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Hangover? It’s only a movie to the Bruins as they’re ready to defend title

10.04.11 at 5:59 pm ET
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As the players spoke one after another at media day Tuesday, they all sounded like they knew it was coming. How are the Bruins going to deal with wearing the crown in 2011?

Some teams have handled it very well, like the 2009 Red Wings, who made it back to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals the next year before losing to Sidney Crosby and the Penguins on home ice. Some others have had a lot more difficulty. The 2010 Cup champs – the Blackhawks – had to back in to the playoffs last year on the last day when the Stars lost to Minnesota.

The Blackhawks seemed doomed in the first round before battling back from 3-0 down, only to lose in OT in Game 7 to Vancouver. Those close to the team publicly expressed a fatigue in the first two months of the season as the Blackhawks tried to get their legs back under them.

So, how are the Bruins prepared to handle success starting Thursday night against the Flyers?

“I don’t know about all that hangover stuff or whatever, I just know we are ready for the season to begin,” chirped Bruins enforcer Shawn Thornton, who won his first Cup with the Ducks in 2007. “I literally don’t know. This is my second one. All I know, when you get that first one, all you want to do is win another one. You win two, all you want is to do is win three.

“Listen, there’ll be times in the this season where we’ll be down and I’m sure you guys [media] will jump all over the fact because it’s something to write about. There’s ups and downs throughout a whole season and as long as we keep it even keel and continue to have a steady climb, getting ready for wherever we’re going to go, I think that’s the most important thing. That’s what we were so good at last year, not letting the highs get too high and the lows get too low.”

‘We all know we’ll be asked about it and have to address it with the way we come out and play,” added center Patrice Bergeron.

It will be up to Claude Julien to measure how his team is handling the fact that many teams will have up to three months more rest than the Bruins, who last played on June 15.

“We’ve talked about that and you know we certainly give some extra rest,” Julien said Tuesday. “Where there’s some players or some teams that have had almost five months off and we’ve only had two so somewhere along the way you have to catch up and give your team an opportunity to be able to perform well right till the end again and that means sometimes rest – where we’re fortunate that we have a lot of the same players back so it’s not like you’re teaching a lot, it’s not like you’re learning something new so we have that advantage right now it’s all about you know our approach to the season that’s going be the most important thing as far as the players and all of us are concerned.

“How we approach it and the second part is going to be to make sure that we get enough rest but go all the stuff that’s being talked about hangovers and stuff like that I’m not going to give you an answer because I’ll have to deal with it when and if it happens so that’s my solution to that.”

The Bruins will have one thing going for them, the schedule. They will play 14 of their first 18 games on TD Garden ice.

“It seems that if we had a lot of road games, I know we talked about it at the beginning, we’ve talked about it in the past about it being an advantage because you know, you’re able to bond and that’s certainly something that we’ve discussed as a group,” Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said Tuesday. “You know, I don’t think it’s a disadvantage; it’s just the way the schedule sets out. I think it’s just something that – at the end of the year- the latter third of the year and in the playoffs we were a really good home team so you could look at it both ways.”

Read More: Boston Bruins, Claude Julien, NHL, Patrice Bergeron
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