B's prospects scrimmage at development camp

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B's prospects scrimmage at development camp

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
WILMINGTON The Bruins wrapped up Day No. 4 of their development camp with a team-wide scrimmage between a Black and White squad that had plenty of interesting developments among the players.

The Black Team finished with a 3-1 victory courtesy of goals from Justin Florek, Alex Fallstrom and Brian Ferlin. It was a pretty solid day from Florek and Ferlin as theyve flown under the radar at development camp.

Anthony Camara had the single score for the White Team proving hes more than simply a hockey brawler, and goalie Michael Hutchinson managed to get through the entire scrimmage without a single score against him.

It was choppy a little bit at the first start, but once somebody scores a goal you start to make some plays and guys kind of settle in," said Don Sweeney. "Thats where the hockey sense and the stuff that our scouts and people see all year long starts to materialize. Thats probably the enjoyable thing. Thats not the main focus of this camp, but its always a nice little piece towards the end of it. You kind of see these kids in the setting that theyre most comfortable in while the games being played.

I thought the Ferlin line created an awful lot and did a real good job on the cycle, and obviously Florek had the one opportunity and buried it. You like to see that from the big man down around the front of the net. I thought all of our D moved the puck pretty well today and got involved in the offensive flow. Obviously, Anthony Camara scored a goal, so you like to see that from a guy who plays with a lot of bite. He can play on both sides of it. I thought the overall pace, you know, especially when weve only got two lines, was really, really good.

Other observations after watching the Baby Bs get out and actually play a game:

Dougie Hamilton definitely looks like an 18-year-old kid in his first pro camp and its pretty clear there is still some development that needs to take place. He was aggressive taking the puck up the ice and quick to snap off shots from the point, but he also found himself caught out of position defensively. His inability to cut off angles led to several breakaways down the other end, he was caught running around in his own end a couple of times and there werent many instances when he picked his head up to pass after corralling at the puck at the point. The fluid skating and big shot are very clearly there in abundance, but another year of junior hockey will do wonders for Hamilton physically. The future is bright, but there is work to be done. It also helped Hamilton that he was paired with the very steady, heady Tommy Cross, who is the elder statesmen among the players at camp entering his senior year at Boston College.

Marc Cantin isnt a player that jumps out at you in drills or on the stat sheet, but its difficult not to notice him during the games. He drilled 6-foot-3 Brian Ferlin during one rush up the ice while stopping the rush of the puck, and he forced a puck through the pads of Lars Volden. Hes a kid that earned a job in development camp last year and continues to show the kind of in-game skills that coaches loves.

Alex Fallstrom was one of the stars of the game despite being held off the scoreboard. Hes worked closely with John Whitesides since the end of last season at Harvard University and has really picked up his skating speed to go along with the hands and physicality already part of his game. He showed off the hands while dangling the puck through defenders for a scoring chance stopped by Hutchinson, and appears to be getting physically stronger as well. Might not be a top six forward, but ultimately could be a third or fourth liner capable of potting double-digit goals at the NHL level.

David Warsofsky and Ryan Button showed a lot of shake and bake in their defenseman game and both had plenty of wiggle skating through defenders to make offensive plays. Warsofsky set up Justin Floreks rebound goal in front of the net after faking shot and then moving with the puck to the middle point area its that kind of movement and creativity that was consistently missing from Bostons power play last season. Both guys will start the year in Providence, but could very easily be in Boston at some point during the season.

Justin Florek and Brian Ferlin used their size, strength and toughness to pile up some points in the scrimmage. Both players have gone virtually unnoticed by the media during the development camp, but each showed some offensive ability when it mattered most.

Michael Hutchinson looks well ahead of both Zane Gothberg and Lars Volden in his development as a goaltender, but thats to be expected given his age and AHL experience last year. Hutchinson made an outstanding stop on Josh Jooris during a penalty shot early in the scrimmage, and flashed a great glove hand for a 6-foot-3 goaltender. As Hutchinson matures he could provide a good young No. 3 behind Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask, and will battle it out with Anton Khudobin for that distinction this season.

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

Spooner on trade rumors: 'I definitely want to play here'

Spooner on trade rumors: 'I definitely want to play here'

BOSTON -- Ryan Spooner has definitely heard the reports out there that he’s being shopped in trade by the Boston Bruins, and he played like a guy that didn’t want to be moved in Monday’s win over the Florida Panthers at TD Garden.

Spooner had his good skating legs, created chances for his teammates and set up the third period goal that got the B’s into overtime when he flipped a shot at the net that was tipped in by David Backes while camped out around the crease. Spooner finished with an assist and a plus-1 rating along with five shot attempts in his 14:24 of ice time, and looked much more like the energized, creative player that was at the heart of some pretty good offensive things last season.

In other words, Spooner looked much more like the talented young player that finished with 13 goals and 49 points last season while centering the third line.

“I think there were five or six games there where I felt I wasn’t playing a bad game. Then six or seven games there where it was hard to get, I guess, the ice time that I wanted,” said Spooner. “At the end of the day, I’ve been a little bit inconsistent.

“I just have to go out there and use my speed and my skill and I found that in the game here. I thought that I did that and I just need to play with that, and I should be fine.”

Multiple sources have indicated to CSN New England that the Bruins are talking about a possible Ryan Spooner deal with multiple teams including the Carolina Hurricanes, San Jose Sharks and New York Islanders. Part of it is certainly the need for the Bruins to collect a bit more goal-scoring as Monday night’s win was just the eighth time in 26 games this season that Boston’s offense has scored more than two goals.

Part of it is also, however, a challenging season for Spooner where he’s been in and out of Claude Julien’s dog house while getting dropped to the fourth line at times, and even being left off the power play a handful of times as well. He’s played out of position at left wing rather than center and has underachieved to three goals and nine points in 25 games largely played with David Krejci and David Backes.

Whatever the history and the number of potential trade scenarios, Spooner said was “fed up” with all of it in his own words as he headed into Monday night’s game, and one thing remained true above all else: He wants to stick around as a member of the Bruins.

“I try to just put it in the back of my mind. When I was 17, I went through the same thing [in junior hockey]. I definitely want to play here,” said Spooner. “I want to help out and that’s kind of where I’m at now. If I play like I did [against the Panthers], I think I’ll be fine. I just want to go out, I want to help out, and that’s kind of where I’m at right now.”

The Black and Gold are looking for a top-6 forward capable of putting the puck in the net on the trade market in any possible deal involving Spooner, but it would seem that the 23-year can control his own destiny in Boston if he starts generating offense and putting the puck in the net. Spooner did just that on Monday night while setting up a third period goal, and lo and behold the Bruins offense posted four goals after struggling to get more than two for most of the season.

That could turn into the kind of trend that keeps Spooner in Boston if he knocks out the inconsistency in his game, and instead steps on the gas pedal and brings the speed and skill that got him to the NHL in the first place. 

Chara 'felt pretty good' in first game back

Chara 'felt pretty good' in first game back

BOSTON -- Zdeno Chara knew which question was coming, so he didn’t even wait for it to be asked in the postgame B’s dressing room.

“I felt pretty good for the first game. It was a good game to come back,” said Chara, who finished with a minus-1 rating in 23:31 of ice time. “Obviously, Florida is a very good skating team and it is always kind of challenging to play them. But I had no issues. It felt good to be back and, obviously, big win.”

Surprisingly the Bruins didn’t have many issues from a defensive standpoint in the six games that their captain missed with a lower body injury, and finished with a 3-2-1 record and 10 goals allowed in the aforementioned six games.

That was something Chara, off to the best start to a season in at least a couple of years, remarked on both right before and after returning to the B’s lineup on Monday.

“I was very proud. It was exciting to see how they battled and it’s never easy. Every game is a challenge and every game is a big game,” said Chara, who has one goal and six points along with a plus-11 rating in 20 games this season. “There’s never an easy game. But guys were battling. They were playing some hard opponents and they won some really big games by gutsy efforts.”

Still it was good to get Chara back into the mix as a top shutdown pairing with 20-year-old Brandon Carlo, and that allowed the rest of the defensive pieces to fall into place for the Black and Gold.

Clearly there was a little bit of rust on Chara after just practicing for a couple of days and he’ll really be pushed with so many games coming up in a short period of time, but it is nearly impossible to push the 39-year-old out of the lineup after he’s worked his way back in. The timing, the reads and the positioning will all get back to top form quickly for the 19-year veteran, but his coach thought it was a good first step with him while showing no issues moving around on his skates throughout the game.

“He played okay. It was his first game back and, you know, a lot of responsibility,” said Julien. “You expect guys to work themselves back in, and I think he did a good job.”

Now Chara will focus on working himself back into the rhythm he was in prior to the injury, and preparing his nearly 40-year-old body for the grinding schedule that awaits them for the rest of this month.