BOSTON, MA - Missing hockey season? Well, we're at that point of the summer where the countdown starts picking up steam...
With Training Camp set to kick off in just over a month on September 11, the Bruins are already beginning to return to Boston.
Daniel Paille and David Krejci are both back around Causeway after enjoying time to relax and unwind following a lengthy postseason.
I recently caught up with the pair of B's forwards, who are working out together to prepare for camp.
It actually isn't too often you see players training together in the offseason. The B's usually work out around their summer homes (often near their hometowns) until the end of August. With the shorter offseason this year (just about two months for the Bruins), some are returning to Boston sooner to get ready.
When meeting David and Danny for their workout, you could see how eager they were to get things rolling on the new season. They, of course, still felt they had much work to do to prepare, but you could immediately tell how excited they were, as teammates and friends, to even be able to train together.
After stretching and some running to get their muscles ready, the duo went through sets upon sets of hurdle jumps, powering their way through eight hurdles at a time, accompanied by medicine ball throws at the wall (a Chris Kelly favorite, BTW).
Paille likes to do a lot of quick feet work, especially in the summer, and you could tell by the power and height with which he and Krejci jumped, that it's what helps keep their powerful (and speedy) skating strides in tip-top shape.
The warm-up (yes, warm-up) ended with pushing weight sleds upwards of 350+ pounds (it was the type of moment where you stand there, watching as they push themselves as hard as they possibly can, wondering how this could only be the last exercise before the real workout begins...)
At one point, No. 46 heightened their hurdles by two inches, as the two integrate their routines. Paille was only thrown off for a few seconds, before gladly obliging to the extra few sets.
"This last month, I’ve been pretty much by myself," said Paille. "So these last couple training sessions I’ve had with David, that’s definitely fun to have someone push you and realize that you can do further."
That's exactly what the B's do every day during the season - push each other to their limits - but they must also stay on track on their own during the summer months in order to be in shape come September. Knowing a full Training Camp lies ahead, the end-goal for preparation is much easier heading into this season than the lockout-shortened campaign.
"Now that we have a set date for training camp, we can realize what day to be ready for - I think that’s going to be important for all of us to be ready.
"For us, I think we want to try to come back with a strong start and make sure we’re capable and ready every game."
Following their warm-up, the Bruins began to go through a series of stretching, power cleans as a part of their weightlifting routine, core exercises and TRX training. This week marked an "eccentric week" as Paille labeled it, focusing on slowing down lengthening of the muscle process in order to challenge the muscles.
While this was just a glimpse of one workout, it easily gave me and the rest of the BostonBruins.com crew a window into their work ethic and offseason mindset.
And it definitely showed that, like the fans, they're just as excited for the new season to begin.
"Even though it was a short season, I kind of miss hockey already," smiled Krejci in his usual, soft-spoken tone.
"I’m just trying to do everything I can to get ready. I know the start’s going to be very important."
"I don’t want to wait 10 games, 20 games to start playing well. I want to start playing well since the first preseason game."
That first preseason game, by the way, is only a month and a half away (September 16, in Montreal). After time to reflect this summer, their focus is on that strong start.
"I just kind of took this last month to reflect on the whole season not just the last series," said Paille, of his time away from the rink.
"As a team, we we had to battle through a lot with the adversity that we had. We fell short, but, for us, I think we want to try to come back with a stronger start and make sure we’re capable and ready every game."