The season officially begins on Saturday night for the Boston Bruins. But before they hit the ice of TD Garden against the New York Rangers, the Bruins spent the week in Wilmington getting ready for the new campaign.
Fans packed the stands of Ristuccia Arena throughout the week to watch the team take part in an abbreviated training camp following the lengthy NHL lockout.
With one exception, the training camp went off without a hitch during the week.
"We spend just as much or more time here than we do anywhere else," said defenseman Adam McQuaid. "We're definitely excited to be back. There's always a good crowd out to watch practices. We're excited to be back here and we're enjoying it."
Though practices took place during the morning hours throughout the week, fans young and old came out to attend sessions that were open to the public.
The Bruins will be back at Ristuccia throughout the season in between games, though their time in Wilmington will likely be less frequent due to the hectic schedule caused by a 48-game season. Games typically take place every other day with less time for practice sessions.
Players such as forward Shawn Thornton said that after the long wait, they're ready for Saturday night's opening tilt against the Rangers.
"It's been too long," said Thornton. "We can't wait to get it going with the first game of the year."