By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
BOSTON -- The Bruins enjoyed rare good health en route to their Stanley Cup victory last spring, and it appears that has carried over through the summer.
Tuukka Rask looks to be at full strength following surgery on the meniscus in his left knee after the playoffs, and Nathan Horton has experienced zero setbacks or symptoms from his Cup Finals concussion. Both players went through the Fridays afternoon of physicals and fitness testing, and should be at full strength when training camp practice sessions begin this weekend.
The Bruins coaching staff will pull back on the reins if either Rasks knee or Hortons noggin become an issue, but that doesnt appear to be the case at all.
Right now Rask is ready to go and that was the whole key behind it, said Claude Julien. Now if he has a little bit of stiffness which is normal when you have surgery well be able to tell more once we start grinding through camp. There are no limitations for Tuukka and were going to treat him like hes 100 percent.
What about Horton?
As we speak right now everything seems like its a go, said Julien. We havent seen any red flags and we dont expect to see any.
Thats a good sign for Bostons outlook in 2011-12, and its something that could continue to pay dividends after it was a sizable factor in the Bs run toward the Cup. Andrew Ference played up to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals as a member of the Calgary Flames and had an entire season to rest up afterward as the NHL lockout washed away the ensuing season. But Ference said that team was beaten up physically by the end of their attempted Cup run, and would have been hard-pressed to repeat their deep playoff run.
Ference sees a completely different scenario playing out with a Bs team thats missing Marc Savard and nobody else.
The Flames were really beat up. Its not even close if you compare that team to last years Bruins team, said Ference. Our health last year through the playoffs was one of the reasons that we won. Guys were able to stay fresh and the ice time was fairly balanced.
Calgary was like a hospital ward with guys out all over the place. I cant even really draw on that year at all. You saw guys coming into our camps the last couple of years with a long list of surgeries and guys rehabbing all summer with long term injuries. Those summers are hard because its 6-8 weeks with surgeries before you even start feeling close to normal. To not have any of that to deal with means a lot of guys including me feel much better about things coming into camp.
It remains to be seen how long the good health run will last for the Black and Gold, but its something theyre going to enjoy and utilize rather than think about.