THE WORD of the day, boys and girls … is hangover.

With the Bruins opening their season in Dallas Thursday night, you will likely hear the word “hangover” at least a few times in the coming weeks.

If the B’s get off to a bad start, you might hear it’s a hangover from losing Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden.

Conversely, if the B’s get off to a good beginning, you might hear there is no “hangover” from the tough loss.

Basically, the word “hangover” in this case is the same as if the Bruins had won the Cup. This is all about a new season. What appears to be a very good Boston hockey team should be ready to go.

From my buddy Joe McDonald of The Athletic: “The Bruins in June became the 10th team since 1971 to lose Game 7 of the Cup final. Of the previous nine, not one made it past the second round of the playoffs the following season.”

Tall order.

“This group has a chip on its shoulder and wants to get back there,” coach Bruce Cassidy said. “You can’t just fast forward seven months, or eight months to get there. The challenge for us is to play every night, play well, play hard, get some breaks and stay healthy just to have an opportunity.”

This team has basically stayed the same, the changes on the fringe, as young players continued to develop.

“I thought we were a successful team last year, and we have a motivated group,” Cassidy said recently. “We did inject, we do feel like our depth, and organizationally as we continue to get stronger, so we feel like we have that internal competition. We have players that can come up and do the job. We’ve been testing that over the last few years and had some success but also had some failures, well, and try to learn from it, be very target specific.”

The B’s open with four games on the road as they finish off the major changes to their building. The home opener is Saturday, Oct. 12 against top draft pick Jack Hughes, Taylor Hall, P.K. Subban and the Devils.

By the way, the champion Blues raised their banner Wednesday — and then blew a 2-0 lead and lost 3-2 in overtime to the Caps.

Terrible news

You had to think something was wrong with Stephen Gostkowski as he struggled through the first four games of the season (four missed extra points). Then, Wednesday, the news hit: Gostkowski needs left hip surgery and is gone for the year.

That’s why the Patriots had kickers in camp trying out. This coming Sunday, the Pats will have only their fourth kicker under Bill Belichick when they visit the winless Redskins. The others? Gostkowski, Adam Vinatieri and Shayne Graham (eight games in 2010). Mike Nugent was signed to the active roster and Younghoe Koo to the practice squad.

Ben’s back

The Patriots, shaky on offense at Buffalo, welcome Ben Watson back Sunday, the tight end serving his four-game suspension after coming out of retirement.

“Ben’s a versatile guy. He’s a smart guy,” offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said. “He’s certainly made a lot of plays in his career. Just gives an element of speed and experience at the tight end position. He’s been a productive guy, made plays under pressure. So, Ben’s coming back here; it was great to have him back this offseason into training camp, and hopefully we’ll be able to move forward with him in a role that suits his skill set and our team.”

This from @BostonSptsNews:” As of September 29, 2019 Tom Brady has thrown 524 passing touchdowns to 72 different targets for 71,575 yardsin the regular season and 73 touchdowns to 27 targets for 11,179 yards in the postseason during his career. A career total of 597 passing TDs for 82,754 yards.”

And from Forbes contributor Oliver Thomas: “J.C. Jackson became the first player since the Jets’ Erik McMillan to notch two interceptions and a blocked punt in a single game, per the NFL.

McMillan did so in the 1989 opener against the Patriots.”

By the way, it wasn’t pretty, but last Sunday’s win made the Pats 42-0 when Brady and Julian Edelman both play.

Brady on Westwood 1 Radio on the 16-10 win in Buffalo: “The flight home yesterday (bleeped). The night of sleep (bleeped). And you watch the film and that (bleeps). Then you lick your wounds and get up and try and do better the next week.”

Washington should help with the last part.

Prices go up

Red Sox Nation bristled at two things after the team’s end to a disappointing decision: cutting payroll and raising ticket costs.

The increase, according to president Sam Kennedy, will be small. Now, folks are waiting to see how much they’ll shave off the $240 million payroll.

“I would anticipate another modest increase,” Kennedy said.

The Red Sox finished the season 38-41 at Fenway Park. They were 14-2 in games started by Eduardo Rodriguez and 24-39 in games started by anyone else.

Elder knowledge

With the Celtics in camp as life after Kyrie Irving and Al Horford begins, owner Wyc Grousbeck addressed the troops and told then to glance to the other side of the court.

From Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald: “(Grousbeck) pointed to Tommy Heinsohn sitting courtside and to the championship banners. Told them Tommy had a hand in 10 of them and that he’s the epitome of Celtic pride: If you haven’t met him yet, do it now. And they did.”

Jayson Tatum is over the ankle sprain that knocked him off the court at the FIBA tourney. He said he would welcome the chance to play in the Olympics next summer. “Yeah. I ain’t got nothin’ else to do,” he said.

Gregg Popovich is still mad at Marcus Morris for reneging on a San Antonio deal and signing with the Knicks.

“It was an unfortunate situation that was handled unprofessionally on a couple of different levels. We made that move (trading Davis Bertans) to make the signings that we did and got blindsided,” Pop said.

Pop contradicted Morris’ claim that feelings had been soothed. Morris said he and the Spurs, had “great conversations afterward, and as long as I feel that I’m clear with them and gave them my truth, I feel good about moving forward.”

Finally, the Nationals and Rays advanced, the latter on the road. That leaves home teams just 56-58 in winner-take-all games in MLB. And the A’s fell to 1-15 under Billy Beane with a chance to advance in the postseason. Oakland has not won a win-or-go-home game since 1973.

Oh, and it says here the Astros caught a break with Oakland losing.

Mike Shalin covers Boston pro sports for the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News. His email address is shalinmike@yahoo.com. Follow him on Twitter @mscotshay.