But Bruins coach Claude Julien wasn’t relishing the good times. He spent the hour-long practice in full coaching mode, with the season’s beginning less than a week away.
“We can’t ease into this,” Julien said after the practice, according to The Boston Globe. “We’ve got to get on top of our game as soon as possible.
“You probably heard me chirping a little bit more about certain things. This is not about, ‘Hey, this is the first day — we’ll take it easy.’ We’ve got to get to work here. There’s no time to waste.”
The Bruins are set to begin their season Saturday at 7 p.m. ET, when they host the New York Rangers at TD Garden. While they’re working on the same amount of short rest as every other team in the league, the B’s do have an advantage in bringing back pretty much every line intact. While new guys like Chris Bourque and Dougie Hamilton will be incorporated into the team, many of last year’s playmakers — and the players who powered Boston to the Stanley Cup just two seasons ago — are suiting up in the same spots.
A fast start, especially in a shortened, 48-game season, would do well for the Bruins, who stumbled out of the gate last year and never quite recovered their Stanley Cup-winning form.