Julien excited for 'good competition' in B's camp

Julien excited for 'good competition' in B's camp
September 10, 2013, 6:45 pm
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Any good hockey coach loves competition, so Bruins head coach Claude Julien is jubilant with the thought of new faces competing for open spots among his established Black and Gold group of skaters.

The competition will start in earnest on Wednesday morning as the Bruins get weighed, measured and checked out by team doctors as training camp is getting underway. It’s unlikely the B’s will be on the ice for a skating session on Wednesday, but will instead take a breath before diving in Thursday and beyond.

Amazingly the Bruins first exhibition game will take place less than a week from now with Boston scheduled to head up to the Bell Centre for a preseason tilt with the rival Montreal Canadiens. Before, during and after that game Julien will be watching.  

“It’ll be good competition. We’re talking about giving some young guys a chance to win some spots,” said Claude Julien. “We’ve got some guys that we received in trades, and those will be guys we’ll be looking at to keep us up on top of the league.

“There are a lot of new things: new faces, and obviously the situation with where we finished and where we want to be again. All of those things just give us good reason to be motivated.”

The “guys” Julien is referring to are Jarome Iginla and Loui Eriksson, of course, and it would seem they will fit into designated right wing spots pretty easily. A few decisions await on the third line with Chris Kelly as the only true definite with a cast of younger players vying for spots.

On defense Dougie Hamilton, Torey Krug and Matt Bartkowski are all expected to be contributors to a D corps that’s getting demonstrably younger, quicker and more inexperienced. At least one of the three is likely to be the odd man out with Zdeno Chara, Johnny Boychuk, Dennis Seidenberg and Adam McQuaid already penciled into the top six.

For a team that has been to the Stanley Cup Final twice in the last three years and is on a serious roll with six straight playoff-worthy seasons, there will be an unusual amount of change coming into this season. Julien and Co. will get to see those major alterations in person starting tomorrow, and it seems the B’s bench boss couldn’t be more excited about it.