The NHL schedule looked a lot different last year due to COVID-19, but this season things are going back to normal.
The teams will play an 82-game schedule and adhere to the protocols put in place by the NHL and its Players’ Association, but the divisions won’t be what they were last year and will go back to what they were in 2019.
Patrice Bergeron, for one, is excited about the change from 2020. The Bruins captain is especially excited for the newer players, and being able to create “something special” with bonds on and off the ice.
“I think just the fact we’re going back to a regular schedule, traveling, going to different places and depending on protocols and all that hopefully ? establish that bond that we can create on the road,” Bergeron told reporters Wednesday prior to the Bruins Foundation?s annual golf tournament. “That being said, I think there’s a lot of guys, like Nick Foligno who’s been around, who’s been a leader. He’s been a captain, that type of character you bring in a locker room I think it’s gonna be helpful for us, and try to bring in everyone and come together as a team. Lots of new faces, but also a lot of of the same faces are coming back, everyone is taking on that lead and taking on the next step and creating something special together.”
Foligno signed with the Bruins in the offseason while Craig Smith, specifically, signed a three-year deal with Boston in 2020 after nine seasons with the Nashville Predators. Smith does have a season of experience with the Bruins, but going back to some normalcy certainly will help build team chemistry, especially with all the new faces donning a Black and Gold sweater.
It also can’t hurt to have the veteran presence of Foligno around, especially given the fact David Krejci signed a one-year deal with his native Czech Republic.
The Bruins open their season Oct. 16 at home against the Dallas Stars, and we’re sure the fans will welcome the new guys with thunderous cheers.