Warsofsky to open season with Bruins


Warsofsky to open season with Bruins

Throughout Bruins training camp all of the rookie chatter has been about 19-year-old defenseman Dougie Hamilton, but it looks like there will be another freshman blueliner when the NHL season opens on Saturday.

Former Boston University standout and Marshfield native David Warsofsky survived a round of Thursday camp cuts that saw fellow P-Bruins defenseman Matt Bartkowski get sent back to the AHL club. Veteran defenseman Aaron Johnson was also shipped to the AHL for a conditioning assignment after not playing for the last four months through the lockout.

So it appears the 5-foot-9, 170-pound Warsofsky has made the Bruins roster based on his puck-moving skill and the ideal in-game conditioning that had him ready to start the season.

Theres definitely a difference between being in shape and being in game shape, and having 30 games under my belt definitely helped me out, said Warsofsky, who was in his third season playing for the Providence Bruins. 

Players in Europe or at the AHL level had a distinct advantage over fellow skaters that have been gathering rust on the sidelines for the last four months, and Warsofsky impressed Bruins officials with nine points (2 goals, 7 assists) in 30 AHL games while logging heavy minutes lugging the puck for Providence.

Bruins coach Claude Julien indicated that it was a close competition between Warsofsky and Bartkowski before the latter was sent down to the P-Bruins to continue his work as a stay-at-home defenseman. 

There wasnt a big difference between the guys that went down and Warsofsky. Obviously with Johnson we need him to play some games before we can make an assessment on him, said Julien. David has played well, but so has Bartkowski. I can honestly say it could have gone either way.

Right now its a matter of keeping seven defensemen here and making sure that we have the guys in Providence available. Warsofsky isnt here by fluke. Hes had a great year and played well in Providence, and hes got a year under his belt so he knows how to handle himself against the professional competition. He played well against us in the Tuesday night scrimmage. He moves the puck well, is pretty smart with his decision-making and is quick and shifty on his skates with a good shot. Hes got a lot of skills.

For a kid that grew up a bona fide hockey fanatic on the South Shore of Boston in Marshfield, Warsofsky sounded pretty excited about suiting up for the Black and Gold as their extra defenseman.

Its definitely exciting for me growing up here and kind of cheering for the Bruins, so its definitely a dream come true. Im looking forward to the opportunity of being a part of it, said Warsofsky, who arrived in Boston in a draft-day deal with the St. Louis Blues for Vladimir Sobotka three years ago.

Dont be surprised if Warsofskys name pops up in trade rumors soon after his arrival on the Bruins scene, particularly if injuries along the blueline open up some playing time for him to showcase his abilities.

Across the league teams are looking for spare defensemen in deals, and going eight or nine deep on the blueline while planning on injuries taking a bite out of their organizational depth. So NHL-caliber defensemen have rising value on a developing trade market, and Warsofsky might be better served on an NHL team where some open roster spots are up for grabs.

Either way he's getting his shot to establish himself in the NHL, and that's also a local hockey product could ask for.

Bruins need to 'find a way to start playing with a lead'

Bruins need to 'find a way to start playing with a lead'

BOSTON -- There’s only so long that a team can hope to thrive, or even survive, in the NHL if they’re constantly chasing the game on the scoreboard, and chasing the puck after digging themselves a hole. The Bruins have been that team in the first couple of weeks during the regular season, and made it five times in five games that they’ve given up the game’s first goal in an eventual 4-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens at TD Garden.

It’s a pattern that is long past getting old to Bruins head coach Claude Julien, who can’t seem to play the front-runner this season despite three comebacks that have allowed for a 3-2-0 record overall this season.

“I hope it’s not a habit. It’s certainly not what we’re looking for, but there’s no doubt. I think it’s pretty obvious that with the amount of games we’ve played, five games, we haven’t scored first,” said Julien. “We talked about that this morning, trying to get that first goal, and it hasn’t happened yet.”

The start to the game wasn’t really the problem on Saturday night as it’s been a couple of times this season. Instead the Bruins enjoyed a handful of quality scoring chances in the opening 20 minutes against the Habs, but couldn’t come through and finish off those plays when it might have meant an early lead.

Instead it lead to what Julien termed a “terrible” second period that was flat, full of mistakes and ended with the B’s trailing Montreal by a couple of goals. The Bruins scratched and clawed their way to making it a one-goal game in the third period, but that was as close as the Black and Gold would get in losing their ninth straight home game to the arch-rival Canadiens.

“It’s kind of been a story about how things are going for us this far, we’ve got to find a way to start playing with a lead. If you don’t capitalize on your chances, you see what happens when you come out [flat] in the second period,” said Torey Krug, who finished a game-worst minus-3 in the loss for the Bruins. “We had another poor second period and you know it’s kind of… you got to make sure that we put our hand on that and it doesn’t become a thing for the team this year. You see that when you don’t capitalize on chances early, that’s what’s going to happen.”

It’s been a positive development that the Bruins have shown the willingness and backbone to fight back into games after early deficits, and they showed that quality once again on Saturday night by scoring a couple of goals in the third period to keep things close. But the Bruins would be best served if they can start lighting the lamp a little earlier in these games, and see how the other half lives by playing with a comfortable lead every once in a while.