Key Bruins ready ‘to keep the ball rolling’ after World Cup success


Key Bruins ready ‘to keep the ball rolling’ after World Cup success

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. 


Donato misses Bruins practice for Harvard class commitment

Donato misses Bruins practice for Harvard class commitment

It might have caused a ripple when Ryan Donato wasn’t on the ice on Tuesday afternoon in St. Louis for Bruins practice on the day after his brilliant, three-point NHL debut for the Black and Gold. But the 21-year-old Donato was still back in the Boston area fulfilling some class requirements at Harvard University to help him close out the current semester properly, and not lose the credits that will keep him in line with fulfilling his junior year at Harvard University.

Believe it or not, the schoolwork is important to the newest member of the Boston Bruins and he intends to study and hit the books on his road trips, and also intends to take classes in the summertime to still graduate on time next season.

“I’m planning on finishing the semester academically. I want to finish the semester academically,” said Donato, after Monday’s morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena prior to last night’s debut vs. Columbus. “Obviously it’s going to be something that’s difficult, but for me it was a dream to graduate from Harvard. I’m putting that off a little bit, but I need to be able to finish this semester in order to have that opportunity, and not put it off for another couple of years. I want to finish out the semester.”

Donato is also still living in the Harvard dorms while “moonlighting” as an NHL hockey player for the rest of the season, but that isn’t all so uncommon among some of the college players that leave school early. Charlie McAvoy was similarly living in the Boston University dorms last spring through Boston’s playoff run, and didn’t clear out of his college living situation until after the Black and Gold had been eliminated by the Ottawa Senators last April.

Missing practices on an NHL schedule is certainly a new one with, Donato, however, and takes the student-athlete concept to a whole new level for somebody that's already turned pro. One has to expect this was one of the things being discussed in full when the Donato family, Ryan's agent and the Bruins discussed his contract terms over the weekend before coming to an agreement.

Along with Donato, who is scheduled to fly into St. Louis and play against the Blues on Wednesday night, Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, Charlie McAvoy, David Backes, Jake DeBrusk, Rick Nash and Torey Krug were all missing from the ice at Tuesday’s team practice ahead of a four game road trip against Western Conference opponents.


Morning Skate: Claude's Habs 'not a very good team'

File photo

Morning Skate: Claude's Habs 'not a very good team'

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while not really digging these forecasts of more snow.

*You know, if he weren’t making millions and millions of dollars I might actually feel bad for ol' Claude Julien up in Montreal busting out the “We’re not a very good team” soliloquy with the Habs. That team flat out stinks this season and these past few weeks it can’t be fun at all being the head coach of that dumpster fire.

*Darren Dreger says there is no rush for the Toronto Maple Leafs to bring back Auston Matthews before he’s ready to go, and that’s absolutely the case so close to the playoffs.

*Here are five Hart Trophy-caliber players that won’t get a sniff of the voting, but deserve some attention nonetheless. There are no Bruins players on the list if you’re wondering, but some pretty good ones in Johnny Gaudreau and Aleksander Barkov.

*The NHL general managers are weighing potential changes to the goalie-interference interpretation ahead of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

*While it still looks a Swedish defenseman is going to be the No. 1 overall pick this June, there are some other players rocketing up the list.

*For something completely different: The definitive ranking of Girl Scout cookies from best-to-worst that we’ve all been waiting for.

*Song of the Week: Haven’t done one of these in a long, long time, but I like this Calvin Harris/Katy Perry/Pharrell Williams tune that I hadn’t heard until the past couple of days.