BOSTON, MA - You don't always see it, but when it appears, it's mesmerizing.
The big man, 6-foot-9 captain Zdeno Chara, weaving through the defense, backhand, deke to the forehand, backhand, top shelf.
We saw it in 2012-13, with a pirouette highlight reel goal against Florida. And we saw it Saturday night, to cap off a 4-1 win over Detroit at TD Garden, giving the Bruins a 2-0-0 start to their 2013-14 season.
And we may be seeing more of that this season, with Chara in his newly frequented position down low on the power play.
"Not too many challenges when you look at what he’s doing, right?" Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien told media postgame, of having his strongest weapon on defense taking on the forward role during the man-advantage.
BOSTON, MA - The Bruins hit the ice in preparation for Game No. 2 on the NHL calendar today, hosting the Detroit Red Wings tonight at TD Garden at 7:00 p.m. (ET).
Original Six match-ups are nothing new for Boston, with the likes of Toronto and Montreal in the division, but with Detroit joining the Eastern Conference in the new Atlantic Divisions with the B's this season, the Wings could grow into a familiar foe.
"It's an exciting match-up. First time coming over to the East side in a long time. Divisional rival now, Original Six team, so I think it should be exciting for everyone," said Shawn Thornton following the team's pregame skate. "They're a good team, they've been together a long time and they're competitive every year, so this will be a good test for us."
The match-up also pits two well-structured, well-coached teams who place an emphasis on the defensive side of the puck to be able to generate puck possession and offensive chances.
"They always have their players above ours. And very seldom do you get outnumbered situations and you have to be willing to fight for those pucks and you have to be willing to get it by them and go after it again," Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said pregame. "You’re not going to get a run-and-gun type game against that team because they defend so well."
BostonBruins.com - Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli has never been shy about the fact that his interest in defenseman Dennis Seidenberg spiked in 2009, when he was a member of the Carolina Hurricanes.
An impressive postseason showing against the B's in the '09 conference semifinal solidified his reliability, and in March 2010, when the hard-nosed blueliner - then, a Florida Panther - became available at the trade deadline, Chiarelli made his move. The Bruins acquired Seidenberg and Matt Bartkowski in the trade with Florida.
With an expiring contract, Chiarelli locked him up during the 2010 offseason.
And if anything, Seidenberg has only improved since finding a home - and a Stanley Cup - with Boston.
On October 3, the defenseman signed his second four-year contract extension with the Bruins, that keeps him in Black & Gold until at least the 2017-18 season.
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.