Ference, Kampfer won't travel to Montreal


Ference, Kampfer won't travel to Montreal

By Danny Picard

WILMINGTON -- With Patrice Bergeron back at practice on Monday, Mark Recchi was the only non-injured Bruins player missing. Recchi was given a "personal day," according to coach Claude Julien.

Recchi will be available on Tuesday night in Montreal, but injured defensemen Andrew Ference (lower body) and Steve Kampfer (concussion) won't travel with the team.

Ference has missed the last four games and was scheduled to resume skating by Monday. Julien said after practice that Ference hasn't hit the ice yet, not even on his own, but that could change soon.

"We had predicted Sunday or maybe today, but he's not quite there yet," said Julien. "It really is a day-to-day situation. So depending on how it's going to go today, he could skate tomorrow, it could be the day after. He's getting closer."

Kampfer left Thursdays game against Tampa Bay early with a mild concussion that he suffered after being hit hard in his own corner by Mattias Ritola.

The original timetable for Kampfer was for him to miss "at least a week." But after Monday's practice, Kampfer didn't sound as optimistic, saying that the off-and-on headaches he was still dealing with forced him to say he "didn't know" when he'd return.

"It's the occasional headache that still bothers you, and that's about it," said Kampfer, who hopes to start riding the stationary bike in the next couple of days. "It's frustrating. They'll go away for a couple of hours and then they'll come back. But it's getting better as time goes on.

Kampfer has had time to watch Ritola's hit from Thursday night, and while he didn't think it was a dirty play, he does believe the refs made a mistake by not calling a penalty.

"I didn't think it was a dirty hit," said Kampfer. "I was squared to the puck. My body was turning up ice. I just didn't think he was ever going to play the puck. You watch the tape, and when your stick's at your waist, you're not playing the puck. I mean, he was going for a highlight hit, and I gave it to him.

"I think it's a penalty, but I'm also biased of the hit. For him, it's a good hit. I just think it resulted in an interference. There was no way he was going to try and play that puck. But at the end of the day, that's how the game's played. So I just hope I get better."

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.

Friday, July 29: Good signs in Bruins-Marchand negotiations


Friday, July 29: Good signs in Bruins-Marchand negotiations

Here are the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while using “malarkey” in my day-to-day vocabulary as much as possible. 
-- Dale Tallon was promoted with the Florida Panthers to accentuate his strengths as a talent evaluator, but maintains that he still has final say on hockey decisions
-- PHT writer Cam Tucker has another young D-man off the board with the Wild’s Matthew Dumba signing a two year, $5.1 million deal with Minnesota
-- In the interest of self-promotion, here’s my take on the negotiations between Brad Marchand and the Bruins: There’s a couple of good signs at the outset of negotiations
-- The Arizona Coyotes are stressing the defensive side of things in a big, big way, and it appears to be part of John Chayka’s master plan

 -- Alex Pietrangelo would be a natural selection to replace David Backes as the next captain of the St. Louis Blues. 

-- A moving letter from Sens forward Bobby Ryan to his recently passed mother is up at the Players Tribune website. 

-- Chris Kreider has re-signed with the New York Rangers, and plans to get out of his head and onto the score sheet more often. 
-- For something completely different: Jerod Mayo will bring a new voice to Tom E. Curran’s Quick Slants program on our very own CSN network. 


List of Bruins prospects includes two familiar names


List of Bruins prospects includes two familiar names

With decidedly Boston-sounding names and thoroughly familiar faces, given their resemblances to their ex-Bruin dads, it might have been easy to overlook Ryan Donato and Ryan Fitzgerald and focus on the truly little-known prospects at Development Camp earlier this month.

But on the ice, their brimming confidence, their offensive skills and the maturity to their all-around game was impossible to ignore.

When it was over, general manager Don Sweeney singled out Donato, who plays at Harvard, and Fitzgerald, from Boston College -- along with Notre Dame forward Anders Bjork and former Boston University defenseman Matt Grzelcyk -- as players who have developed significantly.
“[They're] just comfortable in what they’re doing,” said Sweeney. “I mean, they’ve played at the college hockey level . . . two, three, four years with some of these kids. They’re very comfortable in their own skin and in what they do.”
Donato, 20, is actually coming off his first season at Harvard, where he posted 13 goals and 21 points in 32 games. He looked like he was in midseason form during Development Camp, showing off a scoring touch, skill with the puck on his stick in tight traffic, and the instincts to anticipate plays that allow him to beat defenders to spots in the offensive zone. He’s primed for a giant sophomore season with the Crimson, based on his showing at camp.
“Every year is a blast," said Donato, son of former Bruins forward and current Harvard coach Ted Donato. "You just come in [to development camp] with an open mindset where you soak everything up from the coaches like a sponge, and see what they say. Then I just do my best to incorporate it into my game and bring it with me to school next year.
“One of the things that [Bruins coaches and management] has said to me -- and it’s the same message for everybody -- is that every area of your game is an important one to develop. The thing about the NHL is that every little detail makes the difference, and that’s what I’ve been working on whether it’s my skating, or my defensive play. Every little piece of my game needs to be developed.”
Then there's Fitzgerald, 21, who is entering his senior season at BC after notching 24 goals and 47 points in 40 games last year in a real breakout season. The 2013 fourth-round pick showed speed and finishing ability during his Development Camp stint and clearly is close to being a finished hockey product at the collegiate level.
“It was good. It’s definitely a fun time being here, seeing these guys and putting the logo on,” said Fitzgerald, son of former Bruins forward Tom Fitzgerald, after his fourth Development Camp. “One thing I’m focusing on this summer is getting stronger, but it’s also about just progressing and maturing.
“I thought . . . last year [at BC] was a pretty good one, so I just try to build off that and roll into my senior season. [The Bruins] have told me to pretty much continue what I’m doing in school. When the time is right I’ll go ahead [and turn pro], so probably after I graduate I’ll jump on and make an impact.”
Fitzgerald certainly didn’t mention or give any hints that it could happen, but these days it has to give an NHL organization a bit of trepidation anytime one of their draft picks makes it all the way to their senior season. There’s always the possibility of it turning into a Jimmy Vesey-type situation if a player -- like Fitzgerald -- has a huge final year and draws enough NHL interest to forego signing with the team that drafted him for a shot at free agency in the August following his senior season.
It may be a moot point with Fitzgerald, a Boston kid already living a dream as a Bruins draft pick, but it’s always a possibility until he actually signs.
In any case, both Donato and Fitzgerald beat watching in their respective college seasons after both saw their development level take a healthy leap forward.