There’s no doubt that the Bruins’ trip to the O.R.G. China Games was different as compared to a typical hockey preseason.
Between the long travel days and missing equipment bags leading to a canceled practice upon arrival in Shenzhen, it didn’t feel like training camp at all to forward Brad Marchand. Now, there is plenty of work to be done before the October 3 season opener in Washington, D.C. as the team returns to the practice ice at Warrior Ice Arena.
“I've had better sleeps, but it's nice to be home,” Marchand said. “It makes it a lot easier try to to transition back when you’re getting your legs back and just feeling good again. … (Going to China) was a fun experience, but it didn't feel like a training camp. It was a very tough situation to be in, especially for a young guy.”
With alternate captain Patrice Bergeron still progressing towards a return from back spasms (and expected to skate again before Sunday morning’s practice, according to coach Bruce Cassidy), Jack Studnicka was slotted between wingers Marchand and David Pastrnak during Saturday’s first session after seeing time together in China. Former Boston University standout Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson also saw time in that slot.
Those opportunities don’t come often for youngsters, and they seemed to make the most of them during a difficult trip.