Bruins scrimmage key for younger players

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Bruins scrimmage key for younger players

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com 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 jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Bruins cancel practice to 'regroup' after bad loss to Islanders

Bruins cancel practice to 'regroup' after bad loss to Islanders

BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins were supposed to hit the ice for the eighth day in a row on Tuesday following their empty 4-0 loss to the New York Islanders on Monday afternoon, but those plans were scrubbed.

The reeling Black and Gold instead cancelled practice, with only Matt Beleskey, Jimmy Hayes and Zane McIntyre taking the ice at Warrior Ice Arena and the rest of the B’s hitting the giant reset button after an embarrassing loss.

“I think it’s one of those [things] where you’ve got to regroup and recharge the batteries, and feel better,” said Patrice Bergeron. “Maybe a little bit of fatigue was part of it [Monday vs. the Isles] and you use a day like today to look forward, look at videos and be better the next day. It happens today and we have another game tomorrow [against Detroit].”

While it is true that the Bruins and Winnipeg Jets have played more games than anybody else in the NHL in this wacky season with a condensed schedule, the B’s leaders weren’t having it as an excuse with both the Maple Leafs and Senators holding an incredible six games in hand on Boston. Blown opportunities against bad opponents are exactly the recipe for missing the playoffs, as they have in each of the past two seasons, and the Bruins are tracking to do that again.

“All of the teams are in the same situation. It’s about managing and finding ways to be at your best every night and in every game. Yes, maybe [the condensed schedule] is part of it, but you can’t just put the blame on that. We’re professionals and we need to show up every game.”

The Bruins didn’t show up against the Islanders on Monday afternoon and basically pulled their second no-show vs. the Isles on home ice this season. There’s no excuse for that given the B’s current situation battling for the postseason. 

Maybe a day off the ice will improve that situation and maybe it’s simply rewarding a team that didn’t earn it on Monday afternoon, but the B’s have to hope it’s much more of the former than the latter. 

Tuesday, Jan. 17: Hershey Star Wars jerseys raise big bucks

Tuesday, Jan. 17: Hershey Star Wars jerseys raise big bucks

Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading, while feeling like Felicity Jones could have been a little better on SNL last weekend. It didn’t feel like it was the right platform for her and she was just straight reading the cue cards in her monologue.  

*Congrats to the Hershey Bears, who raised over $42,000 for charity with their Empire-inspired Star Wars jerseys from last weekend.

*When Bruins winger Brad Marchand begins to score his value goes way, way up, according to TSN stat maven Scott Cullen.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Mike Harrington wants the Buffalo Sabres to get into “attack mode” rather than the passive mode they’ve been in for some time.

*A discussion about the NHL trade deadline and which players are likely to get moved still weeks and weeks away from that deadline.

*The Winnipeg Jets are searching for answers after another loss, and have called upon Ondrej Pavelec in a move of desperation.

*Funny commercial with Brent Burns and Joe Thornton, who have to be the ultimate bosom, bearded buddies in the NHL.

*For something completely different: as the next Lando, Donald Glover understands why the character is vital to the Star Wars universe.