BRIGHTON, Mass. – Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Zdeno Chara all returned triumphantly to Boston from the World Cup of Hockey at the end of last week and got back to work on Monday morning hopping on the Warrior Ice Arena sheet for their first Bruins training camp practice.
“I was excited to get back to Boston when everything was over, and it’s nice to get in that first practice,” said Bergeron. “It’s about keeping the ball rolling, and getting acclimated with the new guys a little bit. I’m just excited to wear the Spoked B again.”
With only three preseason games remaining prior to their Oct. 13 regular season opener, one would expect all three will hit the ice running in something close to midseason form. At least that’s what all three are hoping fresh off an elite tournament played at breakneck skating speed with playoff-level effort and intensity.
For a guy like Marchand that traditionally gets off to slow starts, it might give him a push toward another 30-goal season with the Black and Gold.
“Our only concern [about the World Cup] was guys getting hurt while they were at that tournament, and you saw that with a few guys. If anything [the World Cup] is going to benefit every guy that played in that tournament,” said Marchand, who finished as the leading goal-scorer in the tournament with five goals and eight points in six World Cup games. “It was played at such a high pace that you can’t duplicate that. To come back, I think the guys that played on that tournament will be on another step, or have another step, when the season gets going. That will be another benefit.
“I know personally for me it takes five or six games, sometimes 10 [games], one year 30 [games] to get into things [at the start of the season], so I think it will help a little bit starting the year off.”
That could be a good sign all-around given that four players in B’s camp, Marchand, Bergeron, Chara and Christian Ehrhoff, all played to the end of the tournament as members of Team Canada and Team Europe and three other Bruins - David Pastrnak, David Backes and Tuukka Rask - should be close to midseason form after participating in the World Cup, as well.
It won’t be an easy start to the season for the Black and Gold given that things start with a three-game road trip and some competitive opponents, but the World Cup might not be such a bad thing at all when it comes to giving Boston a little momentum booster this season.