Well folks, the first day of training camp is in the books! Believe it or not, it seems like things...actually went pretty well?
Let’s take a look!
A few faces missing
While the majority of the Bruins were present, there were a few guys missing.
Ondrej Kase and David Pastrnak were both missing, and it’s reportedly so they can finish their respective quarantines.
Per Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald, Trent Frederic, Anton Blidh, Dan Vladar, and Urho Vaakanainen were also among the missing.
It’s unclear if their absences were travel/quarantine related, but it’s probably safe to assume at this point.
Some wild lines
Given the extra players in the mix, the line combinations were always going to look a little different. With guys like Pastrnak and Kase missing, they definitely weren’t looking quite Game 1-ready.
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Karson Kuhlman
Jake DeBrusk - David Krejci - Anders Bjork
Nick Ritchie - Charlie Coyle - Sean Kuraly
Joakim Nordstrom - Par Lindholm - Chris Wagner
Paul Carey - Jack Studnicka - Zach Senyshyn
Zdeno Chara - Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug - Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk - Jeremy Lauzon
John Moore - Connor Clifton
Tuukka Rask, Jaroslav Halak, and Max Lagace all spent time in net.
While it’s fair to assume things will get shuffled a bit, that Matt Grzelcyk - Jeremy Lauzon pair could be a ton of fun to watch.
Also, poor Jakub Zboril, playing on a defense pair by himself. SOMEONE HELP HIM.
A sense of normalcy
One of the weirder parts of all of this (given the whole, you know, “situation”) is that it all seemed pretty normal.
Footage from today's practice, courtesy of the Bruins.— Stanley Cup of Chowder (@cupofchowdah) July 14, 2020
It's good to be back! pic.twitter.com/9FWWO7NGdK
In his remarks to the media, Torey Krug mentioned that he had talked with a few guys in the locker room about how normal things felt, and how good they all felt (in terms of not being too rusty).
I’m sure for players, who are big time creatures of habit, getting back in the rink and back to the “grind” of practice felt great.
I think it’s safe to say these guys looked pretty happy:
It's so good to be home.#NHLBruins pic.twitter.com/gHCVlNKMx9— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) July 13, 2020
High praise for Bjork
While he certainly hasn’t been bad, Bjork has, at times, failed to meet lofty expectations.
He did have 19 points in 58 games this season, but perhaps due to the hype train, it seems like many people expect him to be further along at this point.
It’s a good sign, then, when Bruce Cassidy says something like this:
Bruce Cassidy: "Anders Bjork looked terrific (today). Maybe the best player out there. But it's Day One''— Mark Divver (@MarkDivver) July 13, 2020
As Cassidy implied, let’s not get carried away. Still, it’s a good sign. If Bjork can up his game, he’ll give the Bruins some more versatility in their forward groups, and will give his coach more options.
That’s about it! Echoing what the players said, it’s good to be back.