By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
BOSTON -- It appears it will go down to game time for a decision on Benoit Pouliot and Jordan Caron as it did for opening night against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Caron got the call and Pouliot never made it onto the ice for pregame warm-up when it came to decision time on the left wing spot for Bostons third line, but the results werent there for team or individual. Caron never really made much of an impression skating with Chris Kelly and Tyler Seguin, and Claude Julien remarked the next day that perhaps the 20-year-old was a little more tentative than hed been during the pre-season.
He played 10:20 of ice time in the first game and didnt have a single shot on net, but Caron felt like he played within the system even if he didnt jump off the page when perusing the stat sheet postgame.
I dont think it was a bad game. It was more of a normal game. I think I did the little things pretty well, but it was just okay. I thought I played a pretty good game defensively and both Seguin and I had some pretty good chances offensively, said Caron. The competition pushes you harder and you know that you cant even take a day off during practice. I know I need to go 100 percent and its been a pretty good battle.
Pouliot admitted on Friday hes still adjusting to the Bruins offensive and defensive systems, and may need a few more games to become fully integrated into the Black and Gold way of doing things.
So Caron may get another chance to prove himself against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night given the aberrational nature of opening night paired with the banner-raising ceremony. Julien stressed that any decisions made in the ensuing games including tonights tilt against the Bolts would have nothing to do with the results from Thursday night.
I dont think I would make any changes based on the result of the game, or the way the game was played, said Julien. I dont think I would ever do that. I didnt think we played well as a team, but thats about where Id leave that.
Should be a few interesting calls for the Bs lineup with Julien having at least the RaskThomas and CaronPouliot decision on his hands entering a game against a very good Tampa hockey club.
Joe Haggerty can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs
BRIGHTON, Mass. – Anton Blidh plans on keeping things pretty straightforward on his first call-up to the NHL.
The former sixth-round pick of the Bruins has earned his stripes at the AHL level with Providence over the last couple of seasons, and comes to Boston as a gritty, energy forward capable of stirring things up in otherwise sleepy games. There’s also a bit of offensive upside for a fourth line-type player with five goals and nine points with 22 penalty minutes and a plus-eight rating in 19 games for the P-Bruins this season.
It remains to be seen if the Blidh call-up means that the Bruins intend to scratch a player or that somebody is questionable for Saturday afternoon’s game in Buffalo, but Patrice Bergeron did miss Friday’s practice without any real defined reason for his absence. The 21-year-old Swede said he plans to play to his strengths if he gets into the lineup for the Black and Gold, and that could mean getting under the skin of his Sabres opponents.
“It’s my first time called up, so I’m happy,” said Blidh, who was asked what he'll bring if he gets into the lineup. “I’ll just play simple and play my own game: be hard on the puck and play with some energy. I worked hard [in Providence] and then I got some confidence. I’m not a goal-scorer, but I scored a couple of goals and got some confidence.”
Claude Julien hasn’t been able to catch up Blidh’s work since the season got started, but was pleased by the youngster’s progress in training camp, where he earned notice for his feisty, physical play on a line with Noel Acciari.
“They said he’s playing well, so they brought him up. We’ll get to see him, hopefully tomorrow,” said Julien. “I didn’t hear a ton of fine details aside from him being a guy that was certainly playing with a lot of energy. I didn’t mind him in training camp either. He works really hard and competes hard, and we could use that.”
That would certainly be the case after watching the Bruins go through the motions for long stretches Thursday night against Carolina before essentially stealing a game that they didn’t deserve to win.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading, while everybody in New England is in mourning over the latest Gronk booboo.
*A pretty neat sharpshooting video with Jonathan Toews and that young whippersnapper Auston Matthews squaring off against each other.
*Craig Custance looks a little deeper into the situation with the Florida Panthers and how things are stabilizing after the rough firing of Gerard Gallant last week.
*Now. let’s get to the real important stuff: the San Jose Sharks website has put together their Movember rankings for the player’s mustaches.
*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Bruce Garrioch says that the plans for an outdoor game in Ottawa are again back on the NHL’s agenda.
*Erik Erlendsson has put together a “Lightning Insider” website where you can find all the latest news about the Tampa Bay franchise. Check it out.
*As guys such as Anton Khudobin prove when they’re thrust into the starting spot, backup goalies matter in today’s NHL.
*For something completely different: a mash-up of Kylo Ren and “Girls” from the mad mind of Adam Driver is exactly just that.