ON THE NHL'S PAUSE
What does your daily routine look like right now?
We've fallen into a bit of a routine here in my house. We get up about 6:30-7 every day and I try to get a little bit of a workout in before our daughter, Saylor, wakes up. She tends to wake up any time between 7:30 and 8:30 so once she does it's chasing her around the house because she's been cruising around for a couple months now walking and trying to climb on everything. It's been fun, she keeps us on a schedule. Any down time that we have is used to rest and reflect and re-gather our thoughts and try to get the rest of the workout in.
How are you staying in contact with your teammates?
We keep in frequent contact. We have a group chat obviously that sends out updates, whether it's business stuff or goofing around with the guys. I know today we were all wishing [Connor Clifton], [Jeremy Lauzon], and [David Krejci] a happy birthday. Everyone's going back and forth on that. And then we obviously have frequent communication on what's going to happen potentially with the season and what might not happen. We actually have a big chat that we're gonna join this afternoon, which will be the first time the whole team will be together on one chat. It will be fun to catch up and see what the guys are up to…hopefully get some excitement going in case we are able to play again.
Have you thought about how disappointing it would be to not have a chance at the Stanley Cup again this spring?
We feel like we're the best team in the league. Right now we're atop the standings and you just hope and pray that we can have a chance to finish this thing out and reach that ultimate goal, which we tried throughout the regular season to put ourselves in position to make that run to the Stanley Cup a little bit easier. We're obviously a very good team and we just hope that one day we have a chance to finish this thing off.
How are you receiving updates from the NHL and NHLPA?
We're in constant communication, receiving updates frequently or whenever we can get them. Myself and Brandon Carlo are the representatives from our team for the NHLPA. We're getting updates and a lot of it is some of the stuff people see on social media. We're very hopeful that we can return to play. If some of these potential resume-to-play options are on the table and if we're able to do it, I just hope that we're able to do it in a very safe, logical way so that we don't put anyone at risk.
I think guys want to be with their families at this time, so it would be tough to tear guys away from their families. There's just so many hurdles that need to be jumped over in order for this thing to get up and running again. Who knows if it will happen? We all hope it does and we have a chance to get back and play. If it doesn't then that means we're taking the right steps to make sure everyone is safe and healthy and we can attack this thing at a different time.
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ON A POTENTIAL RETURN TO PLAY
How much would empty arenas diminish the intensity of the postseason?
I think it's gonna be a lot different if we play in an empty arena. That being said, the ultimate prize is lifting the Stanley Cup and playing for that and competing. There's a lot of pride that is on the line and anytime you put the Boston Bruins sweater on you take a lot of pride and want to be victorious, so once we're on the ice you're in the moment and in you're in the game and you're trying to accomplish your ultimate goal as a group of guys that you start out training camp in September with that goal in mind.
But there's a different emotional level, it's pretty special standing in the hallway at TD Garden waiting to go on the ice for warmups or the national anthem and you can just hear the fans screaming and the music playing. I'm getting goosebumps right now just thinking about it. I hope one day we can get back there sooner or later.
How long do you think it will take to get in shape if the season resumes?
That's a loaded question for a few reasons. We've had this time away - I don't even know how long it's been, six, seven, eight weeks. Now you've got to go back out there and prepare to play not only hockey games but the most intense hockey games you can possibly play with the goal of reaching the Stanley Cup. There's a lot of possibility for injury there. I don't think it would take too terribly long to get back into conditioning shape in order to play the minutes that are required but I think it would take a little bit longer to take the necessary time to build up muscles and get back into playing shape in terms of avoiding injury.
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How can the team regain its momentum if the season resumes?
I think that's a question that everyone is trying to answer. It's very hard to relate anything to this time, but what we hopefully can hand our hat on is how we came out of the bye week this year. I think we won nine out of 10 games and I think that speaks to how this group always stays prepared and we take a lot of pride in the work we put forward every single day in order to give ourselves an opportunity to win hockey games…and just how hard we work for each other. Every shift we stay in the moment and I hope that's one way we can keep our momentum.
ON BEING A UFA THIS SUMMER
How much have you thought about your upcoming UFA status and have there been any negotiations of late?
There hasn't been any discussion. I'm just prepared for that because of the unknown. No one knows what the financial implications are gonna be for this league and each individual team for years to come. That's still being sorted out. I didn't anticipate anything like that coming out of it. Obviously very happy and as I've said all along, I want to be part of this group and part of this locker room and part of this city. It's become home for us. We love it. You heard Fenway bark earlier…we named our dog Fenway, how much more Boston can it get?
That being said, I never thought about it during the season and while we were playing. Now that you have a second to sit back you have time to think, your mind wanders and I think it's just someone upstairs testing our patience a little bit. We always assumed that we would have some kind of answer by July 1 and who knows if we will by then with regards to this season and how it plays out…we're just trying to live in the present and enjoy what we have right now. Hopefully we get a chance to finish the season.
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ON HIS CAREER
How much has Zdeno Chara helped your career develop over the years?
He's been one of the most influential people in my career at the professional level, as a hockey player, especially in this town. It's funny, people always ask if I can really look at him and learn things from him with him being 6-foot-9 and I'm a whole foot shorter than him at 5-9. It's like, 'How can you learn stuff from him on the ice?' Well, his professionalism, the way he prepares is something I've noticed from Day 1 and something I've tried to [emulate]…we talk every game before we lace up the skates, we go through the other teams players and tendencies so we're aware. We feed off of each other…I'm very honored that I sat next to him in the locker room for as long as I did in the old TD Garden locker room and pick up things here and there.
What is the story behind your famous warmups spin with David Pastrnak?
There really isn't a story behind it, I don't even know. He's a fun and relaxed guy. You can tell every time he touches the ice there's a smile on his face. He's out there just loving the game. For me, warmups is a time to just relax and get ready for the game, I'm a laid back guy as well who just likes to have fun. We just one day ended up stretching next to each other within my routine. He thought it would be cool to try something, we did…I think what happened is he might have scored a few goals the first game that we did it and I guess the rest is history. I don't want to take all the credit for him having almost 50 goals this year, but I think there might be something to it.
How much did your game grow during last year's Stanley Cup run?
For so long, right when I signed my name on that line to play for the Boston Bruins, I've been stereotyped to being just an offensive defenseman. For a long, long time I've been fighting that stereotype and that stigma. [Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy] has always mentioned that I want my legacy to be a 200-foot player and I want to be remembered as the likes of Patrice [Bergeron] and Zdeno, the legacies that they've left and the ones that [Brad Marchand] and Pasta are working on continually, daily. I want to be up there with that group of guys.
I just learned that the potential is there to be a 200-foot player that every single night has the ability to change the momentum of the game and change a game and have a huge impact on the game. It was a very fun ride. I wish it ended differently, obviously, that goes without saying. I learned about myself during that run.
What was the feeling like when you delivered that famous hit on Robert Thomas during Game 1 of the Cup Final?
There's another reason why I wish we would have won the Cup because that could be another great memory that could live forever, but it still was a pretty cool moment in a game. Biggest rush of adrenaline that I've ever felt in my hockey career, skating back to the bench after that and just hearing the Garden going bananas.
Who is your favorite all-time Bruin?
So many greats. It's hard to choose. I have a very special relationship with Ray Bourque. I played with his son [Chris] in Providence and to this day he's a great friend of mine and I spend the holidays with their family, so watching some of the old games here on NESN and seeing how great Ray Bourque was playing the game and his competitive edge. And now talking any time I need advice, he always answers the phone. We have a very special bond. I would have to choose him.
With barbershops closed, is there any chance we see a return of your 2013 flow?
It might have to make a comeback. I've had to wear a hat every single day. That's the toughest part of my day, toughest choice, what hat I'm gonna wear today. This seems to be one that I keep wearing. Gotta cover up this mop, but who knows? It might have to make a comeback. Nothing like [Adam McQuaid's] mullet from 2011. Hopefully I'll have enough time to bring back the 2013 flow.