BOSTON -- In years past, the circus came to town and the Boston Bruins headed out on the road for at least a week and half while the clowns and animals occupied the Garden.
Having a long road trip to start the season is conducive to team bonding. And by the time the Bruins returned home to the smell of elephants, lions, tigers and bears, the players and coaches would usually have a better understanding of team chemistry.
The 2011-2012 version of the Bruins are only two games into the regular season and there’s no denying the unity this club has.
Winning the Cup and having the majority of the team back bodes well for the club, so there’s no reason for coach Claude Julien to worry that 13 of the Bruins’ first 17 games are on home ice. For all you peanut loving, high-wire act enthusiasts, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will call the Garden home from Oct. 12-16 while the Bruins travel to Carolina and Chicago.
The Bruins are 1-1 and will host the Colorado Avalanche in a matinee game Monday at the Garden.
“It’s a team that obviously will be fighting to make the playoffs this year, so it’s important for us to come in and not give up any points,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien. “If teams are going to earn points against us you want them to earn it. It doesn’t matter who comes in.”
Because of the Bruins’ home schedule in October and November, if the team can play well on home ice, it could put itself in a strong position in the standings once Thanksgiving rolls around.
“We really want to have a good start,” Julien said. “We’ve got that opportunity with having a lot of home games. We’ve got an opportunity to continue what we did in the playoffs. After we lost those first two games to Montreal, we got to be a pretty good team at home and we’ve got to continue that.”
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli knows there are advantages to being on the road, especially at the start of the season, but this year is different.
“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,” Chiarelli said of being on the road. “
He also believes being home this often this season won’t put the team at a disadvantage given how long they played last spring. Julien knows his players will take advantage of spending so much time at home and with their families over the next few weeks.
“We're going to perceive it as a positive and we're going to take the necessary procedures to make it a positive thing and that can also give you the great start that you want,” he said. “If we play as well as we did in the latter part of the season at home it can be a real big advantage. We can get off to an early jump hear, and an early lead and good jump and make sure that we're in a good position come Thanksgiving.”