Arniel's aim: Earn a spot with the Bruins


Arniel's aim: Earn a spot with the Bruins

By Joe Haggerty Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
BOSTON -- Jamie Arniel took a pretty big leap forward last year, and is looking for more this season.

The Bruins forward notched 50 points for the Providence Bruins as a 21-year-old, and even earned a token appearance in Boston when a couple of injuries created an opening on the roster.

In terms of a confidence booster, it was exactly what the doctor ordered.

The season of experiences also sweetened Arniels taste for life in the NHL and made him determined to earn himself a permanent in the worlds best hockey league. With a pair of 30 goal seasons in the OHL and finished last season as the leading goal-scorer on the Providence Bruins with 23 strikes.

The versatile forward able to play center and wing also earned himself a much longer look at this years training camp with the expectation hell once again find himself in Boston if adversity hits this year. Arniel took it as a big positive that he made it past the big roster cut on Friday night, and he wants to continue making a strong impression in the final four exhibition games.

Its definitely good when you survive a big cut and there are only so many guys left, said Arniel. Ive just got to continue doing what Ive done so far. For me its about being consistent and bringing the same thing every night.

Coming in for the playoffs last year was a big boost and was very exciting for me. It shows you what can happen if you work hard in hockey, and it made me that much more excited for this year. It gave me a little extra boost for this yearthats for sure.

While Arniel hasnt been able to bury any of the offensive chances that have come his way during his preseason appearances, coach Claude Julien has been impressed with his body of work in camp. Arniel has good skating speed on his sturdy 5-foot-11, 183-pound frame and a hard, accurate shot, but he also boasts some pretty good hockey sense coming from a hockey family that includes his uncle Scott still calling the shots as head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Jamie really had a tremendous year last year. I think as far as progressing, hes a really good skater, hes got good speed, and from watching him in practice hes got a quick release. Hes got a really good shot and I think its about giving him a little bit of time, said Julien. Ive found that -- maybe the last little while -- fatigue is set in a little bit with him and hes slowed down maybe half of a step. But hes going to pick it up again.

I dont mind his game at all. Hes a smart player, hes a gritty player, hes not afraid to use his speed along the boards and take it from the outside to bring it to the net. Hes got a lot of upside to him and certainly Ive seen him back-check and really take a real serious look at that part of his game. He wants to excel there as well.

That might just prove Arniels hockey smarts in and of itself as any player knows the first way to Juliens coaching heart is through extra effort and responsible, selfless back-checking up and down the ice.

The shot, the skating, the hockey IQ and the defensive knowhow make for a nice package of skills that should be NHL-worthy. But Arniel admits the realization that there arent many job openings on Bostons roster coming out of camp. Thats whats called the only downside to being a part of a deep, well-run organization coming off a Stanley Cup-winning season, and Arniel will gladly take it as trade off for being one of the Black Aces during last years Cup journey.

This is a hard team to crack. Thats for sure, said Arniel. But if I do or if anybody else does its an accomplishment because this is the best hockey team in the world. Theyre Stanley Cup champs.

The AHL breakthrough, the NHL debut and the front row seat to the Stanley Cup championship made for a truly special season for Arniel last year. But it doesnt leave many places for the Ontario native to improve aside from locking up a full-time gig in the NHL.

That becomes this years goal for Arniel before its all said and done.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Thursday, Oct. 27: Chara top D-man on All-Graybeard team


Thursday, Oct. 27: Chara top D-man on All-Graybeard team

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while saying RIP Vine but not really feeling it since it’s a rabbit hole I never really delved down into. 

*Down Goes Brown celebrates the “NHL’s old guys”, and yes, that means a gratuitous shout out to Zdeno Chara as the top defenseman on the All-Graybeard squad. 

*Hampus Lindholm has signed a long term deal with the Anaheim Ducks, so now that deal leaves everybody to wonder who is leaving the Anaheim roster in the eventual salary cap crunch. It will be interesting to see if this hastens any Cam Fowler trade talk as far as the Bruins are concerned because it looks like they need the help.  

*Pro Hockey Talk has the Oilers off to their best start since the Wayne Gretzky Era and people in Edmonton finally getting to see the hockey they’ve been waiting for over the past few years. 

*In honor of the Halloween season that we’re in, here are a few cool and scary goalie masks with a bit of spooky flair. 

*Arizona Coyotes GM John Chayka is confident that his young team is going to rebound after a rough start to the season. 

*Speaking of creative uniforms, it’s a most wonderful time of the year for hockey when they bust out their Oktoberfest sweaters. 

*For something completely different: this matchup of Peanuts and Stranger Things hits all the right notes for fans of both. 


Goalie update: Tuukka Rask dealing with hamstring AND groin injury?


Goalie update: Tuukka Rask dealing with hamstring AND groin injury?

While the good news is that it doesn’t appear that Tuukka Rask is dealing with a knee injury, there are still some significant muscular issues to work with concerning his left leg. 

According to former Bruins defenseman and NHL analyst Aaron Ward on CSN’s Great American Hockey Show podcast, the Bruins franchise goaltender has been dealing with a hamstring issue that’s also become a hamstring and groin issue as he tried to play through in the first week of the season. Rask clearly tweaked something in his left leg opening night against the Columbus Blue Jackets, missed the Saturday night loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs and then appeared to aggravate the injury in last week’s win over the New Jersey Devils. 

According to Ward, it’s hamstring and groin issues for Rask as the Bruins attempt to survive without him while potentially working toward a possible return for the Finnish netminder this weekend vs. the Red Wings. Rask hasn’t skated with the Bruins since finishing out the 2-1 win over the Devils last Thursday night, and tweaking the problematic left leg in the process. 

“What I was told is that it was left leg, and that at first it was hamstring and now it’s possibly hamstring and groin,” said Ward to CSN Bruins Insider Joe Haggerty on the Great American Hockey Show podcast. “You’re always concerned when you’re a goalie and it’s your legs, right? It’s the push-off. The crazy part was watching it on video where the shoot came from the left side and went wide, and the next time he injures it shot comes from the same spot, misses it wide and [Rask] is in the exact same position wincing.

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“I think [the Bruins] are smart rather than trying to play a guy that’s 90, 80 or 70 percent, whatever it is, to just get it over with. Endure the short term pain to get the greater gain, and that’s having Rask in there. There’s no greater endorsement to keep him out than seeing the [bad losses without him] because you need a healthy Tuukka to let the rest of the team settle.”

It’s been disastrous without Rask, of course, as the Bruins have allowed 11 goals in back-to-back losses to the Wild and Rangers with rookies Malcolm Subban and Zane McIntyre between the pipes, and Anton Khudobin out for three weeks while sporting a cast on his right hand in the last B’s game at TD Garden. 

Meanwhile, Rask (3-0-0, 1.67 goals-against average and a .947 save percentage) is trying to heal and time it perfectly so he returns once he’s past the danger of potentially blowing out the muscles in his left leg and making the situation even worse than it already might be. 

Ward also discusses his relationship with "Toucher & Rich" and the "Cuts for a Cause" charitable event that he helped start.