Julien gives weary Bruins the day off

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Julien gives weary Bruins the day off

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins InsiderFollow @hackswithhaggs
OTTAWA -- The Bruins will get a complete day off Thursday thats either well-deserved or woefully undeserved after a colorless offensive no-show against the Ottawa Senators in a 2-1 overtime loss that opened their preseason Wednesday night.

Claude Julien recognized what he saw on the ice. It looked like straight camp fatigue to the B's coach, and hegave rookies, veterans and fellow coaches a day away from the rink on Thursday as exhaustion appears to have crept into the training-camp proceedings. There were only a handful of skaters who had any jump heading into the matchup against the Senators at Scotiabank Place, and most of themwere the ones who had skipped the Black and White scrimmage in Providence 24 hours earlier.Defensemen Colby Cohen and Matt Bartkowski were both successful puck movers for 60-plus minutes, and the forward line of Shawn Thornton, Chris Kelly and Lane MacDermid was a force to be reckoned with on the ice all evening. But there were plenty of other players battling colds, fighting off tired legs or simply trying to overcome the energy-sappingexhaustion associated with such a short offseason.

There are moments this season when the B's coach will need to pull back the reigns after such a long Cup-winning campaign, and Julien decided to give them bit of rest during whats become a challenging training camp.

This is evaluation time, said Julien. I know guys are a little tired. Weve had five hard days in a row now, plus a lot of the guys that played Tuesdaynight in Providence also played against the Senators. So I think fatigue has set in a little bit, and youve got to take that into consideration. But the evaluation is there, thats what weve got to do and thats what did tonight against the Senators.

Weve got some guys that we have to cut some slack. They had a long playoff last year, and the veterans that took some time off to rest might not be in top shape. We can understand that. Well give them that timeand some of the guys playing tonight also have been playing since the rookie tournament. So well give them all some rest moving forward.

The rest comes on Thursday and should beexactly what the Bruins' doctorordered. The Bs are scheduled to play three exhibition games in the next four days including a pair of road games against the Canadiens, in Halifax and at the Bell Centre and need something approaching energetic efforts to gauge exactly what they are holdingfor potentialroster material.

That all should happen after everybody takes a giant breath on Thursday, and then exhales on Friday.

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

Bruins coaches: Czarnik a ‘Belichick-type hockey player’

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Bruins coaches: Czarnik a ‘Belichick-type hockey player’

BOSTON – Austin Czarnik is off to a good start at Bruins training camp.

He’s got points in each of the first two exhibition games and just the fact that he’s cracked the B’s lineup in both games tells you that the coaching staff wants to get a long, good look at the undersized forward.

But the 5-foot-9, 167-pound Czarnik brings more than simply a touch of the Napoleon complex after always being told that he was too small to make it to the elite levels of hockey. The 23-year-old clearly can score after posting 20 goals and 61 points in his first pro season in the AHL in Providence last season. He plays with heart, energy and a dogged determination when he’s hunting pucks on the fore-check.

But former P-Bruins head coach and current B’s assistant coach Bruce Cassidy says that Czarnik also brings something a little extra that New England Patriots fans will certainly appreciate.

“As far as being a player goes, he would be, to me, that [Bill] Belichick-type player that you could use in a lot of different situations,” said Cassidy, in clear reference to intelligent utility guys Troy Brown, Danny Woodhead, Julian Edelman and others that all filled different roles in their time with New England.

“He’s got a very, very high IQ, he’s a quick learner and very coachable,” Cassidy said. “So, he’s a guy you can move around, and he can play with different players. He can play on the penalty kill, he’s good on the power play and especially on the point.

“So there are a lot of different things. I think from night-to-night if you wanted to, you could move him around in your lineup and he could be effective for you. I know he’s a center, but it would be interesting to see if he could play the wing and be effective. That’s something we haven’t really seen. Is that something we maybe attempt down the road? I don’t know. I don’t want to speak out of turn, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he could handle it. He even played for us 6-on-5 as a defenseman with the goalie out. He’s just a smart player, and he understands the game very, very well.”

So, Czarnik is off to a good start in training camp with the Bruins, but we also saw the same thing from him last year as a rookie to pro hockey. 

Now, it’s about seeing whether a smaller player can finish strong as the competition heightens deeper into the preseason, and perhaps he can bring that versatility and feistiness to the NHL level in Boston. 

 

 

Thursday, Sept. 29: Oilers right where they belong

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Thursday, Sept. 29: Oilers right where they belong

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while looking forward to watching the Luke Cage Netflix series.

*The Cult of Hockey has no issues with yours truly ranking the Edmonton Oilers 29th out of 30 teams in my first preseason NHL power rankings.

*An interesting piece about Brian McGrattan and his battle with alcohol in his career as an NHL tough guy. I can honestly say having covered him a bit when he was in the Bruins organization that he was one of the scariest dudes I’ve ever talked to in an NHL dressing room. A nice guy, but very intense and always looked like he definitely enjoyed his work on the ice.

*Dennis Seidenberg hopped on with the Hockey Central crew today to talk about his new contract with the New York Islanders.

*PHT writer and Friend of Haggs (FOH) Mike Halford has Guy Boucher with some serious Dion Phaneuf love going on in Ottawa.

*Jack Eichel is oozing confidence and swagger in his second NHL season with Buffalo looking to make a big step up this season.

*Scott Burnside said that the World Cup of Hockey could be coming to an end tonight and I think most predict that it will with a little bit of an anticlimactic thud due to the sheer awesomeness of Team Canada.

*For something completely different: “Aleppo Moment” sounds like a great name for a rock band. Not so much for a Presidential candidate.