Familiar with Bruins' system, Peverley fits right in

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Familiar with Bruins' system, Peverley fits right in

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com

WILMINGTON -- All Rich Peverley wants to do is fit in and fill a role.

The newly-acquired forward practiced with the Bruins Sunday for the first time since being traded from the Atlanta Thrashers on Friday.

Unlike Tomas Kaberle, he didn't play on Friday night in Ottawa. And unlike Kaberle, his role, entering Boston, isn't to be a force on the team's top power-play unit.

But after skating with his new club on Sunday, Peverley's role is at least penciled in, as coach Claude Julien said after practice that he'll play the left wing on the third line with Chris Kelly and Michael Ryder.

He'll be taking the spot of Blake Wheeler, who was traded to the Thrashers, along with defenseman Mark Stuart. Peverley has 14 goals and 20 assists in 59 games this season, as opposed to Wheeler's 11 goals and 16 assists in 58 games.

His goal, however, is to be solid on both ends of the ice, something the Bruins are looking for more of down the stretch.

"I've always tried to chip in, offensively, but at the same time, I thought I could be a pretty good defensive player," said Peverley. "I think this year, my plus-minus isn't the greatest, so it's been tough . . . That's the part of my game that I always try to work on and get better at.

"Offensively, I try to use my speed, and get as many shots as I can. At the same time, I want to create offense."

Peverley will be able to do that under a system that he knows pretty well, thanks to Atlanta coach Craig Ramsay, who took Julien's system with him to the Thrashers this season, after three season's as Boston's assistant coach.

"Their system, in Atlanta, is almost identical to ours," said Julien. "I just went through it with Peverley. Basically, Ramsay, obviously, didn't mind the way we were playing here, enough that he brought it with him. They're doing a lot of the same things, over there."

That will make it easier for Peverley to fit in, and help the Bruins reach their ultimate goal.

"The trade was a bit of a surprise, but Craig Ramsey told me I was going to a team that has a chance to win," said Peverley. "It's a great thrill to play with a really historic organization, and coming to a team that has a chance to go pretty far in the playoffs.

"Ramsey brought some things that were some adjustments for guys in Atlanta. There was a little bit of a period there where guys were having some time to adjust. But having that familiarity with a guy that was here last year, I think that definitely helps."

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard. You can listen to Danny on his streaming radio show I'm Just Sayin' Monday-Friday from 9-10 a.m. on CSNNE.com.

Heinen coming up big with Bruins' roster openings on the wing

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Heinen coming up big with Bruins' roster openings on the wing

BRIGHTON, Mass. – Danton Heinen has to know he’s got a fair shot to win an NHL job out of B’s training camp if he plays with confidence and assertiveness. 

So far, that little Black and Gold carrot has served him well in the preseason. The 21-year-old winger has scored a goal in each of his first two preseason appearances for the Bruins. He will be pushed back into the lineup again vs. the Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on Saturday night.

The difference this time around is Claude Julien will be behind the bench once again for the Bruins after his time with the World Cup of Hockey and the B’s lineup will start to take on more of a real NHL feel with David Pastrnak and David Backes entering the mix.

Julien has liked what he’s seen thus far out of the University of Denver product, and clearly he’ll keep getting looks as long as the production and good work ethic are there.

“I think he’s been a real good player. He’s a smart player that seems to be heady and sees the play well. He seems to be in the right place and understands the game,” said Julien. “The hockey sense is something that you either have or you don’t, and I think he has great hockey sense. It certainly makes a great hockey player. I’ve liked him so far and I’m looking forward to seeing more of him.”

One other thing is certain: wing positions are open on the roster with Frankie Vatrano out for three months and Jimmy Vesey sharpening his skates at Madison Square Garden as a New York Ranger.

“We have to keep an open mind.  Frank Vatrano is hurt, and we kind of felt that he was going to have a really good start to this year. His confidence seemed to be at its highest, and the World Championships were good for him,” said Julien. “We have to look at what we have for a replacement. We went after Jimmy Vesey and we didn’t get him. So there are some spots that are open, and there’s no doubt about it.

“I’m going to be looking at compete level and I’ll be watching for the next three games to see who can fit in those spots. There are open spots, so it’s not cut-and-dried like a lot of years when it has been.”

Clearly, the high-end offensive skill is there after posting 36 goals and 93 points in his first two years at the University of Denver prior to going pro, and Heinen has a dollop of pro experience after getting into three AHL games with Providence at the end of last season. 

The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder showed off the playmaking ability setting up his teammates for chances in Friday night’s win over the Red Wings, and then finally scoring at crunch time in the third period when the coaching staff moved Zach Senyshyn to his opposite wing.

Both of his goals in this preseason have been tying scores in the third that factored prominently in the game’s outcome. That’s been impressive for a young prospect in his very first NHL camp.

But Heinen claims there is still more to come in his game, and that’s encouraging. He’s just starting to get comfortable as a player that uses his vision, hockey IQ and passing to generate loads of scoring chances when he’s on the ice.

“I feel pretty good. I’ve felt better as things have gone on, and I felt better [on Friday against Detroit] than I did in the first game,” said Heinen, who finished just behind a couple of guys named Jack Eichel and Dylan Larkin for the NCAA scoring title as a freshman a couple of years ago. “I just need to keep getting better. I think I have a lot more to give. I’m just trying to put my best foot forward, and we’ll see what happens.

“I think I’ve rushed a few plays where I feel like I could hang onto [the puck] and make a smarter play. So it’s little things like that. As I play a little more then I get more comfortable hanging onto it, so I hope to do a little more than that.”

It will also be interesting to see how Heinen responds to again being in the B’s lineup on Saturday for back-to-back, physical preseason games when the NCAA schedule can be a bit more spaced with weekend games. 

There are other candidates like Jake DeBrusk and Zachary Senyshyn that have enjoyed solid training camps to date for the Bruins, but it feels like Heinen is starting to push ahead for one of those winger roster spots Julien has in mind as he watches these final four exhibition games leading into the regular season. 
 

Saturday, Oct. 1: Vesey's New York state of mind

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Saturday, Oct. 1: Vesey's New York state of mind

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while gearing up for Big Papi weekend.

 
*A “behind-the-scenes” look as Jimmy Vesey was sold on the New York Rangers, but there’s not too much detail about the pitches from the other teams. Feels pretty apparent at this point that Vesey wanted to live, and work, in New York City.

*Damien Cox says that the World Cup of Hockey better get it right the next time, or else…or else what, Damien? You’re going to block them on Twitter?

*PHT writer Joey Alfieri has Patrick Kane, Erik Karlsson and P.K. Subban making their preseason debuts on Saturday. David Backes and David Pastrnak will play their first preseason games for the Bruins as well.  

*It’s a complicated, strange story with Vladimir Sobotka, the KHL and the contract he seemingly can’t get out of to again play for the St. Louis Blues.

*Oliver Ekman-Larsson is ready to get back to work with the Arizona Coyotes after his World Cup experience.

*San Jose Sharks prospect Timo Meier is out for the next month with mono, which is definitely worse timing than Zach Senyshyn getting hit with the mononucleosis bomb over the summer.

*A quick look at the Philadelphia Flyers in advance of their preseason meeting with the Black and Gold tonight, which won’t be televised.

*For something completely different: there will be some pretty funky stuff happening on The Walking Dead this season.