouts and regroups during the hour-long skate), when the B's will face another offensively potent team with the top line of Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Justin Abdelkader.
"I think they're an elite team, they always have been," said Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien, on now having Detroit in the East, and in the B's division. "I think you need to look at, for example, their third line with a guy like [Daniel] Cleary and [Todd] Bertuzzi on the third line, you know you've got some pretty good depth."
"And they're an experienced team, they're a smart team, they play a good, smart game, and that will certainly bring an element of an even bigger challenge for all of the teams in our conference right now."
BOSTON, MA - As Jarome Iginla was heading into his first regular season game in the spoked-B on Thursday night, he wanted to get off to a good start.
"As a team, we want to make a good first impression," Iginla had said, prior to a 3-1 season opening win over the Tampa Bay Lightning at TD Garden. "It’s a lot of the same guys but some of the news guys like myself; you want to get off to a good start at here at home and make a good first impression."
The new Bruins right winger may not have started off the season in the scoring columns (with Chris Kelly, Milan Lucic and Patrice Bergeron doing the honors), but he still made his mark on the stat sheet, dropping the gloves in Big Bad Bruins fashion.
It's nothing new to the power forward's game, but it immediately made an impact with the Boston faithful.
Nearing the midpoint of the second period, Iginla got leveled at the red line near the penalty box with Tampa Bay's Radko Gudas. He wasn't too happy with the hit he didn't see coming.
The gloves immediately dropped, as the pair squared off and the crowd grew louder.
BOSTON, MA - Midway through the first period of the Bruins' season opener at TD Garden against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Chris Kelly jumped on a shorthanded opportunity.
A breakaway chance led to a penalty shot, the first of his 10-year NHL career.
He sped down the straightaway, deked from his backhand to his forehand and opted for the backhander to flip it past Anders Lindback to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead 11:39 into the first period.
Marking the first goal of the Bruins' 2013-14 season, Milan Lucic then followed up with the eventual game-winner just a minute before the horn sounded on the second period, and Patrice Bergeron added another shorthanded tally early in the final frame to seal the 3-1 win.
"I try that move in practice but Tuukka doesn't move," Kelly remarked (and smirked) postgame. "It just goes into his pad, but I was happy [Lindback] bit. He's a big guy, you can't really shoot high, he takes away a lot of the upper deck, so I just tried to freeze him."
BostonBruins.com - When Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli and Head Coach Claude Julien addressed the Bruins at the start of training camp, before the 2013-14 season, there was a clear message.
"We're a hell of a team and we're going to continue to be a hell of a team," Chiarelli said, as the all-access 'Behind the B' cameras caught the speech included in Episode 2. "We're going to keep trying to win every year…expectations are getting higher and higher here. I's a tough town to play in but it's a great town to play in."
The focus demanded from Julien was the same.
"Guys that are new coming in, you're going to realize that we push hard here in order to maintain that standard," Julien said to the players.
"Making it to the Finals two out of three years for some, can be something that's taken in the context that we'll be there again. I would warn you right now, guys, that if we go in with that attitude, we're going to be extremely disappointed.
"We have to earn it every year."
"Having success is one thing - sitting still and thinking that thats going to be good enough to follow every year is the wrong approach. So this is what we've got here as a standard and this a standard we should all want to keep, and be proud of being a part of."
BOSTON, MA - The 2013-14 season is finally here. The puck drops tonight at TD Garden at 7:00 p.m. ET with the Bruins hosting the Tampa Bay Lightning in their season opener (NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub).
And when game time comes, David Krejci will be in the lineup, as confirmed by both the centerman and Head Coach Claude Julien following the Bruins' morning skate, in which Krejci anchored usual linemates Milan Lucic and Jarome Iginla.
Krejci skated for the first time yesterday since being out with back spasms, and all appears well as he prepares for tonight.
"I feel better than yesterday so I'm good to go tonight," said Krejci, who wasn't bothered by the shots he took this morning in practice and was happy with the way he felt.
"I was a little worried before I took the faceoffs but it felt pretty good," added the centerman, who took an extra round of faceoff with assistant coach Doug Jarvis during morning skate, going through it three times instead of two, to test out how he was feeling.
BostonBruins.com - David Krejci is entering his seventh full NHL season as a Boston Bruin, and this season, he'll be sporting a new 'A' on his chest.
But the truth is, as for many Bruins, Krejci has been leading without the credit of the 'A' up until this point.
Drafted by Boston in 2004, a year after Bergeron, the centerman has steadily - and quietly - been progressing towards the forefront of the Black & Gold.
"He's a good leader on the ice and every year in the playoffs, he comes up big," Head Coach Claude Julien said, after announcing Krejci as the new alternate captain on October 1. "I think it's time for him to show that for us, and after I talked to him, he seemed keen on wanting to be that guy."
BOSTON, MA - The 2013-14 NHL regular season is finally here. With other clubs having already dropped the puck on their season openers, the B's are prepping for the beginning of their season on Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning at TD Garden.
"We did some activities and we had some time during training camp to bond. This team has been always really good to welcome new guys and make them part of the team and we’ve never had issues with that," Zdeno Chara told media following the team's practice Wednesday morning, back at TD Garden following their team-building trip to Vermont.
BostonBruins.com - When Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien addressed media from the Waterbury Ice Center in Vermont on Tuesday afternoon, he gave updates on two forwards who were still not on the ice due to injury, and stayed back in Boston.
After being out with back spasms (suffered last Friday during morning skate in Saskatoon before the B's faced the Winnipeg Jets), Krejci could make his return to the ice as early as Wednesday.
"We’re hoping to see David on the ice tomorrow and we’re optimistic about that," Julien told reporters.
"We’re optimistic that things are going to go well for him."
BostonBruins.com - The Bruins have spent the past few days in Vermont on a team-building trip and will be capping it off with an open practice on Tuesday afternoon at Waterbury Ice Center at 1:30 p.m.
The ice rink is located at 546 River Road in Waterbury, Vermont.
With the NHL's official opening of the regular season today, October 1, the B's still have two days of prep before they open their 2013-14 season at TD Garden against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
VERMONT - These Bruins know each other well.
Still, while players who were once "new faces" in August are new no longer, there can never be enough time spent together for this group.
So, here we are, in Vermont, as the veterans and rookies alike take a couple of days away from Boston to get to know one another before the 2013-14 regular season kicks off on Thursday at TD Garden against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
We've seen chemistry starting to form on the ice, with Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Jarome Iginla; with Loui Eriksson joining new linemates Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand; with the new-look third line having the addition of Reilly Smith.
"I think we have a pretty good idea of what we're getting," Head Coach Claude Julien had said, at the start of training camp in mid-September.