Bruce Cassidy is nevertheless obtaining made use of to lacking so quite a few little aspects that stitched a usual game working day collectively. But the commute to TD Yard isn’t one particular of them. His travel to North Station Wednesday was abnormally sleek thanks to the abnormal circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Very minor website traffic I could get applied to that, to be honest with you,” the Bruins coach said. “I enjoyed that aspect of it.”
A working day in advance of their residence opener Thursday night versus the Philadelphia Flyers, the Bruins stepped on the ice at the Back garden for the initially time since final March.
“Just sort of the aura of taking part in in the Boston Backyard, it feels specific each individual time coming again in this article,” said defenseman Matt Grzelcyk.
The last time the Bruins performed at the Yard was March 7, 2020, when they lost, 5-3, to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Following the NHL went on hiatus due to the fact of the pandemic, the Bruins returned for a playoff operate in the Toronto bubble.
Centre Charlie Coyle soaked in the familiar ecosystem and bought reacquainted with the boards and the ice.
“It feels great,” Coyle explained. “It’s good to be again in this developing. We love participating in in this article and we missed it. So that was great.
“If there’s items on the boards or the ice or just to truly feel it out, I imagine it is good to get accustomed to that. So I feel it was fantastic to get out there currently. Sense all around and just be back again in this developing and sense cozy taking part in here once again.”
Cassidy seen the crew relocating with an excess bounce becoming household following commencing the year 1-1-1 with three straight street online games.
“I feel the guys had loads of electricity,” Cassidy claimed. “It was fantastic to see. In some cases that happens basically simply because you’ve experienced a working day off and you’re back again household in every single regard — your individual bed and residence, and many others.
“I consider a small little bit is we have not skated in the Garden in a prolonged time. We have played perfectly here above the years, so we’re just type of energized to be again and skate with the large emblem, the ‘B,’ at center ice and we’ll see tomorrow how that plays out for us.”
The most obvious difference will be the vacant seats. With no admirers in attendance, the environment will be as opposed to any dwelling opener the Bruins have professional. Cassidy said he talked to Celtics coach Brad Stevens about what to be expecting.
“He explained it was various for him at initially,” Cassidy said. “It just took a tiny even though to get utilized to. I imagine it is probably likely to be like the very first time we were in Toronto in the bubble when you are wanting around.
“It’ll be regrettable mainly because we’re used to coming out, you know, the tracks that are taking part in or the crowd’s at the rear of you. I think it is definitely aided us in the past. But clearly, we will not have that.”
The depth at the Back garden has built it one of the hardest visits in the NHL in the latest many years. Because 2016, only the Penguins (.714), Capitals (.713), and Lightning (.694) have a bigger dwelling winning proportion than the Bruins.
“I feel it is surely an gain to perform in front of our house supporters listed here,” Grzelcyk explained. “Talking to other players all-around the league, it is a fairly daunting place to play and we usually feed off their electrical power. But we’ve experienced a very little bit of encounter with it in the earlier, so with any luck ,, we can occur out guns blazing suitable absent and get to our game.”
Coyle echoed the sentiment.
“We want that help in the setting up,” Coyle stated. “It’s the best spot to engage in when you have your followers there and the developing receives loud, but it is just not the situation. So we have got to shift on. We know we have that assist sitting at household on the couch and observing us, which is good to know.
“And we know what our followers convey from not just in the arena but somewhere else. But we’ve got to go on and make our own vitality and make sure we do what we can do to continue to be concentrated throughout the game, no matter what ups and downs are coming our way.”
Cassidy said that when the Bruins get rid of a significant component of their property-ice edge, there are nevertheless some strengths.
“I really do not know how significantly you can get in touch with it residence-ice edge with no group, but I consider there is,” he reported. “There’s a sure total of familiarity with your dressing home, the setting up, the rink, the lighting. All these things can nonetheless give you considerably of an advantage.
“Maybe not like with a total group, but ideally it does for us simply because it is been a lengthy time considering the fact that we’ve played listed here and we’ve been a seriously superior crew at TD Backyard garden above the previous several many years.”
Grzelcyk a game-day decision
Grzelcyk’s availability will be a game-day choice. The defenseman experienced to depart Monday’s reduction to the Islanders in the 3rd interval after finding tangled with Jordan Eberle, then slipping and injuring his still left shoulder. Grzelcyk had surgery on the identical shoulder in 2014.
“I believe it could have been a good deal worse,” he mentioned. “Just sort of a minimal nick from a little something I have experienced in the past. But emotion excellent ideal now and wished to examination it just before observe. But emotion quite shut to 100 percent.”
Grzelcyk practiced Wednesday without any concerns. Cassidy mentioned he “seemed high-quality.”
“I have not genuinely talked to the trainers or nearly anything, but I really feel really fantastic and observe went genuinely nicely,” Grzelcyk explained. “No hiccups these days, so do every little thing I can to make guaranteed that I’m in the most effective situation tomorrow to be in the lineup.”
The NHL’s experiment with pucks embedded with tracking technological innovation did not make it through the initial 7 days of the year. Following players and coaches complained about the puck’s functionality, the league pulled the plug, quickly shelving the clever pucks until eventually the issues can be solved.
The Bruins have scored a league-reduced three ambitions by 3 video games, but the pucks experienced absolutely nothing to do with the offense’s struggles.
“I consider probably we can use that as an excuse,” Grzelcyk mentioned with a smile. “But I didn’t seriously observe it, to be truthful. I believe any individual talked about it. I happened to get a penalty in New Jersey, and one particular of the refs was conversing about it. That was the initial time I’d read about it.
“But nothing at all truly stood out much too significantly. I feel you try out not to be concerned about that all through the recreation. But hopefully, we can just get back again to standard.”
The league will use match pucks from the 2019-20 year as it troubleshoots the monitoring pucks.