Bruins scrimmage key for younger players


Bruins scrimmage key for younger players

By Joe Haggerty Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
The Bruins went through off-ice workouts on the fourth day of training camp Tuesday morning in preparation for their annual Black and White scrimmage held this year at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence.

Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, Shawn Thornton, Nathan Horton, Chris Kelly, Stefan Chaput, Tyler Randell, Yannick Riendeau, Trent Whitfield and Andrew Bodnarchuk will be the only members of the 53-man Bruins training camp roster not expected to play. Claude Julien indicated that the Black and White game will be a key determining factor in the fates of the young players at camp. The standouts will remain in camp over the next few weeks and the disappointments will be among the first players cut from camp following Tuesdays game.

Its as simple as that for a group of players that should be either A) looking to make a good first impression or B) attempting to win a job. Bs assistant coaches Geoff Ward and Doug Jarvis will coach the two squads, and Julien will watch the game from up above where normally only assistant coaches, media and healthy scratches reside.

There are certain guys we feel are on the bubble right now as far as whether they get to play some pre-season games or not. They will get an opportunity to show us whether they're worthy of it or not, said Julien. So there are some decisions that we'll end up making tonight on whether we move forward with some guys or cut them loose. So those are some of the things that are going to happen. For me it's just seeing those guys in a game tight situation. I'll be able to watch from up top and evaluate as well.

While the Benoit PouliotJordan Caron competition is setting up as the tightest camp battle over the course of the preseason for the Boston roster, there wont be any jobs won or lost during the inter-squad scrimmage.

Milan Lucic remembers what it was like for him in his first camp scrimmage, and doled out some free advice to the younger guys when it comes to the Black and White game: worry about themselves rather than submitting to the older veterans among the group.

I still remember it: the butterflies leading up to the game. I was against Big 'Z' and I remember thinking Oh, there he is. Is he going to run me through the boards? Whats going to happen? You want to do everything you can. You kind of get nervous when you have the puck, and you want to make the right play.

What I like to tell the younger guys after having been through it is not to pass up on shots. Dont pass it to me just because Im an older guy and because Ive been around for a bit. Just because Im open doesn't mean pass it to me if you have a clear shot. Shoot the puck, do what you do best and if youre going out there then just treat it like another hockey game.

For Lucic and many of the other veterans itll also be their first time skating in front of the Bruins fans in Providence, and they were all looking forward to the experience. For them its about soaking in the atmosphere, but for the younger generation of Bs prospects the scrimmage is about surviving until the next round of cuts.

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.