Clark scores in the heat of Bruins competition

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Clark scores in the heat of Bruins competition

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins InsiderFollow @hackswithhaggs
MONTREAL Chris Clark knows hes up against a great deal of young talent in a Bruins training camp competition for roster spots.

Jordan Caron has a track record with his Bruins teammates, still has plenty of upside as a 20-year-old winger capable of playing up and down the lineup, and hes also enjoyed an impressive overalltraining camp with the Bs. It was a year ago at this time that Caron dominated the Canadiens in preseasonwith his size, strength and ability to protect the puck for long, punishing shifts and actually cracked the Bruins opening nightroster based on his camp along with the impressive physical abilities that made him a former first round pick.Benoit Pouliot has ideal size as a 6-foot-3 forward capable of playing a physical style and putting up points as he did averaging 15 goals over the last two seasons inMontreal but he arrived in Boston with some discipline question marksand a stubborn label as a career underachiever.

Both are young skaters brimming with talent, and both are ready to take regular shifts with the Bruins in a role that has yet to be fully determined. Pouliot could be a candidate to skate out the right wing spot with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron, but he could also become an energy line henchmen banging around bodies with Shawn Thornton and Gregory Campbell.

Caron has enjoyed an excellent camp with two strong games against the Canadiens, but Pouliot was merely been okay with a boarding penalty against the Ottawa Senators ranking as his most notable moment. Its expected that Pouliot will need some time to get accustomed to a new Bs offensive and defensive system, but Julien appears ready to have that kind of patience for a young player brimming with potential.If it were up to the coach, however, Julien has long since had an admiration for Caron and his approach to the game of hockey. So that's certainly a factor as well.

That leaves Clark as a 35-year-old veteran trying to capture a job, and that much has been obvious in the early going of Bs camp as he tries to make an impression. Clark assisted on a Brad Marchandgoal in Sundays win over the Habs in Halifax, and scored his first Bruins goal on Monday night off a sweet pass from Max Sauve. The Clark strike turned out to be the game-winner and allowed him to keep pace with the younger players he's competing with.

It was a good breakout by us. We got it to the blueline the way wanted it be, and then a seam opened up for a great pass, said Clark. That was a great play, and I was fortunate enough to put it in the net. I had a couple of other chances like the goal earlier in game and I wasnt able to bury them.

The intangibles have been off the charts for Clark during camp as hes taken on ice bags while jumping in front of pucks during the penalty kill -- and thrown shoulders at teammates during scrimmages to let them knowhe means business. Competition like that is gold in training camp, and Clark capped it off with the game-winning strike atthe Bell Centre -- the first official gesture as a member of the Bruins against the Habs in a Black and Gold career that could be year-long or incredibly fleeting.Either way, Clark has his eyes on the prize.

Overall we have been talking about making the team," Clark said, "and a goal certainly doesnt hurt me.

Clark also lamented several plays he left out on the ice Monday night against the Habs above and beyond the goal he scored. That must be the veteran in him as he's trying to do every last thing to hook on with the Bruins for their Cuprepeat attempt that kicks off against the Flyers on Oct. 6 and hes actually got a 35-year-old punchers chanceof making it if he keeps bringing veteran know-how to the table.

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

Morning Skate: Former PC coach Army on Avs' rough year

Morning Skate: Former PC coach Army on Avs' rough year

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars being released today. Amazing that the power and influence of the best movie franchise in cinematic history are just as strong today as it was four decades ago. I still remember my first time seeing it as a very little kid with my parents at the dearly departed Starlight Drive-In in North Reading.

*Good guy and recently fired Colorado Avalanche assistant coach Tim Army talks about a rough past season with the Avs, and some of the difficulties they faced in a truly terrible season. The former Providence College head coach and good hockey man shouldn’t have much trouble finding his next gig.

*A great move by the Arizona Coyotes, who have hired former Bruins forward Craig Cunningham as a pro scout after his awful medical situation last season that resulted in his leg getting amputated. Cunningham is a hard worker and a hockey lifer, and that’s exactly the kind of traits that the best scouts have in huge amounts.

*The New Jersey Devils have fired a number of employees after a rough season, including a groundbreaking radio analyst.

*With the ultra-competitive demand for an edge in NHL player development, teams are beginning to look to Europe for more and more diamonds in the rough. The Bruins tried that with Joonas Kemppainen, but it didn’t work out so well.

*One of the real big advantages of the Nashville Predators getting to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time is a national spotlight getting flashed on PK Subban, who shows off his personality in a rare ESPN interview of a hockey player featured on the network's magazine show.

*Ryan Johansen isn’t done talking smack to Ryan Kesler after the Predators prevailed over the Ducks, and it’s some delicious playoff hatred.

*Is the NHL ready to draft another goaltender with the last name DiPietro in the first round? Inquiring minds want to know, but I’d recommend the New York Islanders take a pass just in the name of avoiding a repeat of some bad history for them.

*Taylor Hall sounds pretty bitter about the whole “Edmonton Oilers getting into the playoff without him” thing, doesn’t he?

*For something completely different: As mentioned above, it’s a milestone birthday for the Star Wars franchise hitting 40 years old today. Boy, this Boston Globe movie review was right on the money back in 1977.