In his answer to the first question of the session, Jeremy Jacobs explained his expectations for this coming season.
“There is a [level of] expectation on my part and I think the community at large,” he said. “I share the same goal. My ambition is to win a Stanley Cup and I think we’ve got the personalities in place from management, coaching and players.
“So I’ll look for a great season and would be disappointed with anything less.”
However, in order to get into the Stanley Cup finals, the Bruins must first make it into the playoffs and the club’s head coach is well aware of how important the first few months are to the end result of the season.
“Every year that the teams that are in good shape by Thanksgiving are usually the teams that end up in the playoffs,” said Julien. “We are aware of that…and we understand how important it is to get off to a good start, but even more so this year in front of our fans.
“There’s no doubt that these first five games will be crucial in our minds.”
Those five games that Coach Julien refers to are the club’s opening stretch in the TD. This season will be the first time the B’s have opened the season by playing their five consecutive games at home. Previously, the highest number of home games to start the campaign was the four games that began 1927-28.
“We have to work our way to the top just like we did last year,” continued Julien. “There’s nothing different except…that there’s more respect for our team this year.
“I’ve said all along, if teams want to beat us they are going to have to adapt to us we are not going to be adapting to others.
“We play our style of game, we feel confident with it, and will go forward with it, as well,” he said.
Now a VP with the Bruins, as a Hall of Fame caliber player, Neely made it to the Stanley Cup Finals with the Black & Gold in both ’88 and ’90.
He remembered what it was like to make it that far and then fall short. As a result, he has a lot of advice for the young players who have either never made it into a playoff series, or to other players who have never had the opportunity to compete for The Cup.
“You have to remember two years ago, for a lot of our players it was the first time for them to be in the playoffs,” said Neely. “For a lot of our key players it was a first time for them.
“They learned from that series and took it a little further last year.
“What I always have these guys try to remember is how it felt to win those games [in the playoffs] and how it felt to lose that final game and you can learn from that,” Neely continued. “I think we have a lot of guys that know we should have gone a little deeper than we did [last spring and I] think they are hungry to get back to that challenge to go a little deeper.”
Following the press conference, the entire Bruins roster was available to the media and they all had something to say about their excitement for home opener.
All-star center Marc Savard
is entering his fourth season with the Bruins organization and is excited to open in front of his home fans.
“The first three years we started five games on the road, so it’s going to be exciting to start at home and we have to come out and play hard,” said the forward. “You can tell hockey has returned here, the fans are all right into it and it makes it exciting for the players to go out there having the fans behind us.
“So we’re excited for that and, like I said, we want to get a good start at home because that’s going to be key to a good season.”
Mark Stuart agreed.
“It definitely helps just to have that excitement in the building and so many people behind us,” said the defenseman. “The last couple years just kept getting better and better and we just need to continue to play hard and win if we want to get that support.
“It’s kind of a reward,” explained Stuart. “If you play well and win, more people are going to come out and watch you and [that] makes the game more fun and it gives you an advantage on home ice.”
As for his teammates, Stuart said, “Everybody is ready to go.
“It was a good camp, but it’s nice to get the season underway and start playing.
“I think we’re just really excited for Thursday,” he said.