Prague with the Bruins: Morning skate sound

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Prague with the Bruins: Morning skate sound

By Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com

I spend most of morning skate in the media workroom today (it's not a long story, just not one worth explaining). But when the locker room is clear for media entry, the game is on.

Shawn Thornton is my first target. Luckily, he's in a fun mood. Big surprise there.

You've been talking about fourth line chemistry and how it's been a beautiful thing so far. Do you think this line will give you opportunities to get that 119 shots on net total up?
Laughs Up? That wasn't enough?

You know you're better than that.
Yeah, I hope so. Finally I have a centerman who will get me the puck, he's been looking for me all over the place. Begin always looked me off so . . . tries to look innocent. Now they're realizing I'm the dangerous guy in the line so they're probably going to get it to me a lot more. Teams might shadow me too because they know how dangerous I am.

Is that right? Huh.
Campbell has said he was bummed after last season that he didn't play as well as he had the year before. What have you seen from him so far?
I guess I gotta be serious on this question.

Yes, you do.
I think he's got a lot more skill than people give him credit for. He's got really good hands, good vision. He works really hard. We've had a little bit of chemistry in the couple of games we've played . . . it's been fun to play with him. He can skate and I know he's tough. He doesn't back down from anyone. So I'm looking forward to getting started with him.

Blake Wheeler is at a locker to the right.

You look like you're playing with a lot of intensity. How have you felt in the preseason as far as being physical is concerned?
I feel great. It's an area of my game that I wanted to work on a lot and I think it's an aspect that, if I can improve on it, it's going to help take me to the next level. Bringing a lot of energy every night contributes to that. You seem to play your best and play well when you have a lot of energy so I'm just trying to bring that every night and let the pieces fall where they may.

What were your other offseason goals?
I wanted to work on my shot a little bit . . . improve that . . . extend my range a little bit and be more of a threat in more places. Other than that, just look at the weak parts of my game and I thought being physical was definitely one that I could improve on. Hopefully that translates into good success.
What do you see as the most dangerous part of Phoenix's game?
Defensively I think they're very tough to play against. They have great goaltending and a good defensive core, so scoring goals is going to be tough. There's not going to be any easy goals out there, you gotta really work for them. As long as we bring the lunchpail tomorrow and bring that attitude that we're going to have to work hard and try to have more energy than them, it's gonna be a good game. We just can't take anything for granted or think anything's going to be easy.

Newly signed Bruin Brian McGrattan is hanging out in the same corner.

What was the moment like when business got taken care of . . . getting the deal out of the way?
I haven't signed it yet, so . . . gotta wait 'til we get back. But it's good because it was a really tough summer waiting around. You really sit and think about how great it is in this league and how much fun it is and stuff. So it's nice to be rewarded for hard work.

Talk about the guys here in Boston, getting adjusted.
It's more or less been a good group of guys to get to know. It's a fun group to try and gel with. Hockey systems are hockey systems. I've been learning them my whole life so, everything's kind of the same when you get up to this level. A couple of things are different on every team but more or less it's all the same. It's more or less just getting involved and getting to know the guys.

As far as the games go, Phoenix will be coming in fierce, looking to prove that playoff run was legit. What do you see there?
I played with them a couple years ago so I know a few of the guys. They're a fast team, a skilled team. I think they do want to prove that last year wasn't a fluke, so we've got to be ready for them. They've got good goaltending, really good forwards, so I think it will be a good test to see what we're made of to start the season.

Mary Paoletti can be reached at mpaoletti@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Mary on Twitter at http:twitter.comMary_Paoletti

Friday, Dec. 9: John Scott calls it quits

Friday, Dec. 9: John Scott calls it quits

Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading while digging the Spider-Man trailer that dropped last night. 

*John Scott has finally called it a day and announced his retirement, and apparently there’s a book of his memoirs also coming out too. I’m predicting it’s not headed for the New York Times best seller list. 

*Winter Olympics participation and the CBA negotiations for the NHL are starting to merge into giant issue.  

*Connor McDavid calls the Flyers' Brandon Manning classless for telling him on the ice that he purposefully tried to hurt him last season. Some players might also take issue with McDavid making public what another player said to him on the ice. That’s kind of a no-no for most hockey players and breaks an unwritten rule that McDavid might think he’s above given his star status. This whole thing isn’t a good look for anybody. 

*Kevin Stevens pleads guilty to federal drug charges in what’s become a pretty sad situation for the former NHL star. 

*New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is beginning to raise questions with his play, and his massive price tag. 

*Youngsters Zach Weresnki and Dylan Larkin took similar paths to the NHL, and are both considered part of the talented young generation full of hockey stars. 

*PHT writer Joey Alfieri has Carey Price taking a nutty on Kyle Palmieri after the player crashed into his crease last night. Price is being celebrated for sticking up for himself, but if another goalie did that to a Habs player at the Bell Centre, there would already be a warrant out for his arrest. Play it both ways, Montreal!  

*For something completely different: here’s the aforementioned new Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer that looks pretty darn good. 

 

Two more Pastrnak goals pull him into tie for NHL lead with Crosby

Two more Pastrnak goals pull him into tie for NHL lead with Crosby

BOSTON – While the loss to the Avalanche on Thursday night was a monumental dud, it put another dazzling display on the hockey resume of David Pastrnak. 

The 20-year-old star right winger scored two more goals in the 4-2 loss at TD Garden and nearly brought the Bruins back into the game by himself before another defensive breakdown at the end of the second period doomed them. 

Instead, Pastrnak had to settle with being the proud owner of 18 goals scored in 23 games that places him in a tie with NHL superstar Sidney Crosby for the NHL lead in goals. 

The goals also showed his wide range of lethal offensive skills. On the first score, he just broke away from the Avalanche defense and managed to bury a second-effort breakaway chance after a nice Tim Schaller stretch pass off the boards. The second goal was a straight one-timer bomb from the high slot off a slick setup pass from Brad Marchand in the corner, and it had the Bruins right back into the mix after a dreadful first period. 

It wasn’t enough when the B’s defense faltered again toward the end of the second period, but it was enough for everybody to be singing Pastrnak’s praises once again following the loss. 

“He’s a game changer. The momentum is going the other way, and he has the ability to break away on any given shift and score a big goal for us. He did that tonight,” said Torey Krug. “We can’t just keep relying on the same guys to score goals. We’ve got to come up with secondary offense, and I know every other guy wants to do that. 

“Now it’s about showing that on the ice and making sure we’re doing the work and getting better and proving to ourselves. But Pasta [David Pastrnak] has been great for us so far, and we’re obviously lucky to have him.”

The 18 goals barely two months into the season are not too shabby for a kid, in his third NHL season, who just now coming into his own. He’s nearly halfway to 40 before Christmas. For Pastrnak, however, it’s about the team result and he wasn’t overly satisfied with his two goals in a losing effort. 

“I’ve said before the season that our goal is to make the playoffs and to have that experience and have the chance to win the Stanley Cup. I’m still focusing on that,” said Pastrnak, who has yet to experience the Stanley Cup playoffs in his two-plus seasons with the Black and Gold. “We have zero points from tonight’s game and we have to move on. I think our game gets better in the second and third periods, you know, and we have to regroup and get ready for Saturday’s game.”

The Bruins will undoubtedly regroup and once again count on another Pastrnak offensive explosion to help lead the way in what’s become a truly spectacular season for the youngster.