Fifteen thoughts from Bruins BlackWhite scrimmage

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Fifteen thoughts from Bruins BlackWhite scrimmage

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs

PROVIDENCE - Here are ten thoughts from the first period of the BlackWhite scrimmage with the Black team holding a slim 1-0 lead after the first 20 minutes.

1) Alex Khokhlachev has been a little hit or miss as the youngest plauer in Bruins camp, but he showed exactly what makes him special in the first real game action. Koko took a pass from Dennis Seidenberg after the defenseman carried the puck into the corner, and clinked a sniper shot just under the cross bar for the game's first goal. While Khokhlachev still has work to do in order to become a finished product, he flashed early tonight.

2) Loudest ovations for Brad Marchand, Tim Thomas and Johnny Boychuk during the pregame introductions here in Providence. The certainly love their former P-Bruins here at the Dunkin Donuts Center.

3) Dougie Hamilton looked a little nervous early, but he settled down nicely as the first period moved on. Hamilton threw a nice hip check in front of the White bench that served notice he already knows how to use his 6-foot-5 frame.

4) Good effort and fore-checking from Max Sauve while skating on a kiddie line with Jared Knight and David Krejci. It's pretty clear Krejci is enjoying some of the young offensive weapons being trotted out during training camp.

5) No goals allowed and six saves by Tim Thomas in his first 20 minutes of hockey this season. He's clearly well on his way to another Vezina, Conn Smythe and Stanely Cup.

Here are five thoughts from the second period of the Bruins Black and White scrimmage at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence with the score tied up at 1-1 after 40 minutes.

1) Dont tell NHL graybeard Chris Clark that this is just a friendly scrimmage. Clark is playing like he wants a job and upped his intensity in the second period. Clark and Tyler Seguin banged around in the corner during one exchange with Seguin falling to the ice while losing puck possession and then slamming his stick to the boards after he made it back to the bench. Then Clark took a couple of wild two-handed chops at Colby Cohen in the closing seconds of the second period and was whistled off for slashing. Thats the kind of intensity that the feel-good Bruins camp can certainly use.

2) Ryan Spooner tucked a puck underneath Tim Thomas pads early in the second period, and simply continues to create offense whenever hes on the ice. The 19-year-old might end up headed back to junior hockey at the end of camp, but hes going to make the decision ultra-tough fro the Bs front office.

3) Brad Marchand and David Krejci opened the second period as a penalty killing unit and looked like it was man against boys as they played keep away with the Black Team on the man advantage. Thats a skilled, gritty combo to look at as regular PK partners that could really be lethal to teams trying to attack with a sloppy power play.

4) Heavy hitting by Matt Bartkowski on Jared Knight that knocked the 19-year-olds helmet off by the side boards. Bartkowski is a guy that needs to step up and be noticed this season at training camp, and thats a good way to have it happen after he appeared a little overmatched during his short NHL stints.

5) A too many men on the ice penalty for assistant coach Geoff Wards White Team at the end of the second period. Does that mean Claude Julien will make Ward skate a few Herbies at practice tomorrow?

Here are five thoughts from third period of the BlackWhite scrimmage with the Black Team taking the 4-1 victory at the Dunkin Donuts Center.

1) Two goals for Alex Khokhlachev tonight. He's showed the ability to finish and the willingness to attack the net as advertised. May not be much of a practice player at this point, but he showed up tonight.

2) A couple of assists for Colby Cohen, who looks like he could help the defensemen corps at some point with his good vision and creativity.

3) Looked like Milan Lucic and Rich Peverley were going at it a bit there in the third period after Looch was called for a boarding penalty. Might as well start getting their nasty up now.

4) Good look by Tyler Seguin on Lane MacDermid backdoor goal in the third period. Pretty one-sided for the Black Team throughout the game.

5) Anton Khudobin didn't have a ton of shots against, but he keeps stopping pucks just like the guy he's sometimes compared to: Tim Thomas.

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

Bruins sign Kevan Miller to four-year, $10 million deal

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Bruins sign Kevan Miller to four-year, $10 million deal

BOSTON -- The Bruins locked up a piece to a blue line that was godawful last season in announcing they’d signed Kevan Miller to a four-year, $10 million contract.

They also retained one of their own young restricted free agents, center Seth Griffith, by reaching agreement on a one-year, two-way deal with an NHL value of $625,000 per season.

Miller, 28, played in a career-high 71 games last season -- his third with the Bruins -- and established career highs in goals (5), assists (13), points (18) and penalty minutes (53). He also posted the second-best plus/minus rating on the team (plus-15) and generally seemed to be playing his best hockey down the stretch.

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Miller was also forced into playing 19:04 of ice time per night while oftentimes serving as a top-pair D-man alongside Zdeno Chara. That resulted in a high number of mistakes and turnovers at critical times against the opposition’s best offensive players.

The rugged, hardnosed Miller obviously isn’t going to be judged solely by the numbers. He's also evaluated by the big hits, blocked shots and air of intimidation in the defensive zone. That said, a four-year contract is a bit of a head-scratcher, given that Miller wasn’t expected to command that kind of deal as an unrestricted free agent on the open market.

That four-year deal, which carries a yearly cap hit of $2.5 million, would also seem to hint at the impending exodus of Adam McQuaid or Dennis Seidenberg, or both, given the number of limited stay-at-home defensemen on the roster now making decent NHL money.  

The bottom line: Miller’s contract will be a good one if he can settle into a steady, top-four role. But it will be another overpay if he winds up being the bottom-pairing D-man many see him as at the NHL level.

Griffith had 24 goals and 53 assists for 77 points in 57 games for the Providence Bruins last season, and also had an assist in four games for Boston. He'll get another chance this year to compete for one of the winger jobs at the NHL level with plenty of competition.

Morning Skate: Following Bruins prospect DeBrusk and former All-Star Thornton

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Morning Skate: Following Bruins prospect DeBrusk and former All-Star Thornton

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while thoroughly enjoying “Chewbacca Mom.”

*Good piece on Bruins first round pick Jake DeBrusk, and his solid performance during Memorial Cup play.

*A couple of my friends over at NHL.com have attempted to put together a World Cup of Hockey roster for North America.

*Good piece by FOH (Friend of Haggs) Craig Custance on Jumbo Joe Thornton, and what those who know him best say about him.

*Speaking of the Sharks/Blues conference finals, Vladimir Tarasenko is scoreless through the first five games of the series. That doesn’t bode well for the Blues.

*Actor Will Arnett proves that nobody is better at predicting the outcome of Stanley Cup playoff games than him.

*Longtime Director of Player Personnel Scott Luce is out with the Florida Panthers as their restructuring continues in this spring and summer.

*Gustav Nyquist is disappointing with his scoring numbers from last season, and is looking for a bump up next year.

*For something completely different: Chewbacca Mom visited with James Corden on late night television, and the results were both funny and kind of heartwarming.