B's prospects scrimmage at development camp


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

Haggerty: So what exactly has happened to the Bruins-Habs rivalry?


Haggerty: So what exactly has happened to the Bruins-Habs rivalry?

BRIGHTON, MASS -- It didn’t take last season’s embarrassing Winter Classic result to figure out something has been missing from the storied, legendary Bruins-Canadiens rivalry over the last few years.

The last traces of the latest, great incarnation of the B’s-Habs rivalry were clearly still there a couple of seasons ago when the two hockey clubs met in the second round of the playoffs. After falling short the last few times the teams met in the postseason, Boston was summarily dismissed by Montreal in Game 7 on their own home ice during that series. The following season the B’s simply had so many of their own players struggling to put out a consistent effort, so the games against the Habs didn’t really register highly on the importance scale, and last season both Boston and Montreal suffered through subpar seasons that saw them each fall short of the playoffs.

Since the second round loss to the Habs in the 2013-14 playoffs, the Bruins are 2-7 while being outscored by a 31-18 margin in nine regular season meetings over the last two seasons in an incredibly one-sided chapter in the two teams’ shared history. The real lack of competitiveness has been a noticeable lack of deep emotion or ill will on the ice between the two hockey clubs, and that is very different from the recent past when signature players like Milan Lucic, P.K. Subban and Shawn Thornton were card-carrying members of healthy hate that regularly spilled out on the ice between the two rival NHL organizations.

Instead it will probably be new blood that breathes glorious, hard-edged life into the history between the two Original Six teams, and new personalities like David Backes, Shea Weber and Andrew Shaw are likely to do just that. Certainly the Canadiens wanted to be much more difficult to play against in recruiting players like Shaw and Weber, and, their presence along with the offensively explosive Alex Radulov, could make it a tough matchup for the Black and Gold.

Either way, the Bruins are curious to see what the matchup looks like this season with the electric P.K. Subban removed from the mix as one of the classic Habs villain-type characters from a Boston perspective.

“It’s always fun to play Montreal at home, or in Montreal. This will be our second time counting the preseason, and our first time at the Garden. It’s going to be pretty cool,” said David Krejci. “When you say any NHL team there are a few names that pop out for that team, and [P.K. Subban] was definitely one of them [for Montreal]. But P.K. is gone, and now it’s Shea Weber. So it’s going to be a little different, but he’s a hell of a player as well so it isn’t going to be any easier.

“It’s a big game. It’s a division game. We don’t want to take any game lightly within the 82 games because you don’t know what can happen at the end. When those games against [Montreal] are done you always feel like you’ve played two games, and not just one. It’s high intensity, and it’s obviously a rivalry that you get up for.”

As Bruins head coach Claude Julien would say it, things are a bit too civilized between the two enemy teams when thinking back to the days of Georges Laraque chasing Milan Lucic around the ice challenging him a fight on the Bell Centre ice, or the awful epoch in B’s-Habs history when Zdeno Chara clobbered Max Pacioretty with a dangerous, injury-inducing hit into the stanchion area.

Nobody is looking for players to get hurt on borderline plays when the two teams suit up on Saturday night, but something to introduce a new chapter into the Boston-Montreal rivalry would be a good thing for both teams, a good thing for the fans and a potentially great thing for an NHL that prides itself on good, old-fashioned rivalries.

“We need to make sure that we’re ready to play [on Saturday]. I like the way that we’ve played so far, and except for Toronto we’ve managed to compete with all of the teams that we’ve played against,” said Julien. “I don’t know if it’s going to stay that way, but I’m going to use the word that [the rivalry] has been more civilized for the last few years. There hasn’t been as much of the sideshow as there has been [in the past].

“I think there’s still a lot of hatred between the two organizations when they meet, but I think the way the game is trending, and how costly that penalties can be in a game, both teams are a little cautious in that way. I still think there is great intensity and both teams get up for the games, so hopefully that happens tomorrow, and the fans get to see a good game.”

One thing that should ensure a good, familiar showdown with plenty of hard-hitting and honest-to-goodness rivalry-like behavior: both the Canadiens and Bruins are off to strong starts at the top of the Atlantic Division in the first couple of weeks this season, and there are some new faces that are undoubtedly going to want to announce their presence for these Bruins-Habs tilts with authority.

Let’s hope this happens because last season’s Bruins-Habs games needed a pair of jumper cables and 1.21 jigowatts of electricity to shock them back into their elevated level of intensity, and that’s when hockey is served best after all. 

Friday, Oct. 21: Pee-wee push-ups draw coach’s punishment


Friday, Oct. 21: Pee-wee push-ups draw coach’s punishment

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while anxiously awaiting a Cleveland/Chicago Cubs World Series showdown with all of the Red Sox subplots that could be involved.

*A peewee hockey coach in Quebec has been given a season-long suspension for punishing his players with hundreds of push-ups.

*The NHL game has changed radically over the last 11 years as Henrik Lundqvist has been a fixture for the New York Rangers.

*A lot has changed since Jaromir Jagr scored his first goal in 1990 and this article is worth it for the Jagr mullet picture alone.

*PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jason Brough says that a healthy Brandon Sutter has been a difference-maker for the Canucks.

*Carey Price is back in net for the Montreal Canadiens, and that makes the Habs a new team as they prepare for the Bruins on Saturday.

*This is what it looks like when you’ve completely given up on just about everything else except for being a hockey fan. So very gross.

*For something completely different: The Doctor Strange cast is being forced into answering some tough questions at the premiere of what is essentially a comic book movie.