Sauve bulks up to try to stay healthy for Bruins

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Sauve bulks up to try to stay healthy for Bruins

The goal is pretty simple for Max Sauve: stay healthy.

The forward is in the final year of his entry level contract with the Bruins, and has shown flashes on his climb up the organizational ladder after being selected in the second round of the 2008 draft.

He had a good career in the QMJHL and snapped off 21 goals in his first full season with the Providence Bruins. But the 22-year-old with the good skating wheels has also had a profoundly difficult time remaining healthy since joining the pro hockey ranks. He missed 17 games in his first full season in Providence, and played in only 39 games last season while totaling 11 goals and 26 points.

Then Sauve was knocked out in the opening minutes of his NHL debut with the Bruins, and was never heard from again in Boston while the team fought through injuries in the second half of the year.

Concussions, groin issues, hip pointers and other injuries can be freak occurrences, but the last thing any player wants -- especially in the game of pro hockey -- is a reputation of being injury-prone. The Bruins organization also clearly wants to see exactly what they have in Sauve, who still projects to be an NHL third line player capable of popping in double-digit goal totals if he can remain healthy.

Last years experience appears to have had a profound effect on the 6-foot-2, 184-pound Sauve as hes come into this season noticeably sturdier and bigger in build.

Sauve confirmed it was no accident.

I dont want any more injuries, so I worked really hard this summer to get in the best shape that I could. Im in way better shape, said Sauve. Its important to me to show what I can do on the ice, and obviously that wont happen if I cant play. I want to show them that I can stay on the ice.

That would help explain the two point performance (1 goal, 1 assist) in Saturdays 3-1 victory over the Springfield Falcons on Saturday night at the MassMutual Center, and the four points Sauve has already amassed in four games this season. He was instrumental in the game-winning goal while screening in front of the net for a Garnet Exelby point blast, and then he pounced on the rebound of a Zach Trotman shot for Providences insurance goal in the third period.

In both instances Sauve went to the blue painted area, and thats a testament to his new-found strength and tenacity in front of the net. Its something P-Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy wants to see more of along with the team-leading six shots on net he finished with against Springfield.

Sauve is getting rewarded for going to the blue paint, said Cassidy. He almost got a goal in Manchester on Friday night as well, and he was driving hard to the net when he got one against Bridgeport.

Hes going to the net. He just needs to clean up his board-work a little bit and in the neutral zone he needs to know when to make plays and when not to. But hes been good and that line has been consistent. Theyve scored a goal in every game.

Cassidy is referring to the line of Sauve, Ryan Spooner and Jamie Tardif as one of its best in the first two weekends of the season. Their success is clearly a byproduct of all the work put in by Sauve during a summer that could prove to be pivotal to his hockey future.

Bruins looking forward to getting World Cup teammates, coach back

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Bruins looking forward to getting World Cup teammates, coach back

BRIGHTON, Mass. – With the World Cup of Hockey and Team Canada crowned as champions, the final few Bruins players involved in the international hockey tournament will be filtering back into regular training camp.

It was a brilliant tourney for Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron, especially while forming the World Cup’s best forward line with Sidney Crosby. Marchand was one of the leading scorers and had the clutch game-winner in the decisive game.

As a line they combined for a ridiculous 25 points in six games and it was Marchand who scored a couple of the biggest goals in the biggest games against Russia and Team Europe.

“They did it all of last season for us, so I’m not shocked. They played well throughout the entire time they played there, so I’m really happy for them,” said Ryan Spooner. “It’s been kind of a weird camp. We’ve been missing a lot of guys, and to get all of those guys back is huge. They’re the leaders of the team, so to get them back is good.

“Marchand around the room is a funny guy, so he’s definitely missed. We miss them all.”

Zdeno Chara was a force for the surprising rag-tag group of players on Team Europe and led them to the best-of-three final series against Team Canada. Now that it’s over, the B’s teammates are looking forward to all three joining fellow World Cup participants Tuukka Rask, David Pastrnak and David Backes at camp probably at some point next week.

“It does [feel like training camp], but it will be nice to get those guys back,” said Adam McQuaid. “They are big parts of this team. We’re looking forward to having those guys back, for sure.”

That also includes getting their coach, Claude Julien, back as well after missing his presence while he served behind the Canadian bench with Mike Babcock and Barry Trotz. He’ll be rejoining the Bruins over the next couple of days, and getting through preseason road games against Detroit and Philadelphia before making some tough decisions on cuts at main training camp.

That’s when things will officially start getting back to normal for a training camp that’s felt like something was a little missing over the first few weeks of getting ready for the season. 

Friday, Sept. 30: It's all Bruins in World Cup final

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Friday, Sept. 30: It's all Bruins in World Cup final

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while taking a nap this afternoon so I can watch the 1:30 am replay of tonight’s Bruins/Red Wings game on the NHL Network.

*Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara scored the goals at the World Cup’s decisive game on Thursday night, and No. 63 got the clutch game-winner late in the third period for Team Canada. Then he watched as linemate Sidney Crosby won the MVP for the tournament in what could be perceived, from a Boston point of view, as a largely Canadian-based hockey media fawning over Sid the Kid once again. Look, he was the tournament’s leading scorer, but last night’s heroics probably should have tipped the scales toward the B’s agitator getting the World Cup hardware.

*PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Mike Halford has Anaheim Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm seeking an eight year deal from his team. That could be another contract negotiation to watch closely if you’re a Bruins fan.

*Zach Werenski, one of the D-men the Bruins were trying to trade up to get two years ago in the first round of the draft, is looking like he might be NHL-ready for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

*Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov is holding out with the Tampa Bay Lightning, and just wants to get paid like the rest of his teammates.

*Marian Hossa says he still wants to play hockey when he’s 42 years old, or close to the age that countrymen Zdeno Chara is right now.

*Here are some preseason college hockey storylines with the world of NCAA hockey about to start up in force.

*A judge has ruled that the family of the late Derek Boogaard may pursue a lawsuit against the NHL over the death of their son.

*For something completely different: “Tex Ryan” takes his jokes to open mic night and I’m fairly this is Toucher and Rich skewering the Buffalo Bills head coach. And rightfully so.