By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
BOSTON -- Every year a young player or two impresses Bruins officials enough to make it all the way through training camp, and this year Max Sauve has been that player. The France native has been near the top of Bostons watch list since they made him a second round draft pick in 2008, and his stock continued to rise last season after putting up 21 goals in his first full AHL season.
Sauve projects to be a third line winger capable of killing penalties and popping in the occasional goal. A player like that holds plenty of uses for an NHL team. While Jordan Caron is still ahead of him on the organizational depth chart heading into the final week of training camp, Claude Julien likes what hes seen from Sauve.
We all know he's got skill, we all know he's got speed and he's a guy that's pretty dangerous around the net," Julien said. "He showed that in Providence last year. I think he has a lot of attributes that will allow him to play in the NHL. But in order to be an NHL regular, you have to do a little bit more than just skate and shoot. The one thing is competing for that loose puck, which you hear me say a lot about players. I'm not a big fan of players who go in the corner and come out with the puck once out of every ten tries.
You don't have to be physical and you don't have to bowl people over, but you just have to want the puck badly enough that you want to come out with it. A skilled guy can go in there and be smart enough to come out with the puck if he really wants to. That's the part that I keep putting a lot of importance to when I talk to players about that.
Given the eventual role that Sauve projects to have at the NHL level, Julien knows that his compete level needs to much more heightened in different areas of the rink. Sauve exhibits the exact same timidity that Tyler Seguin fought through as a rookie in the NHL last season.
But its something that seems long gone for Seguin this season, and it needs to be cleared from Sauves game if hes going to make it.
We saw the same thing with Seguin last year, said Julien. Tyler's a much better player this year when it comes to competing for those loose pucks and you know we need to see that from Max as well.
Sauve has a couple more games to show the Bruins exactly what theyre looking before hell be asked to find it in Providence this season.
Joe Haggerty can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs
BOSTON – The Bruins have won seven of eight games under interim coach Bruce Cassidy and are fortifying their position as the third playoff team in the Atlantic Division with each passing victory.
The 4-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes at TD Garden on Tuesday night probably shouldn’t be all impressive based on the Yotes standing as the second-worst team in the NHL, but it was a classic trap game coming off a long West Coast road trip. Instead of falling for the trap the Bruins exploded for three goals in the second period, energized by a shorthanded Riley Nash strike, and continue to extend the winning stretch they need in order to punch their playoff ticket.
The postseason clincher is still a long way away from reality, but Cassidy said the B’s are starting to achieve the elevated level of play they’re aiming for while finally getting the full potential out of their team.
“I just want the guys to make sure that they play confident, solid hockey and believe in themselves. And play to a [higher] standard,” said Cassidy. “We’re trying to set a standard where we’re one of the better teams in the National Hockey League. They’ve been there before, the leadership group here. That’s where we’re striving to get through in the end.”
They haven’t exactly shied away from the competition either, twice beating the first-place San Jose Sharks and shutting out the first place Montreal Canadiens in the final straw that saw Michel Therrien axed in favor of Claude Julien.
The B’s have now opened up a three-point cushion over the Maple Leafs for their playoff spot and they’ve averaged 4.13 goals per game (33 goals in eight games) while allowing just 2.13 goals per game (17 goals in eight games) in the eight games going from Julien to Cassidy.
The challenge now is to maintain that level of play over the final 19 games of the regular season to drive home their playoff bid and finish strong at a point where in each of the past two seasons they’ve utterly imploded.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world as NHL trade deadline day is upon us with no promise of fireworks in Boston.
*As referenced above, there’s a good chance the Bruins won’t be doing much today and they’re perfectly okay with that.
*Craig Custance grades every move made ahead of the trade deadline with plenty of action out of the way early.
*The Vancouver Canucks will not be trading Ryan Miller, which is smart given the normal market for No. 1 goaltenders.
*The New York Rangers lost out on the Kevin Shattenkirk rental sweepstakes at the deadline, so they’ve opted for Brendan Smith instead.
*The Florida Panthers may make a move at the deadline (which they did in acquiring Thomas Vanek) but they will not make or break their team with deadline deals.
*Doug Armstrong says that Shattenkirk was frustrated by his role with the St. Louis Blues, and that played into his trade to the Capitals.
*For something completely different: It’s a national holiday in Canada as Jay and Dan will be returning to their natural habitat.