Morning Skate 223: Some leftovers from Calgary win

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Morning Skate 223: Some leftovers from Calgary win

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

VANCOUVER Its so far, so good for the Bruins.A piping hot Calgary Flames team was swallowed under by an energized Tim Thomas and a resurgent top line featuring David Krejci and Milan Lucic, and it was pretty clear the Bs put a size 12-boot to Calgarys momentum and puffed-out chests.Now comes the real test for the Bs, however: three off days in Vancouver including a ceremonial bobble-head night for Milan Lucic at a Vancouver Giants game on Friday night before a Saturday tilt against the Canucks, who had their doors blown off by the Montreal Canadiens Tuesday night.There will be plenty of talk about the sheer awesome force of the Canucks power play, the breakout year for Ryan Kesler and the Wonder Twin Powers of a Sedin Brother combination that just keeps getting better and better every single year.For now, a couple of numbers from last nights BruinsFlames games: Four blocked shots for Tomas Kaberle on Tuesday night, and five blocked shots overall in his first two games with the Bruins. Thats a good sign that Kaberle is going to really push defensively. Four takeaways for Patrice Bergeron, who only finished with an assist on the scoresheet but was a dominant player all over the ice against Calgary. A team-high five hits for Milan Lucic, who was playing with snarl, physicality and a noticeable chip on his shoulder against the Flames that hasnt consistently been there over the last couple of months for No. 17. 22:51 ice time for Tomas Kaberle, which lead the Bruins on Tuesday night and showed exactly how much of a workhorse the puck-moving defenseman can amount to for Boston.Onto the links:
Versus Network will be putting together some special NHL trade deadline programming another good sign of how much more intensive their NHL coverage just keeps on getting. Spector takes a look around the hockey world and gets a round-up on all of the rumors percolating around the NHL. Peter Stastny blows a gasket on a St. Louis radio station and crushed Colorado management for ripping apart an Avalanche team with their Erik Johnson deal of last week. NBC's Pro Hockey Talk spills the details. I cant wait until How I Met Your Mother gets hold of this Don Cherry rap video, and gives it the Robin Sparkles treatment. Looks like the Canucks are circling the wagons and getting ready for a statement game this weekend against the Bruins. The Black and Gold had best be prepared. A well-done SI.com video piece on the rehabilitation of Mike Danton, who went to prison for attempting to arrange the killing of his Svengali-like former junior hockey coach. Danton is hoping to get back into pro hockey now that hes out of jail. Newsday with some deep thoughts after Eric Staal completely obliterated brother Marc Staal with a heavy hockey hit when the Hurricanes and Rangers met on Tuesday night. Its time for the Ducks and Kings to stand up and be counted in the Western Conference, or get busy with their golf vacations.

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.