This will sound a little hypocritical coming from a guy who has not played an organized sport in the last twenty five years. (I was in a full contact Scrabble league for a while, but it isn’t the same.) I remember coaches in junior high and high school always reminder the players that they needed to keep up with their training and conditioning so they would be ready for next season. It is a little humorous that these lessons seem to get forgotten by even the professionals.
The Bruins had twelve players player in Europe during the lockout, more than any other team in the NHL. The Bruins have a lot of quality people in position and should come out of the box flying. We’ve also got players like Nathan Horton who are impressing their teammates even after being off the ice for so long. Right now, it’s just a quick refresher to get some of our Bruins back up to speed for the first game of the season. (At the moment, it is still scheduled to be at home, against the Rangers on the 19th.) With the informal training continuing, and the real deal starting on Sunday, one of the Bruins commented on his own progess and that of his teammates.
Bruins forward, soon-to-be dad, and leader of Loochy Looch and the Punchy Bunch Milan Lucic was joking about the first few practices caught him a little winded. You’re never really in ‘game shape’ until you’re playing in games,” said Lucic. “I try to keep myself in shape, but we still have to weeks to get into game shape. I’ve never had a problem with my conditioning at any level, so I’ll be ready. I’ve stayed the same [weight]. It’s been hard, but I’ve stayed the same.” He joked about it again with 98.5FM’s Toucher and Rich yesterday morning. “I haven’t gotten fat, I know that much. I will say, after not playing a game since the end of April it’s tough to be in peak game shape in January like you’re used to.”
Lucic was also singing the praises of Nathan Horton. Horton who was cleared for play in July has shaken off the series of concussions that caused his early exit from the 2011-12 season. He’s doing great. He looked good out there,” Lucic said of his former lineman. “We had a little scrimmage to end [Thursday’s practice] and on our side there was only five forwards. We were huffing and puffing, but he looked good. He looks to be back on track; he’s in really good shape and I’m excited to get back out there and play with him.”
It’s hard not to get excited about the potential of this season. Yes, it might be cut in half, but we’re going to see our Bruins make up for those games with a vengeance. Andrew Ference promised that he and the team would proudly put on those jerseys and play their hearts out for us. I believe them completely, and can’t wait to see everything they’ve got to show us!