Bruins: 'Last year was last year'


Bruins: 'Last year was last year'

By Joe Haggerty
BOSTON Its pretty clear after a couple of days that the Bruins are on the same page when it comes to publicly closing the door on last years collapse.The Bruins dropped four straight games to the Flyers in the second round of last years playoffs and were the butt of plenty of Boston Massacre-style jokes last summer. Now, they have the chance to wipe that memory clean.Its the Big, Bad, Broad Street Bullies vs. the Big, Bad, Bruins and itll be the equivalent of an alley brawl to determine which team advances once the seven game war of attrition and steely determination has been decided.But Peter Chiarelli and Claude Julien have set the tone over the last couple of days, and put the proper focus on the here and now of Game 1 in Philadelphia Saturday afternoon rather than anywhere else. The Bs coach sounded like a hockey version of Yogi Berra when asked to compare and contrast this years series against the Flyers with last season's, but Julien wasnt going there just like his players werent willing to step into that territory.Instead Julien was focusing on the fact that so much statistically was slanted against the Bs in the opening round Game 7 against the Montreal Canadiens, and his hockey club did a good job of tossing convention and probability straight out the window.I think last year is last year, and this year is this year," Julien said. "A lot of people are going to want to bring up the past. If anything, its like Montreal. All the stats were probably against us with the odds and how the Bruins had fared against them in the past. We were down 2-0... anything that the odds were against us we overcame. "So its always a new situation. Its a new opportunity and thats how were looking at it. Its just a new opportunity for us to get past the Flyers and hopefully win this series. Zdeno Chara said that he lost 10 pounds in the 24 hours surrounding his virus and extreme hydration episode before Game 2 against the Montreal Canadiens, and that hes just now feeling 100 percent following the illness. The Bruins captain was noticeably weaker during the games following his hospitalization, but battled through and indicated he was back at 100 percent prior to the weekend start to the Flyers series. Chara's normal playing weight is 255 pounds, and he told that he's back up to 252 with only a couple more pounds to be back up to his full fighting weight. Every Bruins player was on the ice for a Friday morning practice at TD Garden that included power play work, line drills and some good old-fashioned work on defensive zone breakouts in anticipation of the strong Flyers fore-check coming their way starting this weekend. Peter Chiarelli confirmed on Thursday that his hockey club is healthy entering their conference semi-final series against Philly. Tyler Seguin has taken to calling his forward line the Green Goblin line while skating with Jordan Caron and Jamie Arniel and wearing bright green jerseys during practice. It seems that Shawn Thornton isnt much of a Spider Man fan given that Seguin had to explain the origin of the term born from one of the super-villains in the comic book and movies.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs.

Bruins go for a defensive project late with Daniel Bukac


Bruins go for a defensive project late with Daniel Bukac

CHICAGO – The Bruins finished up their 2017 NHL Draft class with a bit of a project, but a 6-foot-5 defenseman with some great skating wheels is a pretty good way to go with a seventh round pick. The B’s nabbed Brandon Wheat Kings defenseman Daniel Bukac with the 204th pick in the draft, and admitted afterward that he’s an ultra-big bodied player that could take some time in the development process.

Bruins assistant GM Scott Bradley said Boston is more than happy to be patient with Bukac given the tools that he’s working with as an 18-year-old prospect. Bukac had two goals and 17 points to go along with 38 penalty minutes in his first season in North America after coming over from the Czech Republic, and Bradley said that B’s scouts noted that he continued to improve and get comfortable as the season wore on.

"He's raw. He's a project. [He’s a] kid from the Czech Republic that played in the Western Hockey League,” said Bradley. “At the start of the year - he's come leaps and bounds with his development. Talking to the people - the coaches, the management, and the GM in Brandon, they're very excited about him coming back to Brandon. They're expecting big things from him. We look forward to seeing him in camp."

Bukac is starting to garner some good international experience after playing for the Czechs in the Under-18’s and the Ivan Hinkla Tournament, but this weekend it was all about his addition to the talented group of Bruins prospects in the hockey world.

"I'm so excited to be drafted by the Boston Bruins," said Bukac, who described himself as a solid two-way defenseman with a good first pass. "It's an awesome feeling. I'm so glad that I was drafted by Boston."

Bruins take a flier on skilled Victor Berglund in 7th round


Bruins take a flier on skilled Victor Berglund in 7th round

CHICAGO – While the Bruins went strong two-way defenseman early in the 2017 NHL Draft, they took a shot at a more offensive-minded Swedish defenseman late with seventh-round pick of Victor Berglund.

The six-foot, 165-pound Berglund clearly has a way to go in physical development and will need to get much bigger and stronger before he’s potentially ready for the North American pro ranks, but B’s assistant GM Scott Bradley raved about the Swedish defenseman’s skill set and potential. He also noted that Boston’s entire European scouting contingent, including former B’s forward PJ Axelsson, were fully on board with taking a flier on a talented player that simply needs to develop in the Swedish hockey system.

“Our Swedish guys were on top of Berglund. They think he’s a mobile D, he’s ultra-skilled and he skates well. He’s a six-footer, but [PJ Axelsson, Svenake Svensson and Victor Nybladh] were all pounding the table for him,” said Bradley. “We went along with it and I think we might have something there. Talking to his strength coach after the fact he’s working on putting some muscle and weight on, so we look forward to seeing him at development camp.”

In 62 games at three different levels, Berglund posted five goals and 18 points last season and displayed the kind of speed, creativity and play-making that one needs from their defensemen in today’s NHL.

"I'm an offensive defenseman, who likes to play with the puck, with a great short pass," said Berglund. "I like to follow the rush up ice and want the puck."

It will be a matter of building size and strength and for Berglund to continue developing his game in Sweden for the time being, but the Bruins are certainly happy with him at the 195th pick in Saturday’s second day of the draft.