Bruins notes: Kelly enjoys homecoming

191545.jpg

Bruins notes: Kelly enjoys homecoming

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

OTTAWA Chris Kelly wasnt expecting it and he was a little too modest to speak too much about it, but it was a pretty rare and interesting experience to play in his first game as a Bruins player at his longtime NHL home, Scotiabank Center. There were no jokes about heading to the wrong locker room or putting on the wrong uniform by accident, but there was a nice sports moment when the jumbotron at Scotiabank went through a highlight package of Kelly's career, and the Sens fans gave Kelly a long ovation as a way of saying both "goodbye" and "thank you."

That was great," said Kelly. "Ottawa is a classy organization, and to get that reception from the fans is something Ill always remember. It was great. It was my first game and I havent been told too much about my role in Boston. I just went out there and played, and that was good enough.

Kelly played 15:09 of ice time in the game without a point or a shot on net, butit certainly calmed his nerves down a little bit as he attempts to fit in with the Bs players alongside line mates Tyler Seguin and Michael Ryder.

Kelly might be the most unheralded of the three players arriving in Boston at their pre-deadline deals, but he shows off a pretty fine set of skills: he can skate like the wind with some pretty incredible jets in his legs, hes an excellent finisher around the net and hes a reallyquietconsensus-maker with his opinions in the locker room.

Its all of those skills that made Kelly so beloved in the city of Ottawa, and its what made the people drink it all in when they followed the video tribute to Kelly with a standing Ovechkin. Kelly also finally had his visa paperwork taken care of by the US and Canadian governments, so hes allowed to fly back with the Bruins on the team charter back to Boston following the game. Tomas Kaberle is stuck on the United StatesCanada for the weekendsince switching from the Maple Leafs and hes planning to meet the team in Calgary on Monday night rather than practicing with the the B's at home this weekend. Rich Peverley is expected to take care of all the due diligence on any paperwork he might have yet to file, and will practice with the team on Sunday.

Tomas Kaberle was asked following the game whether hed thought about the idea of signing a contract extension with the Bruins. Kaberle seemed to indicate now is not the time to get something done, and the All-Star defenseman preferred to wait until after the hockey season was over. "It all depends," said Kaberle. "I'm just focusing on games and not on July or whenever I become a free agent. I'm just trying to focus on hockey games, and those things will take care of themselves."

Johnny Boychuk was the healthy scratch for the Bruins on Friday nightat the defenseman position for the second time in the last three games, and it's clear that playing time is going to be a precious thing for all seven of the B's defensemen moving forward.

The conditional second round pick traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for the Bruins either A) making it to the NHL Stanley Cup Finals or B) the Bs being able to sign Tomas Kaberle that he'll be a free agent following the season after getting bumped up to the NHL's "first class" with the BruinsBrad Marchand potted a pair of goals in Friday night's win over the Maple Leafs, and now sits just two goals away from hitting the 20-goal plateau that he bragged about to Claude Julien and Peter Chiarelli during exit interviews last season. Marchand would be the first B's rookie with 20 goals since Brad Boyes did it with the Bruins while potting 26 goals during the 2005-06 hockey season.Tyler Seguin notched an assist on Brad Marchand's first goal against the Senators, and now has five points (3 goals, 2 assists) in his last six games while going on one the best mini-tears of his rookie season, and is staking a claim that he deserves to stay in the B's lineup once Rich Peverley arrives from the Atlanta Thrashers. One thing Seguin must do if he's playing more on the wing: the 19-year-old needs to shoot the puck at the net more often from the wing position.There are time when a young player needs to remember that a shot on net is almost never a bad play in the game of hockey.

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

Bruins center Acciari’s status uncertain after leaving with apparent leg injury

bruins_noel_acciari_082816.jpg

Bruins center Acciari’s status uncertain after leaving with apparent leg injury

BOSTON – There were no updates following the preseason loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night, but fourth-line center candidate Noel Acciari had to leave in the third period with what appeared to be a leg injury. 

The Rhode Island native appeared to be favoring his right leg after getting tangled up in front of the benches just a couple of minutes into the third period, crawled toward the bench and then headed back to the B’s dressing room for repairs.

Bruins assistant coach Joe Sacco didn’t have any update in the moments directly after the 5-1 preseason loss to the Detroit Red Wings.

“Noel did leave the game. I’m not sure what his status is, or what the injury was. I haven’t been told,” Sacco said. Acciari finished with five hits and a blocked shot in 10:35 of ice time vs. Detroit. “I’ll have to check with medical and see where we’re at.”

The hope is that the injury isn’t a serious one after Acciari looked strong and heavy playing an energy role down the middle last season for the Bruins in the final weeks of the regular season. He teamed with Justin Hickman and Anton Blidh to play a gritty, energy line on Wednesday night, and they were largely effective for the Black and Gold while some of the other bigger name players struggled.

A potential injury to Acciari, however, does leave the door open for Dominic Moore to really put an iron-fisted grip on the fourth-line center spot after it appeared there would be a big surplus of centers at the start of camp. 

 

 

Local kid Grzelcyk ‘really excited’ to suit up for first Bruins game

boston-bruins-matt-grzelcyk-092916.jpg

Local kid Grzelcyk ‘really excited’ to suit up for first Bruins game

BOSTON – It wasn’t the perfect outcome, or exactly how he probably dreamt it would go down growing up on the streets of Charlestown in the shadow of the home of the Bruins, but Matt Grzelcyk finally got to wear the Black and Gold in front of friends and family at TD Garden. 

The former Boston University standout was on the ice for a couple of goals against in a rough 5-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night and clearly had a little bit of culture shock adjusting from NCAA hockey to the speed and intensity of a preseason NHL game.

The 22-year-old admitted as much after slowly showing during the game that he was getting more accustomed to the speed, power and precision of NHL opponents playing with purpose.

“I think maybe I was a little bit shocked coming out there. The speed of the game is obviously noticeably faster. But I think as time went on I felt a little more comfortable out there, and was able to skate pucks out of trouble. Hopefully I can build on that going forward,” said Grzelcyk. “It was obviously really exciting to get out there. I was a little bit nervous for the game and stuff and [had to] get the jitters out. But it was nice to get my first game under my belt.”

The puck-moving defenseman had tons of friends and family in the stands including his father, John, who usually works on the bull gang making sure the Garden sheet is in tip-top shape for games such as Wednesday night’s affair. So, it was natural for the nerves to be there despite “Grizz” suiting up for plenty of Beanpot games at the Garden as a member of the Terriers, but they went away as the game went along.

He picked up an assist on Boston’s only goal after working the puck up to Ryan Spooner prior to him feeding Austin Czarnik for the score. Then it was about simply playing the game, and showing where his level of play is right now as the Bruins evaluate all of their D-men. Grzelcyk had the point and he logged a solid 19:49 of ice time while finishing with a minus-1 rating and a couple of shots on net.

So, there were some positives for the local kid and some things to work on as he gets ready for some seasoning in the AHL when cuts eventually come in this B’s camp.

“I think it was a night where, as the game went on, he got better. I thought his third period was the best period he had, and as the game progressed, he started to feel a little bit more confident out there,” said Bruins assistant coach Joe Sacco. “He was skating. He was avoiding… being able to escape some of the breakouts, and it’s his first game in a Bruins uniform back at home here, so I’m sure at the beginning he was probably fighting some nerves. I’m sure it was a special night for him in that regard, but I thought he got better as the game went on.”

The 5-foot-10, 175-pounder will clearly take that the first time out, but clearly Grzelcyk will be looking to show the abilities that saw him post 20 goals and 61 points over his past two seasons at BU as a talented offensive D-man looking to help sooner rather than later.