The Bruins are mere weeks away from their return after an unusually short offseason following their run to the Stanley Cup Final.
After finishing with their crushing Game 7 loss to the St. Louis Blues on June 12, the Black and Gold will have a Sept. 12 opening of NHL training camp at Warrior Ice Arena. Prior to that, the B’s prospects will head there for a Sept. 5 opening to rookie training camp ahead of their Prospects Challenge rookie camp with the Devils, Penguins and Sabres in Buffalo.
Bruins players are already filtering into Boston now, along with other Boston-area NHL players, for captain’s practices and informal skating sessions and undoubtedly they've been on the ice for weeks getting back into training camp condition. Still, expect the Bruins to take a deliberate, slow approach with their veteran players after lopping 24 high-intensity playoff games on top of an 82-game regular season.
The mid-June end to the season will lead to a difficult turnaround for players on the wrong side of 30: Patrice Bergeron (34), Zdeno Chara (42), David Krejci (33), Tuukka Rask (32) and Brad Marchand (31) as they get ready for camp.
“I feel like this summer is a little bit of ‘How are we going to be prepared for next season?’ That’s a little bit of a concern after going that late [into the year] and then losing,” said Bruins team president Cam Neely, in an exclusive interview with NBC Sports Boston. “Guys are feeling a little bit behind because they’ve got to take a few weeks to get healthy before they can start ramping it up again [in offseason training]. I think they feel like they’re a few weeks behind on the conditioning front because you’ve got to take some time to rest and recover.
“We have such great leadership and character that they’ll be ready to go. But it’s just different playing October games than late June games.”
The B’s will also quickly dive into their preseason schedule with a Sept. 16 game vs. the New Jersey Devils beginning their six-game schedule of warm-ups.
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