MARLBOROUGH Here are five thoughts from tonights preseason opener for the Providence Bruins against the Springfield Falcons at the New England Sports Center with the P-Bruins taking a dominant 4-1 victory. The goals were from Jamie Tardif, Justin Florek, Carter Camper and Matthew Pistilli, who continues to show a little something in the games for Providence.1) Will have more about this later, but Carter Camper is a guy that just keeps making offensive plays. Hes not even close to the biggest, the fastest or the guy with the hardest shot, but he always find himself in the right spot to make a play offensively. He set up a nice goal in Providences first scrimmage with a pass from behind the net, and he scored the Bs second goal on Wednesday against the Falcons. This was a dirty work power play goal where Camper simply crashed the net for the rebound of a David Warsofsky point shot, and then stuffed the loose puck home. Camper was impressive enough in the second half to get some face time in Boston when injuries hit the front line, and it looks like the Miami University alum has picked up right where he left off.2) Love the hustle and grit from Jared Knight. He was kept off the scoreboard despite a couple of good scoring chances, but he showed just how committed he is to impressing while winning a job. During the second period Knight smoked a shot off the crossbar that appeared destined to be a goal, but shook that off and sped back down the ice on defense. Knight then dropped to one knee at the top of the slot to block a shot seconds after catching iron, and continued to show the same commitment to intangibles hes been showing off in scrimmages as well. The offensive finish isnt quite there yet for Knight, but it will come.3) Ryan Spooner once again looked like the best offensive player out on the ice for either team. He slipped a cross-ice pass through traffic to Jamie Tardif that he wasnt quite able to finish in front of the net, but it gave onlookers an idea of just how effective the silky smooth Bs prospect is going to be at the AHL level this season. Provided he can stay healthy and play consistently, all of the signs continue to point to Spooner being a very effective top-six forward at the NHL level and a guy that can make players around him better.4) Its pretty clear the P-Bruins defensemen group has received the message that jobs are up for grabs in this camp. With nine blueliners signed to contracts, Providence can only hope to start the season with seven perhaps eight if they really push it defensemen on the roster. All were strong with David Warsofsky setting up a power play goal with a point shot and showing plenty of ability to escape traffic around the defensive end. Tommy Cross and Colby Cohen both showed polish and physicality youd expect from big, experienced blueliners. Zach Trotman didnt have quite the splash he enjoyed with a hat trick in the teams first scrimmage on Saturday, but there were no glaring errors on the defensive end either.5) Niklas Svedberg was much better between the pipes after a couple of shaky scrimmage performances, and Michael Hutchinson looked like the experienced, poised performer between the pipes. Granted the defense was very good and at times stifling in front of them, but Hutchinson finished with a shutout performance stopping 12 shots in the first half of the game. Svedberg allowed one goal as Springfield found their legs in the third period, but he was much better at tracking the puck while showing impressive athleticism going post-to-post. Both Adam Morrison and Shaun Hunwick didnt get a chance to play against Springfield on opening night.
The Boston Bruins have selected Finnish defenseman Urho Vaakanainen with the No. 18 pick in the NHL Draft.
Vaakanainen, 18, had 2 goals and 7 assists in 55 total games for JyP HT Jyvaskyla in the 2016-2017 season.
More to come. . .
*Chris Pronger takes a job in the front office of the Florida Panthers and wants to be a GM in the NHL someday.
*It sounds like Alex Radulov is playing contract chicken with the Montreal Canadiens while demanding pretty massive term and salary demands.
*Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman has a top-nine winger on his wish list after dealing away Jonathan Drouin to the Habs.
*A good look from FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jon Rosen into what the draft outlook is for the Los Angeles Kings entering this weekend.
*Ryan Strome is ecstatic about moving on from the New York Islanders and heading to the Edmonton Oilers where he’ll get a chance to fully utilize the skills that went under the radar in Brooklyn.
*Even without a high pick, the Buffalo Sabres and Jason Botterill will be making some moves at the NHL Draft.
*You want some talk about the Bruins prospects and their potential draft targets for the Black and Gold this weekend. Here’s FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kirk Luedeke on with a podcast up in Maine called the Bruins Diehards talking all of that good stuff just a couple of days ago.
*Philadelphia Flyers GM Ron Hextall is going searching for another goalie after once again deciding that Philly needs more help between the pipes. This seems to be a perpetual situation for this group, doesn’t it?
*Jeff Marek has his final 2017 NHL Mock Draft up and running, and he has St. Cloud State forward Ryan Poehling headed to Boston with the No. 18 pick.
*Apparently Linda Cohn wants to push out Gary Bettman and take over as NHL Commissioner when her contract is up with ESPN. Well, okay then.
*It was a little emotional and totally uplifting to see Denna Laing getting saluted at the NHL Awards ceremony. I’m so glad that my daughter has strong role models like Denna that show young women what courage and character are all about.
*The rumor mill is getting worked up at NHL Draft weekend, and it sounds like the Minnesota Wild are going to be busy potentially dealing Jonas Brodin, Marco Scandella or Jason Pominville in the next week or two. Certainly, the Bruins have been front and center in those discussions, but it remains to be seen if something gets done.
*For something completely different: The glowing reviews are coming in for the new Netflix series, GLOW, and it doesn’t sound like a fun concept.