Five thoughts from P-Bruins 4-1 win over Springfield


Five thoughts from P-Bruins 4-1 win over Springfield

MARLBOROUGH Here are five thoughts from tonights preseason opener for the Providence Bruins against the Springfield Falcons at the New England Sports Center with the P-Bruins taking a dominant 4-1 victory. The goals were from Jamie Tardif, Justin Florek, Carter Camper and Matthew Pistilli, who continues to show a little something in the games for Providence.1) Will have more about this later, but Carter Camper is a guy that just keeps making offensive plays. Hes not even close to the biggest, the fastest or the guy with the hardest shot, but he always find himself in the right spot to make a play offensively. He set up a nice goal in Providences first scrimmage with a pass from behind the net, and he scored the Bs second goal on Wednesday against the Falcons. This was a dirty work power play goal where Camper simply crashed the net for the rebound of a David Warsofsky point shot, and then stuffed the loose puck home. Camper was impressive enough in the second half to get some face time in Boston when injuries hit the front line, and it looks like the Miami University alum has picked up right where he left off.2) Love the hustle and grit from Jared Knight. He was kept off the scoreboard despite a couple of good scoring chances, but he showed just how committed he is to impressing while winning a job. During the second period Knight smoked a shot off the crossbar that appeared destined to be a goal, but shook that off and sped back down the ice on defense. Knight then dropped to one knee at the top of the slot to block a shot seconds after catching iron, and continued to show the same commitment to intangibles hes been showing off in scrimmages as well. The offensive finish isnt quite there yet for Knight, but it will come.3) Ryan Spooner once again looked like the best offensive player out on the ice for either team. He slipped a cross-ice pass through traffic to Jamie Tardif that he wasnt quite able to finish in front of the net, but it gave onlookers an idea of just how effective the silky smooth Bs prospect is going to be at the AHL level this season. Provided he can stay healthy and play consistently, all of the signs continue to point to Spooner being a very effective top-six forward at the NHL level and a guy that can make players around him better.4) Its pretty clear the P-Bruins defensemen group has received the message that jobs are up for grabs in this camp. With nine blueliners signed to contracts, Providence can only hope to start the season with seven perhaps eight if they really push it defensemen on the roster. All were strong with David Warsofsky setting up a power play goal with a point shot and showing plenty of ability to escape traffic around the defensive end. Tommy Cross and Colby Cohen both showed polish and physicality youd expect from big, experienced blueliners. Zach Trotman didnt have quite the splash he enjoyed with a hat trick in the teams first scrimmage on Saturday, but there were no glaring errors on the defensive end either.5) Niklas Svedberg was much better between the pipes after a couple of shaky scrimmage performances, and Michael Hutchinson looked like the experienced, poised performer between the pipes. Granted the defense was very good and at times stifling in front of them, but Hutchinson finished with a shutout performance stopping 12 shots in the first half of the game. Svedberg allowed one goal as Springfield found their legs in the third period, but he was much better at tracking the puck while showing impressive athleticism going post-to-post. Both Adam Morrison and Shaun Hunwick didnt get a chance to play against Springfield on opening night.

Still looking for first point, Heinen stays patient


Still looking for first point, Heinen stays patient

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- It may be strictly due to injuries or because Ryan Spooner is being moved back to third line center full-time, but Danton Heinen is going to get another top-six look on the wing. The 21-year-old Bruins prospect will be skating on the left wing with David Krejci and Matt Beleskey in Tuesday night’s game against the Minnesota Wild after serving as a healthy scratch last weekend against the Montreal Canadiens.

Heinen has only two shots on goal in the four games leading up to the scratch, and has been quiet offensively after leading the Bruins in goal-scoring during the preseason. Clearly there’s an adjustment to be made there, and it looked like the playmaking rookie winger was starting to develop a little more confidence trying to make plays while skating with Krejci and David Backes in last week’s win over the New Jersey Devils.

Heinen actually looked reminiscent of Krejci on a couple of plays, pulling back the puck after entering the zone and catching a trailing B’s teammate with a perfectly executed lead pass on the offensive rush. That effort plus a trip to the ninth floor press box last weekend seemed to reinforce just how much time he has to make plays, and that should be a benefit for both Heinen and his linemates.

Sometimes getting that first NHL point is the hardest part when a player breaks into the league, and it’s been that way for the young winger through his first four games.

“[Krejci] is such a good player, and I just try to complement him any way I can,” said Heinen. “You never want to be up in the press box, but it gives you a different perspective on the game. It’s a different angle. From up there it looks like you’ve got way more time. I definitely think I can be more patient with the puck, and make some smarter plays.”

Heinen started to do that in his best NHL game to date prior to being scratched against New Jersey, and it resulted in greater offensive possession and a couple of potential scoring plays getting created for the B’s second line. Unfortunately it didn’t lead to actual goals, and Heinen knows that’s what needs to happen through him if a player like him, with an offense-minded reputation from his University of Denver days, is going to stick top-6 in Boston.

“You can’t rely on the [top] guys every night,” said Heinen, who watched the Habs beat the Bruins on Saturday night while essentially shutting down Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak. “When we’ve been out there we’ve kind of been getting some chances, but we’ve got to bear down.

“[Krejci] likes to play with the puck a lot, so you just get him the puck, go in hard on the forecheck and try to get open because he’s a good distributor.”

It sounds like a simple plan that might be a very good thing for young Heinen, who needs to start breaking through offensively if he wants to stick around in Boston for the long haul. 

Khudobin out three weeks as Bruins turn to Malcolm Subban


Khudobin out three weeks as Bruins turn to Malcolm Subban

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- It could get a little dicey for the Bruins over the next couple of days.

Both Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin were missing from Tuesday’s morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena, and instead rookie Malcolm Subban will get the start for the Black and Gold against the Minnesota Wild at TD Garden.

Rask hasn’t been on the ice since last Thursday’s win over the New Jersey Devils when he re-aggravated a lower body injury and Khudobin will be out three weeks with an upper-body injury suffered at Monday’s practice. It appeared the B’s backup suffered a right hand/wrist injury in the early moments of the practice, and Subban was left as the lone goaltender until Boston brought up Zane McIntyre on emergency recall Tuesday morning.

Julien said the Bruins have confidence in Subban’s ability to play a great game for them, but he’s struggled so far in Providence while getting yanked from two of his four AHL starts this season.

“I just want [Subban] to go in tonight and play a really solid game because we know that he can. He’s a good goaltender, so just because he had a bit of a rough outing [in the AHL] doesn’t mean he has to have one tonight. This is an opportunity for him to play well, and to demonstrate that he’s ready to play in the NHL,” said Julien. “We have bad games and we tell our players ‘Let’s not live in the past, let’s think about what we have to do to rectify it and play better in the next game.’ So I think our goaltender is in the same situation.

“Our game plan is about playing good defense with Tuukka or without Tuukka. That doesn’t change. We understand that some of the teams that we’ve played lately (Montreal and New Jersey) are very stingy, so we have to give up the least amount of goals we can because we’re not going to score a ton against those teams. When you put a system together you believe in it, and you go out and play your game. You don’t adjust your game for other teams, and adjusting for injuries isn’t quite what we’re looking for. We’re looking for a solid performance from our team, and that will trump any injury that we have.”

Oh by the way, the Bruins also have a road game at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday in a back-to-back situation that’s less than ideal with injuries piling up. In addition a Subban/McIntyre tandem in goal, the Bruins will also be without David Backes with what Claude Julien termed “a minor issue” that also has him day-to-day.

In the good news department, Adam McQuaid will make his season debut after missing the first five games of the season with an upper body injury. Rob O’Gara was sent to the Providence Bruins to make room for him coming off injured reserve. Here are the projected line combos and D-pairings for tonight’s game vs. the Wild with Joe Morrow as the healthy scratch on the back end:







Liles-C. Miller