By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
BOSTON -- A hockey team is never as well-conditioned and optimistic as they are on the very first day of training camp. So it was with the Stanley Cup champion Bruins on the day they underwent physicals and fitness testing.
The biggest hurdle in the Bs fitness test was a series of sprints that each player must do in under 60 seconds, but there didnt seem to be anybody lagging behind the group among the 53 players invited to main camp.
Well, maybe the goaltenders. But they just need to stop the puck anyway.
Its quite a stretch from the old time hockey days when Claude Julien was a player, and NHL skaters would roll into camp out of shape after toiling through a second job during the summer.
For these Bruins it was about partying and celebrating the Cup win for two or three weeks before getting right back into working out with an eye toward todays Sept. 16 return date at TD Garden.
It feels good to get going again, said Claude Julien. Its been a great summer and a lot of fun, but for us its time to turn the page and get back to work. I think our players are in the right frame of mind in regards to that and thats what we wanted to see.
Now we just have to go out there and prove that were ready to go while understanding theres going to be challenges out there. Being Stanley Cup champions means teams will be playing their best against us every night. We understand that.
With that in mind, here are a few observations from the first glance at the players on testing day:
Tyler Seguin said he gained 10 pounds and Bs GM Peter Chiarelli told me Seguin was up to 196 pounds when he arrived in Boston last week. Chiarelli also thought the 19-year-old might have grown an inch as well, and it all speaks to just how much Seguin is still developing. Despite a picture or two online of Seguin living it up in Boston immediately after the Cup win, the kid put in the work over the summer and should be a bigger, stronger, better version of himself this year.
Adam McQuaid looks like he swallowed a barbell or two over the summer on Prince Edward Island, and clearly hasnt let his long term contract extension affect his work ethic. McQuaid was already a tough customer over the last two seasons, but - as the great Mr. T once said -- I pity the fool who messes with a buffed up Mullet this season.
Not a hint of Marc Savard in the locker room, on the tip of players tongues or among the training camp milieu. Bruins coach Claude Julien actually mentioned Savard as a player in the past tense when talking about him, and it appears the Bs have truly moved on from a player that may not ever be coming back.
Sadly, Savards biggest contribution to this years team may be the 4 million cap hit wiped off Bostons cap ledger that will give Chiarelli and Co. upwards of 9 million in cap space to play with during the season.
He was part of our team last year. Certainly that injury was a big blow to him and to our team, but we made sure to include him as part of our Stanley Cup celebration, said Julien. We hope to see him here down the road because he was a part of our hockey club. We have not forgotten him.