Boston Bruins

Prague with the Bruins: Meeting the fans

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Prague with the Bruins: Meeting the fans

By Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com

MEDIA SCRUM MEET AND GREET

The Bruins finally get a break from practice on Thursday. Instead of the usual ice time and Q&A, they do a media scrum outside of the team's hotel. That's a sentence that isn't impressive until "outside of the team's hotel" is explained.

The back entrance leads out to a ground-level, cobblestone terrace. Various podiums and cafe tables are set up for players and media members to congregate at. Two huge banquet tables are set up with water, tea and coffee. Bruins players file into this area to be attacked by reporters at will. The whole mess is safely cordoned off by a waist high metal fence.

This is on the other side of the fence.

The Charles Bridge: "Karl&367;v most".

It's one of Prague's most visited landmarks in part because it's a conduit between Old Town (Star M&283;sto) and Praha Castle (Prask hrad), but also because it's aesthetically and historically imposing.

It's a continuous alleyway, decorated by 30 statues and statuaries, that gently arcs over the gray Vltava river. And behind that? A bountiful panorama of rolling green hills broken up by some of the most beautiful architecture in the world. The whole scene is as impressive a backdrop as the Boston Bruins have ever had. It gives ice hockey an interesting air of refinement.

The fun starts when the fans show up. Over 100 of them.

Once the media backs off, a AAA travel group lines up for its turn at the team. People are decked out in Bruins jerseys and hats. One young lady has a spoked-B painted onto her manicure. They carry homemade banners and photos to have signed as they file into the gated terrace. With a short angle lens the whole scene could have been a Thursday night outside the TD Garden.

Zoom out.

These people spent thousands of dollars to be here. Some of them didn't know they would have an opportunity to shake hands with Shawn Thornton or ask Milan Lucic personally how his hand is feeling. The players are warm and gracious. I'm impressed that the organization wants to give back to the people who traveled so long and so far to support the team.

And there's more to come. Later today David Krejci and some of his teammates will be hosting a street hockey clinic in Old Town. This event will have more local flavor as far as the crowd goes.

Stay tuned.

Mary Paoletti can be reached at mpaoletti@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Mary on Twitter at http:twitter.comMary_Paoletti

Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak earn spots on TSN's Top 50 list

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Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak earn spots on TSN's Top 50 list

Three Bruins were on TSN’s annual Top 50 ranking of NHL players, a list that was led by reigning Hart Trophy winner Connor McDavid. 

Brad Marchand (No. 18), Patrice Bergeron (25) and David Pastrnak (36) all made the list for Boston, with Edmonton, Montreal, Chicago and Winnipeg also having three players on the list. The Capitals, Penguins and Predators had four players apiece. 

Marchand jumped up 12 spots from last season’s ranking, while Bergeron fell 11 spots after being ranked 14th heading into last season. Pastrnak had not previously been on the list. 

McDavid earning the top spot marks the first time in the eight-year history of TSN’s list that Sidney Crosby, who is No. 2 this year, has not been ranked first. 

Malcolm Subban getting back on Bruins' prospect radar

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Malcolm Subban getting back on Bruins' prospect radar

BOSTON – Malcolm Subban needed a strong training camp performance in order to get himself back on the radar as an NHL prospect for the Bruins and the former first-round pick has accomplished that this month. In what may be his final appearance of the preseason, the 23-year-old Subban stopped 24 of the 26 shots and made 14 saves in the third period to lead the Bruins to a 4-2 win over a not-ready-for-prime-time Chicago Blackhawks lineup Monday night at TD Garden.

Subban was at his best in the third period protecting a slim Bruins lead and showing off some of the athletic skills that have always made him an intriguing prospect if the technique can ever catch to the natural talent. Afterward, it was pretty clear that Subban was laser-focused headed into the B’s final home game of the preseason and perhaps sending a message that nobody should forget about him after a couple of disastrous Boston appearances already on his NHL resume.

It certainly was a feel-good moment when he stuffed a series of chances for the Blackhawks, including a full extension kick-save stop on Erik Gustafsson and a couple of good reaction stops on Brandon Saad while scrambling around the front of his crease. Then Subban heard some love from the Bruins fans that saw him get pulled from his only Boston appearance last season and have watched him veer dangerously close to the “bust” category entering his fifth pro season.

 “Obviously it felt really good to hear the fans and stuff. But I just try to stay focused and dialed in," Subban said. "Obviously, it’s kind of hard sometimes. But I just try to stay focused like I said, stay dialed in and get the win and finish strong. I’m just trying to play my game and work hard. Hopefully, everybody sees that.”

The decision with Subban isn’t exactly an easy one for the Bruins but they likely don’t have a choice in the matter. He’ll need to pass through waivers if/when the Bruins cut him from camp and it’s hard to imagine they’ll carry three goalies on the NHL roster (Tuukka Rask, Anton Khudobin and Subban). The Bruins organization had already seemingly made peace with potentially losing him for nothing after leaving him unprotected in the Vegas expansion draft over the summer, but this preseason gives everybody a little hope that Subban could turn into a late-blooming goaltender prospect.

Certainly, the Bruins coaching staff came away impressed with Subban’s play after a bit of a sloppy first goal allowed to Saad. His presence as one of the final three goalies in camp speaks to how he’s played in the preseason as well.

”You get limited viewing in training camp, you only get a game, a game and a half, so you have to make the best of it, [Subban] did tonight. He was very good. The first goal was a hell of a tip,” said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. “He got caught pulling off the post a bit, but he was rock solid after that. The other goal that beat him was a great shot. We had some breakdowns at different times in the game. Specifically, late there where it could have been scary, but he did his job. He was good. [We’re] very pleased with him.”  

It would appear at this point in camp at the NHL jobs are locked up with Rask and Khudobin as the goaltending tandem to start the season, but give credit to Subban for coming to an important training camp ready and focused to get himself back on the B’s prospect radar.