Boston Bruins

Bruins scrimmage key for younger players

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Bruins scrimmage key for younger players

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
The Bruins went through off-ice workouts on the fourth day of training camp Tuesday morning in preparation for their annual Black and White scrimmage held this year at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence.

Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, Shawn Thornton, Nathan Horton, Chris Kelly, Stefan Chaput, Tyler Randell, Yannick Riendeau, Trent Whitfield and Andrew Bodnarchuk will be the only members of the 53-man Bruins training camp roster not expected to play. Claude Julien indicated that the Black and White game will be a key determining factor in the fates of the young players at camp. The standouts will remain in camp over the next few weeks and the disappointments will be among the first players cut from camp following Tuesdays game.

Its as simple as that for a group of players that should be either A) looking to make a good first impression or B) attempting to win a job. Bs assistant coaches Geoff Ward and Doug Jarvis will coach the two squads, and Julien will watch the game from up above where normally only assistant coaches, media and healthy scratches reside.

There are certain guys we feel are on the bubble right now as far as whether they get to play some pre-season games or not. They will get an opportunity to show us whether they're worthy of it or not, said Julien. So there are some decisions that we'll end up making tonight on whether we move forward with some guys or cut them loose. So those are some of the things that are going to happen. For me it's just seeing those guys in a game tight situation. I'll be able to watch from up top and evaluate as well.

While the Benoit PouliotJordan Caron competition is setting up as the tightest camp battle over the course of the preseason for the Boston roster, there wont be any jobs won or lost during the inter-squad scrimmage.

Milan Lucic remembers what it was like for him in his first camp scrimmage, and doled out some free advice to the younger guys when it comes to the Black and White game: worry about themselves rather than submitting to the older veterans among the group.

I still remember it: the butterflies leading up to the game. I was against Big 'Z' and I remember thinking Oh, there he is. Is he going to run me through the boards? Whats going to happen? You want to do everything you can. You kind of get nervous when you have the puck, and you want to make the right play.

What I like to tell the younger guys after having been through it is not to pass up on shots. Dont pass it to me just because Im an older guy and because Ive been around for a bit. Just because Im open doesn't mean pass it to me if you have a clear shot. Shoot the puck, do what you do best and if youre going out there then just treat it like another hockey game.

For Lucic and many of the other veterans itll also be their first time skating in front of the Bruins fans in Providence, and they were all looking forward to the experience. For them its about soaking in the atmosphere, but for the younger generation of Bs prospects the scrimmage is about surviving until the next round of cuts.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Morning Skate: Can BU's Keller break through with Coyotes?

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Morning Skate: Can BU's Keller break through with Coyotes?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while watching the worlds of sports and politics collide this weekend.

-- Can former Boston University standout Clayton Keller become the NHL’s newest rookie sensation for the Arizona Coyotes? The skills and the skating are certainly there, but we’ll have to see if he can remain in one piece all season with a middling team around him.

-- PHT writer Cam Tucker has Kris Letang returning to the Penguins on Sunday. It still blows my mind that Pittsburgh was able to win the Cup without him in its lineup last spring.

-- Speaking of the Penguins, they say they will accept the White House invitation to visit after last year’s Cup win, and offer a pretty non-committal statement about what’s going on in the other three major sports right now.

-- It was a tremendously successful opening of Little Caesar’s Arena for the Detroit Red Wings last night as they stomped the Bruins in preseason action.

-- The Maple Leafs' Nazem Kadri is out to prove that last season wasn’t a one-year wonder.

-- For something completely different: Good to see another Stoneham guy getting some accolades for a dead-on impersonation.