Boston Bruins

DeBrusk "looking forward to next step" after scoring binge at rookie camp

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DeBrusk "looking forward to next step" after scoring binge at rookie camp

BRIGHTON -- Jake DeBrusk was just a wide-eyed kid a year ago at his first Bruins rookie camp fresh off being selected in the first round. But DeBrusk still managed to impress Bruins coach Claude Julien with his willingness to battle as a “skill player”, and the kind of hockey smarts he showed off in game situations as the son of a former NHL player in Louie DeBrusk.

This time around DeBrusk brought the offense with him as a more experienced 19-year-old winger with a decent shot at winning an NHL roster spot with the Black and Gold, and scored a goal in each of the two rookie camp games in Buffalo. In both instances DeBrusk was set up by fellow forward prospect Peter Cehlarik, and scored power play goals showing off both his excellent shot and his ability to move into scoring positions without the puck.

COUNTDOWN TO CAMP PREVIEWS

DeBrusk is overjoyed at getting his training camp off to a strong start with the rookies, and now the talented winger is geared up to fight for a roster spot with a group of fellow B’s forward prospects.

“The games and just they were being played, I felt way more comfortable and back to myself,” said DeBrusk, who was held to 21 goals in 61 junior games last season while battling through injury issues. “It felt nice to score some goals; that’s for sure. I got some really good passes. Pretty much both of them were identical, and I’ll always score those ones.

“I’m looking forward to the next step now, and just want to keep going. I [think I got to show] my game, my style and how hard I work from goal line to goal line. Being in and around the net and my goal-scoring touch, I think I did a good job of that over the weekend. I think a lot of [Bruins prospects] were able to show their worth. I was happy with how I played, and was able to show my style of hockey.”

DeBrusk, Heinen and Cehlarik all enjoyed extremely good rookie camps, and will join the fray with other veterans like Peter Mueller to compete for at least one open winger spot among Boston’s top-9 forward group this season.

Now it’s up to DeBrusk to dig into main training camp as it starts on Thursday, and keep showing off the shot, release and hockey IQ that’s allowed the youngster to score goals at every level of hockey he’s played at during his young career.

Brad Marchand: NHL’s new face-off crackdown ‘an absolute joke’

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Brad Marchand: NHL’s new face-off crackdown ‘an absolute joke’

BRIGHTON, Mass – Count Brad Marchand among those NHL players that don’t like how closely officials are calling face-off violations so far this preseason.

The NHL is cracking down on run-of-the-mill slashing penalties to the arms and hands and calling an excessive number of penalties for forwards “cheating” in the face-off circle prior to the drop of the puck. 

This essentially means the opposing centers taking the face-off can’t be standing or have their sticks on the painted hash marks and instead must stand perfectly still while waiting for the puck to drop. Two consecutive violations of Section 10 of the rulebook will result in a two-minute delay of game: face-off violation penalty. It was called on numerous occasions for the first eight NHL preseason games played on Monday night.

Needless to say, Marchand was watching some games on Monday night while not playing in the first two preseason games for the Bruins and he called the stricter interpretation of the rulebook “an absolute joke.”

“The slashing [penalties] is one thing, but this face-off rule is an absolute joke. That’s how you ruin the game of hockey by putting that in there. They’re going to have to do something about that because we can’t play all year like that,” said Marchand. “Basically you have to be a statue. You can’t move. It takes away from the center iceman. I think there was even a play [in the game I was watching] last night where a penalty was called on a 4-on-4 before play on the first penalty had even started because of a draw.

“That’s just a joke. I don’t know how you expect guys to step back, guys are excited to get in there and help out there centerman. I know they’re trying to add a little more offense to the game [with power plays] and make it more exciting, but you don’t want to ruin the game. It’s frustrating for everyone. There are ways to make the game better, but this isn’t one of them. We might as well start throwing D-men in there to take draws.”

Marchand did acknowledge that sometimes on-ice officials put an extra emphasis on making a slew of calls in preseason to let players get used to any new enforcement of rules like for face-offs and slashing calls. Perhaps that’s what is going on here. That may be the case in the face-off circle, but it sounds like Marchand is going to be one unhappy camper if the more stringent face-off rules interpretation creeps into the regular season. 


 

DeBrusk excited ‘to get his look tonight’ with Krejci, Pastrnak

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DeBrusk excited ‘to get his look tonight’ with Krejci, Pastrnak

BRIGHTON, Mass – After watching fellow Bruins prospects Anders Bjork and Jesse Gabrielle score in the preseason opener vs. the Canadiens on Monday night, Jake DeBrusk knows the bar has been set for him as he readies to take the ice against the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night at TD Garden.

It will be the first preseason game for DeBrusk this fall and it his first in a top-six spot at left wing alongside David Krejci and David Pastrnak.

DeBrusk, 20, has worked with Krejci exclusively the first five days of camp and Pastrnak was added to that duo as soon as he signed and reported to Boston last weekend. It’s clear the Bruins are giving the former first-round pick a big audition with Krejci and Pastrnak, and DeBrusk is excited to show what he can do.

“I’m feeling good, excited to put on the jersey again and play at the Garden,” said DeBrusk. “We see each other every day, and we know how good we all are. I saw a couple of [young] guys get on the board last night with a big comeback win. So they kind of set the tone and we’re expecting the same result for sure. I just want to show that I can stay there, that I can play on that line and that I belong in that [top-six] area.”

DeBrusk hasn’t quite immediately taken off the way Bjork has in the first week of camp, but he’s been steadily trying to improve chemistry with Krejci and Pastrnak as the practice days have unfolded. Clearly, there is skill there with DeBrusk after 19 goals and 49 points in 70 games with the P-Bruins as a first-year pro, but there’s still some question as to whether he’s a no-doubt top-six winger or more of a third line type who can play higher in the lineup.

“[We want to see him] get pucks off the wall to Krejci,” Bruce Cassidy said. “Krejci is great coming out of our end with speed and leading the attack. That’s one of his strengths. We look for [DeBrusk] to be on top of pucks and create turnovers much like [Pastrnak] does on fore-check in the neutral zone. He does have good foot speed and a good stick. We’re looking for him to finish plays. Obviously, the guy on the right side, Pasta, has made a name for himself doing that, so not all of the pressure is on Jake to do that.

“We just want him to pitch, and when there are plays there to be finished we want him to be able to do that. Then obviously he’s got to do it on a consistent basis, but he’ll get his look tonight. He’s been on that line for three or four days, so let’s see what he’s got.”

Certainly, the intensity has been there for DeBrusk while also showing a little frustration when plays haven’t been made with Krejci in practice. Now, he’s looking forward to getting a chance in a preseason game where playmaking chemistry either materializes or it doesn’t.

“It goes hand-in-hand that you want to have games with them as well as practices,” said DeBrusk. “I think every day it’s been getting better, so just looking forward to some game action with them. I’m just going to work hard, play my game, stick to my game and hopefully contribute.”

If DeBrusk does all of that, much like his fellow young prospects did on Monday night in Quebec City, then he should be just fine in his first really big audition with the Black and Gold.