Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 1/8/13
The Bruins would seem to be at an advantage as a lockout-shortened NHL season approaches. For starters, the Black and Gold were one of the best-represented NHL teams in Europe, with 11 members of the team opting to wait out parts of the lockout by playing in Europe. While no one will mistake European action for the NHL, there’s no denying the advantages of staying in game shape while the lockout dragged on. The Bruins have to hope that pays off in a short sprint toward the playoffs. The B’s also have someone in their organization who knows all about playing a shortened season. Bruins president Cam Neely was still playing in 1995 when another lockout cost the league half a season. Neely scored 27 goals and added 14 asssists in the 48-game season for Boston during that shortened season. Neely knows that there will be added significance to regular season games, with two points meaning even more than usual night in and night out. “As a player you usually think, ‘We’ve got 82 games and you’re bound to have some ups and downs and mental lapses,’” he explained to the Boston Herald. “But you just couldn’t afford any of those when you were looking at 48 games. “It was like a sprint to the playoffs. You couldn’t afford to go through a bad stretch. Every game mattered.” The Bruins are a veteran team that should know that to begin with, but it’s unlikely Neely will let them forget that. Remembering that, along with a large core of the roster whose games were sharpened overseas could have the Bruins poised for success. “I don’t want to come out and say we’re set up better, but it is beneficial for us that a number of our players have been playing in Europe and actually playing very well,” Neely told the Herald. “We had both goaltenders playing over there at some point, which is a big plus. So, yeah, from that perspective of having such a large number of guys who’ve been playing in games, it is certainly helpful.” Some of the Bruins’ most important players stayed sharp in Europe with forwards Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin, defensemen Zdeno Chara and Andrew Ference, and goalie Tuukka Rask all spending some time — and enjoying success — while playing overseas. And perhaps most importantly, all of those players return to Boston for the season fully healthy.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Mike Pettine discusses Johnny Manziel’s present, future

John Farrell: Ortiz's retirement announcement 'bittersweet'

Mark McGwire expected to be named Padres bench coach

Belichick on Peyton Manning benching: 'It's not our decision'

Report: Baylor's Jarrett Stidham out for regular season

Reporter believes Browns are 'ready to move on' from Manziel


Slow start not a problem for Utah Jazz

Marshawn Lynch to be out a month following hernia surgery

Report: MLB in serious talks about hosting games in London

Agent for Eagles player: Chip Kelly has lost the team

Report: Man dies after Mirror Lake jump at Ohio State

Patriots owner defends officials: ‘They’re not robots’

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Blue Jays fans create website in effort to keep David Price

The five most overrated teams in the Week 13 coaches' poll

10 storylines for Week 13 of the college football season

Ranking the 10 best games of 2015 college football rivalry week

Examining the Mavericks' hot start

Johnny Bench(ed): Manziel demoted to third string

Mike Trout, four years in

Tom Brady on ‘Rex Ryan!’ line call: It’s ‘in the playbook’

Five NFL teams trending downward

Not so fast, USC: Eagles Chip Kelly buys Philly-area home

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker