Game Story: Khochlachev scores two in scrimmage

191545.jpg

Game Story: Khochlachev scores two in scrimmage

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs

PROVIDENCE It was more physically intense than anybody had a right to expect, and it was a pretty one-sided Koko Show when things were all said and done in a 4-1 victory for the Black Team in the annual Black and White scrimmage at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence.

The sold out Dunk featured an adoring throng of Providence Bruins fans that saved their loudest ovations for P-Bruins alumni like Brad Marchand, Johnny Boychuk and Tim Thomas during pregame introductions.

The youngest player in training camp, Alexander Khokhlachev, potted a pair of goals to open and close the scoring for the Black Team and the young squad squeezed off 29 shots in the decisive victory. Black Team defenseman Matt Bartkowski set up a Lane MacDermid goal in the third period amid a very strong game and Colby Cohen notched a pair of assists during an offensively impressive performance for the Bs squad.

Daniel Paille notched the other goal for the Black Team and 19-year-old Ryan Spooner scored the only strike for the White Team in a loss that absolutely nobody will remember a month from now.

Tim Thomas and Anton Khudobin combined for 18 saves in the victory for the Black Team while splitting the game between the pipes.

GOLD STAR: Alexander Khokhlachev showed up to prospect camp out of shape and was erratic at times during rookie camp and main Bruins training camp over the last few weeks. But Koko showed up when it mattered most. The 18-year-old forward is the youngest player in camp, but the talented Russian showcased both a nifty snap shot and a nose for the net in scoring both goals. Everyone finally saw what all the hubbub was about with Koko on Tuesday night.

HONORARY MENTION: Colby Cohen assisted on a pair of Black Team goals and showed some very good vision while setting up a pair of goals with cross-ice passes during the scrimmage. The backdoor feed to Lane MacDermid for his goal was a picture-perfect feed after a nice drop-down pass from Tyler Seguin helped set the entire play in motion. Cohen is a well-known commodity after playing for Boston University, and will have himself a nice career if he can make offensive plays as he did Tuesday night on a consistent basis.

BLACK EYE: Since it was an early season scrimmage where everybody is still getting their bearings, the BlackWhite scrimmage Black Eye goes to Chris Clark for bringing the thunder to the very first preseason game. Clark got into a nasty shoving match with Tyler Seguin in the corner before dumping the 19-year-old to the ice and then stung Colby Cohen with a two-handed slash at the end of the second period while trying to make a play. Its pretty clear Clark was making a statement to some of the younger Bruins players that hes in camp to win a job rather than friends, and theres nothing wrong with that kind of competitiveness from a respected NHL veteran.

TURNING POINT: Momentum seemed to turn a little bit in the scrimmage when Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask were lifted midway through the game, and the White Team defense collapsed a bit in front of young goalie Michael Hutchinson. Hutchinson allowed three third-period goals on defensive breakdowns and blown assignments in front of him, and thats when the Black Team truly pulled away amidst a 29-shot attack on the evening.

BY THE NUMBERS: 3 Providence Bruins tough guy Lane MacDermid scored a goal in the third period and finished with a game-high plus-3 on the evening for the Black Team. MacDermid has a healthy amount of grit as an AHLNHL enforcer in the making, and he somehow ends up on the scoresheet each year during training camp for the Bruins.

QUOTE TO NOTE: Every day they could send me home, so every day I just go to the ice or work out really hard. Im happy here just working and getting a chance right now. I hope I get a chance to play in some of the other preseason games against the NHL teams. Alexander Khokhlachev, talking about the mindset in Bs training camp after scoring two goals as a talented-but-unpolished 18-year-old prospect.

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

Morning Skate: Not a dry eye as Canucks draftee gets the call

Morning Skate: Not a dry eye as Canucks draftee gets the call

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while getting ready to check out GLOW on Netflix.

*This video of a Vancouver Canucks draft pick tearing up while watching the video of his brother celebrating him getting picked is all that is right with the NHL Draft.  

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Adrian Dater has Avs first-round pick Cale Makar talking about his hockey background, and why it doesn’t matter.

*The Calgary Flames are excited about their prospects and the pieces they were able to acquire last weekend.

*The Washington Capitals have re-signed Brett Connolly for a couple of years at short money and he appears to have found a home in DC.

*The Chicago Blackhawks are still in talks with Marian Hossa about how to resolve his contract and the allergic skin condition that might have prematurely ended his hockey career.

*Will the Tampa Bay sports go through a dry spell when it comes to Hall of Fame athletes now that former Lighting forward Dave Andreychuk has been called to the Hockey Hall?

*It looks like young Pierre Luc Dubois will be put in a position to contribute with the Columbus Blue Jackets this season.

*Alex Prewitt has a preview of the NHL free agency period and the stress levels that many players go through in it.

*For something completely different: This video of Drake and Will Ferrell hoop handshakes was pretty solid, and funny.

 

Haggerty: Jacobs may not be beloved, but he's Hall of Fame-worthy

Haggerty: Jacobs may not be beloved, but he's Hall of Fame-worthy

If it was based solely on his 42 years as owner of the Boston Bruins, it might be debatable as to whether Jeremy Jacobs would have been selected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The Bruins have won one championship and been to a handful of Stanley Cup Finals during Jacobs' long stewardship, of course. They also enjoyed the longest running playoff streak (29 years) in NHL history, though it began before he purchased the franchise. Altogether, the B's have won one Cup, four conference championships, two Presidents' trophies, 15 division championships, and 35 Stanley Cup playoff berths during the Jacobs Era.

MORE BRUINS

But Jacobs didn't make the Hall of Fame solely on his accomplishments with the Bruins organization. He's being inducted in the "builder” category, which is defined as "coaching, managerial or executive ability, or ability in another significant off-ice role, sportsmanship, character and contributions to his or her organization or organizations and to the game of hockey in general.”  In addition to overseeing the Bruins over the last four-plus decades, he has been a power broker at the league level for just as long.

"I am flattered to be included in with this great group of 2017 inductees, and I am humbled to be included with the legends of hockey that went before me,” said Jacobs. "Owning the Boston Bruins for 42 years has been one of the most rewarding honors of my life. I am indebted to our team's leaders and players, but most of all, to our fans, for giving me a broad and deeply appreciative perspective of the game."

The 2011 Stanley Cup victory was the overriding on-ice moment in his stewardship of the team, and the Jacobs family has had a major, altruistic impact in Boston. No one should overlook the Boston Bruins Foundation, which has touched so many lives with the $28 million that's been awarded to those in need since its inception in 1993.

Unfortunately, Jacobs will always have a reputation with a large portion of the Bruins fan base that his ownership wasn't willing to spend enough for truly competitive teams. At times he was viewed as an absentee owner living in Buffalo, overseeing the team from afar while Harry Sinden ran the operation. Those fans hold that grudge even today, despite the Bruins consistently spending to the salary cap ceiling while fielding competitive teams. They view Monday's Hall of Fame announcement as something akin to Montgomery Burns being inducted into the Springfield Hall of Fame.

Cam Neely disagrees.

"As a player, I knew of Mr. Jacobs' passion for the Bruins,” said Neely, who has served as Bruins president for nearly a decade after a Hall of Fame playing career highlighted by his years in Boston. "Over the past decade while in the front office, I have seen firsthand his dedication to winning, by consistently providing the Bruins the resources that we need to compete for Stanley Cup Championships and also his unmatched commitment to growing the game of hockey."

That commitment to hockey is a key factor in Jacobs' Hall of Fame selection.

Jacobs was unanimously voted in as chairman of the NHL Board of Governors in 2007, and he's been a major driving force in each of the last couple of oft-contentious CBA negotiations. While Jacobs clearly had a hand in the cancellation of the entire 2004-05 season due to a labor dispute, and in the lockout-shortened season of 2013, those CBA negotiations ultimately led to the imposition of a salary cap and a pathway for small-market NHL teams to survive as the cost of doing hockey business continues to go up.

Without Jacobs as an often hawkish, hard-line owner, there's a chance that a team like the Western Conference champion Nashville Predators might not have been able to survive in the NHL, and it's highly doubtful they'd be able to be as competitive as they are now if teams like Toronto, New York and Chicago could outspend everybody else. So there's no denying the seismic impact that Jacobs made at the league-wide level with his leadership and commitment to growing the game, and that the NHL is better off for the battles waged in collective bargaining while he's been in a position of power.

If you polled every single Bruins fan on the street, it's unlikely he'd be a populist choice for the Hall of Fame. The lean budgetary years durinhg the playing days of Neely, Ray Bourque and others will always be part of the Spoked B history. Some will hold those grudges forever, which is part of makes us who we are as a fan base.

But faithful, rabid fans continue to stream into TD Garden, continue to spend money to support their favorite hockey team, and continue to provide the kind of support that's led to a 338-game home sellout streak. It's a sign Jacobs and Bruins ownership continue to do things very right, even if we shouldn't be scheduling any popularity contests anytime soon.