Tough road for many B's prospects hoping to crack Boston roster

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Tough road for many B's prospects hoping to crack Boston roster

WILMINGTON, Mass. Former first round picks Dougie Hamilton and Jordan Caron will compete for starting spots on the Bruins roster when regular training camp opens, and Bs Development Camp attendee Torey Krug will get a look as well he tries to fill that need for a puck-moving defenseman.

Dont expect many of the rest of the 22 players at Bruins development camp to compete heavily for roster spots on the NHL club.

Ryan Spooner and Jared Knight are on the cusp of pushing for NHL jobs, and Knight will get an extended look in competition with Caron, Chris Bourque and any unnamed veteran wingers that Boston might bring into the fold.

Prospects like Malcolm Subban and Alex Khokhlachev are years away from pushing for jobs in Boston. In Subbans case the young goaltender is likely 4-5 years away from seriously pushing for the starting job with the Bruins a team that believes in a deliberate developmental track for their puck-stoppers.

Much of it is a matter of simple math as the Bruins have brought back 12 forwards, five of six defensemen are returning and the two goaltenders are now set for next season with Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin both signed.

If you look at our forwards -- and Jordan Caron of course is still under a two-way contract -- but the rest of them either need waivers or are on one-way contracts, so its going to be hard for the young guys, said Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli when asked about the odds of non-incumbent youngsters breaking camp with the Bruins this fall. What we told them going into this camp is that, you know, youre going to have an opportunity to make the team. Theres obviously some that are more likely than others to have that opportunity.

But what weve done in the past and what we will do in the future is that if they knock our socks off we will find room for them. Generally speaking, this group will go back to their respective teams or Providence and continue to develop.

Thats not such a bad thing.

A stacked Providence team means the Bruins will have backup plans should injuries hit their front line this year, and hold an army of prospects should a trade become needed midway through the season.

The Bruins didnt have that kind of depth last season, and it ultimately cost them at points during the year.

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

BOSTON -- With three crushing losses in a row at a time when results are really all that matters, the Boston Bruins are reeling at the wrong time during the regular season. The B’s tried their best to win a game 0-0 with strong defense against a sleepy Chicago Blackhawks bunch on Friday night, but ultimately coughed up a Marian Hossa goal in the final minutes for a 1-0 regulation loss at TD Garden.

The defeat continued a swirl downward for the Black and Gold over the last week, and was a second straight shutout loss on home ice for the first time in almost 15 years. The losing stretch has also kicked up the chatter that Claude Julien is in trouble as head coach of the Bruins, and the hockey club’s underperformance up and down the lineup is ultimately going to cost the NHL’s longest tenured bench boss his job.

The Ottawa Senators have passed the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and it’s only a matter of time before the Toronto Maple Leafs move by them as well with both Toronto and Ottawa holding six games in hand on Boston. Combine all of this with the B’s having missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons leading into this one, and it shouldn’t be at all surprising that Julien is squarely on the coaching hot seat.

The B’s bench boss was asked about his job security after the Chicago loss, and clearly didn’t appreciate the tough, but appropriate question.

“Well, I’m not into shock-journalism,” said Julien in a prideful tone. “So I’ll stay away from that question if you don’t mind.”

The Bruins posted their Saturday schedule shortly after Julien and the B’s players had addressed the media following the loss, and sure enough the embattled coach is scheduled to address the media post-practice as part of the regular practice day routine. So it doesn’t seem that a move with Julien is imminent this weekend despite another loss, but both the coach and the players know something is going to happen to shake things up with this team if they continue to struggle.

“Right now it’s a results based situation, so if you’re going to keep losing games then probably something’s going to happen,” said Torey Krug. “But right now we’re just pretty down emotionally after this game, so I don’t want to look at the big picture. I just [want to] focus on what’s going on in this room, and hopefully we can come back with a good effort the next game.”

A good effort might help Julien’s standing with the Bruins in the short term, but it’s impossible to imagine the B’s bench boss making it through the rest of the Bruins regular season given all of things working against him right now.