BOSTON - The boys are back in town.
There was a different kind of feel to Bruins Training Camp on Monday, as for the first time this season the entire roster was present at Warrior Ice Arena.
Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and Zdeno Chara made their 2016-17 debuts after returning from the World Cup of Hockey over the weekend. Bergeron tallied the tying goal late in Canada's Cup-clinching victory over Chara and Team Europe on Thursday night, before Marchand potted the winner with just 43 seconds remaining in regulation.
"Good to be back. I was excited to get back to Boston when everything was over. It was nice to get the first practice behind me," said Bergeron.
"[The World Cup] was a lot of fun; I think everyone was committed to winning. We all played a certain role and we all accepted it and it was great to see…It was a special moment for all of us and a great way to end it."
Now, the focus turns back to the Bruins. With games, practices, and other off-ice taking up much of their time during the tournament, it was difficult to stay fully engaged in what was happening back in Boston.
"It was hard to keep up with everyday updates," said Chara. "But, here and there, I was able to go on the web site and see what was happening. But, not as much as I would be here."
As a result, gaining familiarity with new teammates and new systems during the remainder of camp will be a test. The trio does, however, feel a bit ahead of the curve after playing around 10 games during the tournament.
"It's about making sure we finish that last week on a good note and that we have a strong start," said Bergeron. "[We have to] keep trying to keep the ball rolling and get acclimated with the new guys and try to get to know them a little bit.
"But, otherwise, it just feels great to be back here with everyone…just excited to wear the Spoked-B again."
Video: Bergeron, Chara and Marchand return to training camp
Ehrhoff in the Mix
Veteran defenseman Christian Ehrhoff participated in his first practice with the Bruins after agreeing to a PTO (professional tryout agreement) over the weekend. The 34-year-old blue liner played 48 games for the Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks last season, tallying two goals and 10 assists.
A native of Germany, Ehrhoff suited up for Team Europe at the World Cup of Hockey. It was his solid play during the tournament that stood out to Bruins coach Claude Julien, who as an assistant for Team Canada was able to get a firsthand look at the defenseman during game action.
"He had a good tournament…he's always been a guy that skated well, moved the puck well, good heads-up kind of player," said Julien. "The way he competed in the World Cup is what got our attention. I thought he competed really well. We're looking for guys that can move the puck and get us back on the attack quickly.
"I was very open and the organization was very open on giving him that."
After playing just about half the season last year, Ehrhoff is hoping to take advantage of the opportunity and get his career back on track.
"At the end of the season I went to World Championships and had a good tournament there and now at the World Cup," said the 12-year veteran. "I think my confidence is up again and that's why I think it will be better here for me."
Ehrhoff comes into the Bruins dressing room with some newfound familiarity, having played with B's captain Zdeno Chara at the World Cup.
"He's a great player," said Chara. "He played really well at the tournament and he's an experienced player. Obviously, he's motivated to make the team and play well, so it's going to be great competition for the job."
From Teammates to Opponents
The World Cup of Hockey brought with it an interesting dynamic for the Bruins participants, as Bergeron and Marchand found themselves playing against Chara in a championship-type atmosphere.
"It's a lot more fun to be with him than playing against him," Bergeron said of Chara. "He was great out there. That Team Europe, they gave us some trouble. They played well, structured, with a lot of experience. You could see that with their game and their play."
"[Bergeron, Marchand, and Sidney Crosby] created a very dominant, strong line," Chara said. "They pretty much carried Team Canada throughout the whole tournament. They found really nice chemistry and it showed. They led the team in all categories as far as scoring.
"They were just difference makers for Team Canada…I didn't take it as hard as other guys did because I play against them a lot in the practices.
"But, for sure, it's always a challenge when you have those three together and playing the way they did. It was pretty impressive."
Krug and Krejci Inching Closer
Torey Krug (shoulder) and David Krejci (hip) have yet to play in a preseason game as they continue to rehab from offseason surgeries. But according to Julien, both are close to playing in game action.
"Well, they have to [play in some games]. I think they're that close that we will see them," said Julien. "I think there are some decisions that have to be made probably today in talking to the medical group, whether they're ready tomorrow or whether they're ready Thursday. That's what we've got to define here in the next few hours.
"Both of them are tracking in the right direction. Unless there's any kind of setback, I think we're doing OK with them."
Monday's Lines and Defense Pairings
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak
Ryan Spooner - David Krejci - David Backes
Matt Beleskey - Austin Czarnik - Jimmy Hayes
Jake DeBrusk - Tim Schaller - Noel Acciari /Tyler Randell
Zdeno Chara - Colin Miller
Torey Krug - Kevan Miller
Christian Ehrhoff - Adam McQuaid
Dominic Moore - Riley Nash - Seth Griffith
Danton Heinen - Sean Kuraly - Zac Rinaldo
John-Michael Liles - Brandon Carlo
Joe Morrow - Rob O'Gara