BOSTON — All-Stars Zdeno Chara, Tim Thomas and Tyler Seguin were given Monday off after traveling back from the game in Ottawa, but they were still the subject of most of the discussion in the locker room as the Bruins got back to work.
"I watched a bit," Bruins center Patrice Bergeron said. "I got to see Zee's breaking the record, which is not surprising but it's always fun to see. I'm very happy for him. I caught the end of the game [Sunday] night and it was great to see Timmy getting his fourth win and see Siggy and Zee make some nice plays. It was fun. I thought it was a good game."
Chara broke his own record while defending his title in the hardest shot event during Saturday's skills competition. Chara shattered his previous mark of 105.9 mph set last year in Raleigh. He actually topped that mark with all four shots he took, with the biggest blast checking in at 108.8 mph.
"I got in last night and did [watch the game]," Bruins winger Milan Lucic said. "I had to go on YouTube to watch some of the skills competition. Obviously focused in on Zdeno's hardest shot. It was great to see him break his record, and not just by .1 or .2, but by three miles per hour, which was pretty impressive."
With those kinds of shots coming in from the point, it may make the willingness of Lucic and the Bruins' other forwards to stand in front of the net looking for deflections and rebounds even more impressive.
"I think everyone now realizes that when I have to stand in front on the power play, that's what's coming at me," Lucic said with a laugh. "I think what's not seen or shown is that not only does he have a hard shot, but he's able to apply that speed and that velocity on his shot, but he's also able to put it in spots so when I stand in front of the net I don't have to be scared for my life. That's what makes him such a great player and what makes him such a lethal threat, even from that far out on the blue line."
Seguin didn't quite show off that level of accuracy in his skills display. He took part in the shooting accuracy event, but struggled a bit to hit each of the four plates set up in the corners of the net. That was welcomed news to linemate and best buddy Brad Marchand, who feared Seguin's ego might get a bit unbearable with the All-Star selection.
"I didn't watch anything," said Marchand, who spent the break on vacation at Disney World. "I just wanted to get away from hockey and not worry about it. I was checking in on Segs a little bit, but I didn't really focus a whole lot on it.
"I'm sure he'll be bragging about it for the next couple months," Marchand added. "I'll hear enough about it."
When informed that Seguin's skills performance may not have been worthy of too much boasting, Marchand couldn't resist a friendly dig at his linemate, before defending his linemate's effort.
"Maybe that it'll be a little ego check for him, eh?" Marchand said. "No, it's tough. There was probably a little bit of nerves there, but he doesn't have to hit plates to know he's a great goal scorer. It doesn't take anything away from his skill set."
While nerves may have gotten the best of Seguin's shooting accuracy on Saturday, he didn't look nervous at all on Sunday, and he certainly wasn't struggling to accurately sing along with rapper Drake's between-periods performance.
"He knows every word to every song going right now, so that doesn't surprise me at all," Marchand said.
Lucic was equally impressed, and disappointed he wasn't able to join Seguin's singalong.
"I was saying to my girlfriend when I was watching it, too bad I wasn't there with him, I would have been singing along," Lucic said. "Me and Segs could have sang together. It doesn't surprise me. Both me and Segs really enjoy our music and enjoy Drake's music, so I'm sure he had a lot of fun meeting him and seeing him sing live on the ice there. That was a cool part even to watch on TV."
Lucic would like nothing better than to partake in all the All-Star festivities at some point, even if his style of game doesn't exactly translate to the no-hitting approach most players take in such exhibitions.
"I'd have fun with it," Lucic said. "I'd probably go about it like [Philadelphia's] Scott Hartnell went about it, kind of fake running guys and having fun that way. Growing up as a kid I always watched the All-Star Game and had a lot of fun watching it. That's something I'd definitely love to experience at least once in my career and if I did go there, I'd just have fun with it like all the other guys and show off some of my skills and those abilities, try my best to do that."
Hartnell hasn't exactly endeared himself to the Bruins with his abrasive style, but he certainly showed the right spirit in his All-Star debut, winning over even rivals with his infectious humor. That included a promise to donate $1,000 for every time he fell during the game, a response to an Internet meme poking fun at his frequent tumbles. Flyers linemate Claude Giroux tried to help the cause by tripping his teammate, and Hartnell ended up raising $4,000 for charity with a quartet of spills. Had Lucic played, Hartnell may have been digging even deeper into his wallet.
"I'd definitely help him there," Lucic said. "I think if we played against each other we would have definitely bumped into each other once in a while just for the fun of it. It's a big part of both of our games. That's what I think stands out more than anything, it's the guys having fun and doing whatever they can to raise money while having fun. So that was pretty cool to see."
Bruins coach Claude Julien, who was behind the bench for the victorious Team Chara squad, saw plenty he liked as well from his up-close vantage point.
"It was a nice weekend," Julien said. "I think it was nice for everyone that participated and everyone that was there to watch."
Julien was even surprised by how competitive the contest was, as Chara's squad and the team led by Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson entered the third period tied 6-6 before Chara's side pulled away for the 12-9 win.
"It was actually more intense than most I've seen," Julien said. "I was impressed. It's always going to be a no-hitter, we know that, but I thought guys were backchecking and taking pucks away and it was a little bit more competitive. Going in the third period, going into it tied and you had Timmy wanting his fourth win in a row and you had Alfie and his boys wanting to win it for Ottawa, so it did get competitive. You could see the intensity of the skating and the playmaking get better in the third."
It was intense enough to earn the Bruins' competitors a day off, though Julien still had to report to work and was on the ice to lead practice on Monday.
"I tried," Julien said when asked why he didn't get the day off as well. "It's part of the job. You do those things. Our players certainly deserved it. They've been pretty active and busy, besides the skills and the game they've also been pretty active in the community, so it was important for them to take it easy and get themselves ready for [Tuesday] and obviously a pretty heavy schedule from here on in."
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