BOSTON - There is a set of Bruins who will have no trouble sliding into the 2016-17 season.
Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron helped catapult Team Canada to the final of the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto, with the undefeated squad's latest win coming on Saturday night in a 5-3 victory over Russia.
Marchand and Bergeron, along with Head Coach Claude Julien - who is serving as an assistant to Mike Babcock - will face Bruins Captain Zdeno Chara and Team Europe in the final series, which begins on Tuesday.
Europe earned its bid with a 3-2 overtime win against Sweden on Sunday afternoon.
Marchand earned First Star honors in Canada's win, thanks to two goals, while Bergeron added a pair of assists. The duo has formed arguably the top line at the tournament, along with Sidney Crosby. They have combined for 16 points.
Marchand is second is scoring behind Crosby with three goals and two assists for five points through four games, while Bergeron has two goals and two assists for four points (both assists came in Canada's semifinal win).
Their Bruins teammates (and fellow Canadians) have enjoyed following the action from afar.
"They're playing well - it's fun to watch," Matt Beleskey said on Sunday following a Bruins' training camp session. "Marchy getting a couple last night - played well in a big game, which we know he always does, so it's exciting."
"You can see they're at the top of their game. Before they left, they were skating with us and everyone was kind of watching them," said Beleskey. "They're playing great and I'm excited for them to keep doing well and then to come back."
When Head Coach Claude Julien was back in Boston for a day on Thursday for the opening of camp, he highlighted the two Bruins' games.
"Our two guys have, no doubt, have been dialed in from day one," said Julien. "And to me, have been tremendous players for our hockey club."
While Bergeron has been a mainstay on Canada teams, Marchand is making his presence known - first competing at the World Championship in May, and now lighting up the World Cup of Hockey.
"Right now, where he is with Team Canada, he's also very respected by his teammates for the way he prepares, the way he plays, and everything else," said Julien. "He's come a long ways. And, at the same time, what better example to grow and become better when you're playing alongside probably with one of the best two-way centers in the league? He's had that luxury too. As a coach, you're extremely proud of how well they've done so far."
"If they can bring this to our hockey club this year, it certainly bodes well in the direction we're going in."