Bruce Cassidy is still getting utilized to missing so several very small information that stitched a standard recreation day alongside one another. But the commute to TD Garden isn’t a single of them. His generate to North Station Wednesday was abnormally easy thanks to the irregular instances of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Very minor site visitors I could get utilised to that, to be trustworthy with you,” the Bruins coach explained. “I relished that component of it.”
A working day ahead of their home opener Thursday night versus the Philadelphia Flyers, the Bruins stepped on the ice at the Back garden for the to start with time because previous March.
“Just form of the aura of playing in the Boston Back garden, it feels particular each time coming back right here,” explained defenseman Matt Grzelcyk.
The very last time the Bruins performed at the Back garden was March 7, 2020, when they dropped, 5-3, to the Tampa Bay Lightning. After the NHL went on hiatus simply because of the pandemic, the Bruins returned for a playoff operate in the Toronto bubble.
Heart Charlie Coyle soaked in the common ecosystem and bought reacquainted with the boards and the ice.
“It feels excellent,” Coyle stated. “It’s great to be back in this constructing. We adore actively playing here and we skipped it. So that was great.
“If there is items on the boards or the ice or just to truly feel it out, I consider it’s great to get accustomed to that. So I imagine it was superior to get out there today. Come to feel all around and just be back again in this building and feel comfy taking part in right here once more.”
Cassidy noticed the team going with an further bounce being residence following starting the season 1-1-1 with a few straight road game titles.
“I believe the fellas had tons of energy,” Cassidy explained. “It was excellent to see. From time to time that transpires just mainly because you’ve experienced a working day off and you’re again property in just about every regard — your individual mattress and property, etc.
“I consider a very little bit is we have not skated in the Backyard in a extended time. We’ve performed very well listed here above the decades, so we’re just type of thrilled to be again and skate with the significant brand, the ‘B,’ at centre ice and we’ll see tomorrow how that plays out for us.”
The most apparent difference will be the empty seats. With no followers in attendance, the ambiance will be compared with any residence opener the Bruins have experienced. Cassidy claimed he talked to Celtics coach Brad Stevens about what to expect.
“He stated it was diverse for him at 1st,” Cassidy explained. “It just took a little while to get made use of to. I think it is likely heading to be like the to start with time we were in Toronto in the bubble when you’re on the lookout around.
“It’ll be unlucky mainly because we’re utilised to coming out, you know, the music that are actively playing or the crowd’s at the rear of you. I imagine it’s genuinely assisted us in the past. But obviously, we will not have that.”
The depth at the Garden has manufactured it a single of the hardest visits in the NHL in modern several years. Given that 2016, only the Penguins (.714), Capitals (.713), and Lightning (.694) have a higher household winning proportion than the Bruins.
“I think it’s certainly an benefit to enjoy in entrance of our household followers here,” Grzelcyk said. “Talking to other gamers all around the league, it is a rather daunting position to engage in and we commonly feed off their vitality. But we have had a tiny bit of experience with it in the past, so with any luck ,, we can occur out guns blazing suitable absent and get to our sport.”
Coyle echoed the sentiment.
“We want that aid in the making,” Coyle claimed. “It’s the very best location to play when you have your enthusiasts there and the creating gets loud, but it is just not the situation. So we’ve bought to transfer on. We know we have that help sitting down at dwelling on the couch and watching us, which is excellent to know.
“And we know what our admirers carry from not just in the arena but elsewhere. But we’ve acquired to move on and develop our possess strength and make confident we do what we can do to continue to be centered through the match, no subject what ups and downs are coming our way.”
Cassidy reported that while the Bruins eliminate a key part of their house-ice edge, there are nevertheless some benefits.
“I really don’t know how significantly you can phone it household-ice edge with no group, but I consider there is,” he stated. “There’s a particular quantity of familiarity with your dressing room, the constructing, the rink, the lights. All people matters can continue to give you fairly of an edge.
“Maybe not like with a full group, but ideally it does for us due to the fact it’s been a prolonged time since we’ve played below and we have been a actually excellent workforce at TD Back garden over the final several a long time.”
Grzelcyk a activity-day determination
Grzelcyk’s availability will be a activity-day conclusion. The defenseman had to go away Monday’s loss to the Islanders in the 3rd period following obtaining tangled with Jordan Eberle, then slipping and injuring his left shoulder. Grzelcyk had surgical procedure on the similar shoulder in 2014.
“I think it could have been a good deal even worse,” he said. “Just variety of a very little nick from some thing I’ve experienced in the earlier. But emotion excellent right now and wanted to examination it in advance of apply. But feeling very near to 100 %.”
Grzelcyk practiced Wednesday devoid of any problems. Cassidy claimed he “seemed fantastic.”
“I haven’t definitely talked to the trainers or everything, but I sense truly very good and observe went actually effectively,” Grzelcyk mentioned. “No hiccups nowadays, so do everything I can to make certain that I’m in the finest posture tomorrow to be in the lineup.”
The NHL’s experiment with pucks embedded with monitoring technology didn’t make it by the to start with week of the period. Immediately after gamers and coaches complained about the puck’s general performance, the league pulled the plug, quickly shelving the good pucks right until the difficulties can be fixed.
The Bruins have scored a league-very low three targets by way of three game titles, but the pucks experienced practically nothing to do with the offense’s struggles.
“I feel it’s possible we can use that as an justification,” Grzelcyk claimed with a smile. “But I didn’t actually see it, to be truthful. I imagine any person talked about it. I took place to get a penalty in New Jersey, and one of the refs was speaking about it. That was the 1st time I’d read about it.
“But almost nothing truly stood out way too significantly. I feel you consider not to fret about that in the course of the recreation. But ideally, we can just get back to normal.”
The league will use game pucks from the 2019-20 period as it troubleshoots the monitoring pucks.