The Bruins will be starting the 2020-21 NHL season in a place they began one of the most historic seasons in franchise history.
The NHL on Friday announced that the Bruins and the Nashville Predators will open their season at the O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic.
You’ll remember that the 2010-11 Bruins opened their season with two games in that building, splitting a pair with the Phoenix Coyotes, as they were known then. The Bruins lost the first game 5-2, with Radim Vrbata scoring twice for the Coyotes, and Nathan Horton scoring both Bruins goals.
The next day the Bruins bounced back with a 3-0 win behind 29 saves by Tim Thomas. Horton, Milan Lucic and Tyler Seguin (first NHL goal) all scored.
Of course those games had much more meaning in June after the Bruins defeated Vancouver in seven games to capture their first Stanley Cup championship in 39 years.
Prior to playing the Predators in a regular season game, the Bruins will complete their training camp in Mannheim, Germany and will play an exhibition game against Adler Mannheim at SAP Arena.
The Bruins have enjoyed success in seasons they’ve gone overseas. In addition to their 2010-11 season starting in Prague and finishing with a Cup win, the Bruins played two preseason games against Calgary in China last season before making it all the way to Game 7 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final.
So the Bruins have experience dealing with the travel and inconveniences of making such a trip. But it’ll be interesting to see if it takes its toll should the Bruins, who are currently atop the Atlantic Division, make another deep postseason run and have a short summer.
Regardless, it’ll be a return for Czech Republic star David Krejci, who had three assists in two games in Prague in 2010. And it’ll be the first chance for Bruins superstar David Pastrnak, who currently leads the NHL in goals (15) and points (15), to play a regular season NHL game in his homeland.