Notes: Bruins make Sunday practice a scrimmage

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Notes: Bruins make Sunday practice a scrimmage

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com
WILMINGTON A light day for the Bruins on a rare Sunday morning practice at Ristuccia Arena on the morning after they clinched the Northeast Division titled and dashed the dreams of the Atlanta Thrashers.The Bs held a shinny scrimmage on the ice after dividing up the roster between players with black and white jerseys, and then ended things with a spirited shootout. The White Team ended up winning by a healthy amount, and the highlight during the shootout was Tyler Seguin pointing at Tuukka Rask to call his shot before whistling a puck past his glove hand for the score.That meant the Black Team would be footing the bill for a team lunch once the squad hits the Big Apple after besting the white team in 5-on-5, 4-on-4 and 3-on-3 competition followed by the shootout. Things ended when Daniel Paille fanned on a shootout attempt on Rask, and then flung his stick down the ice in mock anger once his black team had been defeated.The Bs players appreciated the light practice fare chosen by Bs coach Claude Julien before loading up for the short flight to New York City for Monday nights game against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Julien talked after Saturdays win about finding the middle ground between working and resting his team prior to the playoffs, and Sunday seemed to have that in mind.It was a tough loss for the Black Team, but well get them next time, said Brad Marchand about the fun-hearted scrimmage. It was a surprise coming in today, but we know we have a lot of work to do still.The coaches know that we know we have to be ready for each and every game, and even if we have a fun day today we have to come to the rink tomorrow prepared to do a job. Its always good of them to give us that scrimmage day, and respect and acknowledge how hard the season has been for us.Every player was accounted for at practice, and it appeared that the Bs managed to leave Saturday afternoons win against the Thrashers with a healthy unit. Shawn Thornton said that the swelling is still traveling through his sinuses from the cut on his forehead, and it didnt look like hed be available Monday night against the Rangers.Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs.

Bruins still in waiting mode on Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, Anders Bjork

Bruins still in waiting mode on Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, Anders Bjork

BRIGHTON, Mass – While the NHL debut for Charlie McAvoy is a matter of “when” rather than “if” at this point after agreeing to an Amateur Tryout Contract (ATO) with the Boston Bruins, the jury is still out on Boston University center Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson and University of Notre Dame winger Anders Bjork become pros. 

Bruins general manager Don Sweeney says that Forsbacka-Karlsson has yet to make a “final decision” on his status for next season after BU’s elimination from the NCAA hockey tournament, and Bjork is readying for the Frozen Four this weekend along with the rest of his Fighting Irish teammates. The 20-year-old Forsbacka-Karlsson just wrapped up his sophomore season with the Terriers and posted 14 goals and 33 points in 38 games with a plus-11 rating, and has not given the Bruins any firm word on his plans for the immediate future. 

The urgency perhaps isn’t there for the Bruins to lock things up with Forsbacka-Karlsson right this second, because he wouldn’t be a factor for this year’s NHL team. 

Meanwhile the Bruins can’t do anything with the 20-year-old Bjork until at least the end of next weekend, but have been mightily impressed with a player that’s posted 21 goals and 52 points in 38 games for Notre Dame this season. Bjork had three assists in the game that propelled Notre Dame into the Frozen Four, and there would be a great deal of urgency for the Bruins to lock up a talented forward that might be able to help them right now. 

“I’ve been able to see [Bjork] a few times including the regional [in New Hampshire] last weekend, and he was outstanding. He played every other shift, he set up goals in the game and he’s had a really nice progression as a college player this season,” said Sweeney of the explosive Notre Dame junior, who was far and away the best player at B's development camp last summer. “They’ve done a fabulous job with their team, and hopefully they get to the Finals on Saturday against Harvard, and we get the best of both worlds seeing how our prospects play in the final game. He’s had a tremendous college career to this point, and we’re excited about his development.”

McAvoy is the front-burner issue for the Bruins at this point, but it would surprise exactly nobody if both Forsbacka-Karlsson and Bjork join him in Providence in the next couple of weeks as they wrap up their AHL season.