Bruins hit the ice looking to turn the page

Ahh, hockey … Isn’t this a wonderful sight

WILMINGTON, Mass. – Johnny Boychuk didn’t have his tap dancing shoes on this morning while addressing last season’s historic playoff collapse against Philadelphia.

“It wasn’t a joke,” the defenseman said. “And I let people know that.”

That’s the hot topic with the 2010-11 Boston Bruins as training camp and the regular season gets underway. But the 26 year-old from Edmonton, who carved his spot on the playoff roster with his
physical play, offered the obvious solution.

“Our goal is to win the Cup,” the defenseman said. “That’s our potential.”

This week of practice for the Bruins here in Wilmington is dubbed the ‘Captains’ practice’, with nearly all the familiar faces taking part. While players spent the summer months licking their wounds, life does go on. For Zdeno Chara, that meant building his own log cabin in the mountains of his Slovak homeland, trading in a hockey stick for a hammer and nails.

The club has a shiny new draft pick in Tyler Seguin, an agreement with Finnish SM League club JYP Jyvaskyla, and Nathan Horton, a potential scorer alongside Marc Savard, acquired from the Panthers for much-maligned defenseman Dennis Wideman.

And for Horton, Boston presents a welcome change of scenery from the fun and sun of South Florida.

“This is definitely a sports city,” Horton said of Boston. “Everywhere you go there are sports on TV and people are really enthusiastic. It feels like home.”

The Bruins won’t actually play a regular season home game until October 21 against Washington, with travel to Northern Ireland, the Czech Republic, Washington D.C. and Newark in between. For their TD Garden neighbors, the Celtics, a European trip helped lay the groundwork for their 2008 NBA title run. Does the same opportunity present itself for a club seeking the ultimate in redemption?

“The trip is something the guys are excited about doing,” said defenseman Daniel Paille. “We’ve talked about it with each other and obviously, we’re going to be around each other all the time. It should be a nice exercise in chemistry.”

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