One of the most storied franchises in the National Hockey League is the Boston Bruins. Not only are they a member of the “original six”, but their history reads like an encyclopedia.
EPIX had the pleasure of attending one of their practices. However, instead of taking place at the team’s practice facility, the practice happened to be at the TD Garden.
Banners on banners on banners. It was on honor to be in the company of a franchise that means so much to the culture and the city of Boston. They’re gritty. They’re fierce. They’re massive specimens – Chara is upwards of 7 feet on skates. The team perfectly exemplifies that mentality and that’s before they even step onto the ice! From Captain Zdeno Chara to Goalie Tuukka Rask and everyone in between, that team is a class act and it starts at the top, with their coach.
This is Coach Claude Julien’s ninth season with the Bruins. Over that span there’s been many highs and few lows. His tenure culminating with the team’s 2011 Stanley Cup Championship. Just being in the hallway, outside of the locker room, you feel like you’re in the presence of champions.
On the wall, there are photos reminding the players where the franchise has been along with where they are going. There are plenty of reminders of the history of being an “original six”.
One reminder is Bobby Orr’s iconic play known as “The Goal”. Outside of the TD Garden, there is a massive statue paying homage to that play. Fans stop daily to take pictures with the larger than life statue of Orr. It is indeed a part of their attitude and personality.
The TD Garden is also home to the Boston Celtics, but it was the Bruins who were the stars on this day.
10 takeaways from the team practice:
1. Brad Marchand loves to hunt when he’s not on the ice.
2. David Krejci is the best soccer player on the team.
3. Zdeno Chara learned to strengthen his shot when his dad cemented a stick into a flower pot when he was a child.
4. Only four Bruins remain from the 2010 Winter Classic, which took place at Fenway Park (though on the team, Tuukka Rask did not play in the game).
6. The Zamboni driver has the coolest job in the world.
9. The players are aware of the rivalry and have immense respect for the Canadiens.
10. Though the players are very regimented when they’re preparing for a game, none of them are superstitious about their preparation.