It's amazing how quickly things change and the Boston Bruins are a prime exaple of that phenomenon.
In pro sports, the name on the front of the jersey remains static, but the names on the back certainly do not. Gone are names like Axelsson, Kessel, Ward, Kobasew, Hnidy and Fernandez. Insert names like Sobotka, Marchand, Boychuk, Begin, Morris and Rask.
This morning the latter set, and their new teammates, are skating in new lines and learning new faces and tendancies. The coaching staff is trying to figure out what moves will help the club's offense click and what pairings will help the goalies keep pucks out of the net.
And high in the arena, the general manager and his team think about what else can be done to ensure that this talented hockey club show that talent consistently.
"As Peter [Chiarelli] mentioned there are numerous reasons for the organization to make a trade and as a coach you have to respect that and work with the players that you have at your disposal and hopefully we will make the best out of that," said Julien after practice on Monday. "When your team isn’t playing the level you would like it to play it’s good to have other pushing others to stay in the lineup.
"That’s something that you guys obviously know from knowing me now for a few years, I don’t care who it is, if the player isn’t playing well enough and doesn’t deserve to be in the lineup, he’s not going to be in the lineup. We need that competition and those guys who have come in are certainly going create that."
Those guys are Vladimir Sobotka and Brad Marchand
, late of the Providence Bruins and a pair that were tearing up the American League previous to arriving in Boston on Monday morning.
"I think the [key to their promotion] is their style of play," said Julien. "They compete hard and they get rewarded with it...so it’s not about bringing somebody in that we think is going to help us score goals, it’s bringing some guys in that are going to help us to be a harder team to play against.
"They both bring a really good work ethic and their compete level is where we like it to be. I thought they both had great camps and right now they are both being rewarded for their patience and going back there and staying positive and making their team successful in Providence."
Julien and Chiarelli hope that the influx of attitude and passion help the Bruins be successful in Boston.
"It’s something that addresses a lot of things," said Chiarelli on Monday. " I’m not satisfied with our start.
"Like on Friday night I thought we had a terrific, terrific game in all areas and it was disappointing to see Saturday.
"Work is being done, and we are turning the corner a bit, but in large part [there are things] I don’t see, on a game to game basis. I don’t see the passion that I have seen before so we have to get that back."