Bruce Cassidy is still having used to missing so a lot of tiny particulars that stitched a standard game working day alongside one another. But the commute to TD Yard is not one of them. His drive to North Station Wednesday was abnormally smooth thanks to the abnormal instances of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Very tiny site visitors I could get applied to that, to be truthful with you,” the Bruins mentor reported. “I relished that aspect of it.”
A working day ahead of their house opener Thursday night in opposition to the Philadelphia Flyers, the Bruins stepped on the ice at the Backyard garden for the very first time because very last March.
“Just form of the aura of enjoying in the Boston Backyard, it feels specific every single time coming back again right here,” claimed defenseman Matt Grzelcyk.
The very last time the Bruins played at the Backyard garden was March 7, 2020, when they shed, 5-3, to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Following the NHL went on hiatus for the reason that of the pandemic, the Bruins returned for a playoff operate in the Toronto bubble.
Middle Charlie Coyle soaked in the acquainted natural environment and bought reacquainted with the boards and the ice.
“It feels great,” Coyle explained. “It’s awesome to be again in this creating. We enjoy actively playing here and we skipped it. So that was great.
“If there is items on the boards or the ice or just to feel it out, I imagine it is very good to get accustomed to that. So I consider it was good to get out there these days. Experience all around and just be again in this setting up and feel comfy playing here yet again.”
Cassidy found the team transferring with an further bounce staying household following beginning the season 1-1-1 with a few straight highway games.
“I think the fellas experienced tons of electrical power,” Cassidy claimed. “It was superior to see. From time to time that takes place merely because you’ve experienced a working day off and you’re back dwelling in every regard — your very own bed and house, and so on.
“I think a tiny bit is we haven’t skated in the Back garden in a extended time. We’ve performed properly listed here in excess of the many years, so we’re just sort of psyched to be back and skate with the large emblem, the ‘B,’ at middle ice and we’ll see tomorrow how that plays out for us.”
The most noticeable big difference will be the empty seats. With no supporters in attendance, the environment will be as opposed to any dwelling opener the Bruins have seasoned. Cassidy reported he talked to Celtics mentor Brad Stevens about what to anticipate.
“He mentioned it was distinct for him at initially,” Cassidy said. “It just took a tiny whilst to get made use of to. I believe it’s possibly going to be like the initial time we were being in Toronto in the bubble when you are seeking around.
“It’ll be unlucky mainly because we’re made use of to coming out, you know, the music that are taking part in or the crowd’s at the rear of you. I consider it is definitely helped us in the earlier. But obviously, we will not have that.”
The depth at the Garden has created it one of the hardest journeys in the NHL in modern decades. Due to the fact 2016, only the Penguins (.714), Capitals (.713), and Lightning (.694) have a higher dwelling profitable share than the Bruins.
“I believe it’s certainly an edge to play in entrance of our property followers in this article,” Grzelcyk stated. “Talking to other players all over the league, it is a really daunting location to perform and we generally feed off their electricity. But we’ve experienced a minimal little bit of working experience with it in the previous, so ideally, we can come out guns blazing proper absent and get to our match.”
Coyle echoed the sentiment.
“We want that guidance in the building,” Coyle explained. “It’s the best location to enjoy when you have your lovers there and the developing will get loud, but it is just not the scenario. So we have acquired to go on. We know we have that assistance sitting down at dwelling on the sofa and watching us, which is terrific to know.
“And we know what our fans bring from not just in the arena but elsewhere. But we’ve got to transfer on and develop our individual strength and make guaranteed we do what we can do to continue to be targeted all over the activity, no subject what ups and downs are coming our way.”
Cassidy stated that whilst the Bruins reduce a significant portion of their home-ice edge, there are still some pros.
“I don’t know how a great deal you can call it house-ice edge with no crowd, but I feel there is,” he mentioned. “There’s a selected total of familiarity with your dressing home, the constructing, the rink, the lights. All those items can continue to give you to some degree of an gain.
“Maybe not like with a entire group, but with any luck , it does for us mainly because it is been a extended time considering the fact that we’ve performed listed here and we have been a definitely excellent team at TD Yard around the past couple of several years.”
Grzelcyk a sport-day decision
Grzelcyk’s availability will be a sport-working day choice. The defenseman had to go away Monday’s decline to the Islanders in the 3rd period of time following having tangled with Jordan Eberle, then slipping and injuring his remaining shoulder. Grzelcyk had surgery on the very same shoulder in 2014.
“I consider it could have been a large amount even worse,” he claimed. “Just kind of a minor nick from anything I’ve had in the past. But experience very good suitable now and needed to take a look at it prior to exercise. But emotion fairly close to 100 p.c.”
With Matt Grzelcyk’s personal injury status unclear, Bruins may perhaps have to shuffle lineup on defense
Grzelcyk practiced Wednesday without any problems. Cassidy claimed he “seemed wonderful.”
“I haven’t really talked to the trainers or nearly anything, but I come to feel genuinely fantastic and observe went actually properly,” Grzelcyk stated. “No hiccups right now, so do everything I can to make guaranteed that I’m in the most effective place tomorrow to be in the lineup.”
The NHL’s experiment with pucks embedded with tracking technologies did not make it via the to start with week of the year. After gamers and coaches complained about the puck’s performance, the league pulled the plug, temporarily shelving the wise pucks right until the troubles can be resolved.
The Bruins have scored a league-small 3 aims by way of a few video games, but the pucks experienced almost nothing to do with the offense’s struggles.
NHL pulls microchipped ‘tracking’ pucks 6 times into season
“I assume possibly we can use that as an excuse,” Grzelcyk stated with a smile. “But I didn’t definitely detect it, to be honest. I feel someone mentioned it. I transpired to get a penalty in New Jersey, and just one of the refs was chatting about it. That was the to start with time I’d heard about it.
“But almost nothing genuinely stood out far too considerably. I feel you check out not to worry about that all through the match. But with any luck ,, we can just get back to typical.”
The league will use match pucks from the 2019-20 period as it troubleshoots the tracking pucks.