When February of 2022 rolls around for the Boston Bruins, most of the team will have the Olympics on their mind. Specifically, their head coach and general manager.
“The Bruins know of at least two members of their organization who will be partaking in this year’s festivities, with Don Sweeney and Bruce Cassidy both part of Team Canada’s staff. Sweeney’s trip to international play will come with him as an assistant general manager on Doug Armstrong’s staff, while Cassidy will serve as an assistant coach alongside Pete DeBoer and Barry Trotz on a team coached by the Lightning’s Jon Cooper.”Ty Anderson, 98.5 The Sports Hub
From Boston to Beijing may also be the title for a few “Behind The B” episodes featuring the following players — near locks to be included on the Olympic rosters for their respective countries: Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand (Canada); Charlie McAvoy (USA); Linus Ullmark (Sweden); David Pastrnak and Tomas Nosek (Czech Republic); Erik Haula (Finland).
But book-ending all the Olympic fervor and excitement (after all, the NHL hasn’t sent star players to the games since Sochi in 2014), is some solid expansion scheduling for the B’s: two games, one home and one away, against the league’s newest team: the Seattle Kraken!
The Bruins will welcome the Kraken to TD Garden on February 1st for a fan-filled (and fueled) first ever game between the oldest hockey franchise in the United States and the youngest franchise. This marquee matchup will also see old friend Jeremy Lauzon, selected by Seattle in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft back in July, return to Boston for a tentacular reunion of sorts.
Post the Olympic break, the B’s will then head to Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena for February 24th to show these squids who’s boss, Pike Place Market be damned! These two games will be mandatory schedule marks on the calendar for a number of reasons but most importantly because of the fact that playing an expansion team doesn’t happen too often.
So the Bruins will have both a measuring stick opportunity against an upstart hockey club and a pre- and post-Olympic team test to gauge their energy and enthusiasm for what will undoubtedly be a busy month despite only four official games being on the docket.
Those other two contests see the B’s staying out West and playing the San Jose Sharks on February 26th and the Los Angeles Kings on February 28th. I hope to make it to all three games so you can best believe this Black N’ Gold Blogger will be providing story-filled updates from the PST all week long.
When the B’s “march” into March and April, the Spring schedule will kick into high gear with two of the busiest months of hockey ahead of the second season. So making the most of the Seattle expansion games and the “West Coast Kick” schedule tick for February is a must for Boston.
After all, at this time of the year on the ice… you can’t be “Kraken Up.”