Seguin a healthy scratch against Canadiens

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Seguin a healthy scratch against Canadiens

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

BOSTON In a move expected since the lines were formed at practice on Tuesday, Boston's 19-year-old rookie center, Tyler Seguin, will be a healthy scratch tonight vs. the Montreal Canadiens in a pivotal Northeast Division battle at TD Garden.The Habs have had the Bs number all year and left an indelible mark on the Bruins when they snatched an overtime victory away from Boston at the Bell Centre during a frenzied third-period comeback last month.With the gravity of the game in mind and an admission from coach Claude Julien that Seguin has lost a little bit of his edge, the Bs have decided to roll out a line of Blake Wheeler and Michael Ryder centered by Zach Hamill, with the No. 2 overall pick in last summer's draftwatching from the ninth floor of TD Garden.Julien confirmed it after Wednesday's morning skate.Were giving Hamill a shot, but the competition is going to be on him when we have everybody back, said Julien, who didnt wait until tonight'swarmup to name his healthy scratch. We have to sit somebody out. I know who he is and I know where he was drafted and all that stuff. I think right now weve brought Jordan Caron up because hes a good fit on that fourth line and weve brought Hamill up to get a good look at himas a third year pro. Theres a lot on Seguins plate right now. I know hes lost a bit of his edge and there are times when hes lost the puck when he should be able to hold onto it. There are parts of his game that have slipped a little bit, but that doesnt change the outlook of what we think of him. I think its a phase that hes going through this year. It's never a bad thing to watch and never a bad thing to rest this time of the year.Peter Chiarelli told 98.5 The Sports Hubs Toucher and Rich on Wednesday morning that he would like to send Seguin to the Providence Bruins for a two-week conditioning stint at this point in the season but the Bs GM also admitted he didnt thinkthat was going to happen, given that the player andhis agentneed to sign off on such a move.What does Seguin think?Hes clearly aggravated that he wont be playing asanyhockey player worth their saltshould be but said he would use all of the conditioning stint talk and healthy scratches as motivation to play harder, regain that edge and continue fighting through a little bit of a rookie wall that's risen in the last 3-4 weeks.Seguins ice time has dropped under 10 minutes for each ofhis last four games, and its clear the Bruins are trying to create a competitive situation between Seguin and Hamill while stirring a little spark into Seguins game. The pressure levels and importance of games has elevated tremendouslysince the All-Star break, and it appears Seguin has hit a little bit ofarutwhile attempting to match the intensity.The conditioning part to the AHLisnt going to work out because of my age. Im just trying to focus on improving my game right now, said Seguin. Whether its sitting in the stands or whatever I have to do, Im going to do it.I had four shots and a goal against Dallas, but I definitely want to elevate my game. I think that I need to. Its all about consistency now heading toward the playoffs. I think I still have it in me and thats still the plan for me. Whether its five minutes or ten minutes a night I need to take advantage of it all. Even if Im sitting on the bench for a while I need to find a way to get my legs going, and thats just something Im not used to . . . but something Ive got to change. Tim Thomas was the first goalie off the ice for the Bruins and looks like hell be getting the start. Carey Price will be the starting goaltender for the Habs. Thomas leads the league in nearly every statistical goalie category while Price was also an All-Star while putting up a .922 save percentage and 2.32 goals against average this season. Thomas is 10-2-3 in his last 15 games while Price is coming off a 4-1 loss to the suddenly hot New Jersey Devils. Julien appeared to have his game face on Wednesday morning when he was asked about David Krejci and why the playmaking center has the ability to rise to the occasion in big moments."You should ask him that question," snapped Julien at CSN's Mike Giardi, who posed the question. "I wish he'd elevate his game like that all the time."

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

Bjork returns to Notre Dame after impressing at Bruins' development camp

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Bjork returns to Notre Dame after impressing at Bruins' development camp

Given that he’s a former fifth-round pick, he’s not a local guy with any Boston ties to speak of and that there isn’t a lot of fancy to his game, Anders Bjork might be a bit under the radar as far as Bruins prospects go right now. 

Still, the 19-year-old Notre Dame forward has been steadily rising among the ranks at the NCAA level and Bjork put on a pretty impressive show at B’s development camp right along with more hyped forwards like Danton Heinen and Jake DeBrusk.

Bjork showed great skating speed and a hard-nosed willingness to battle whether the puck was on or off his stick. Even better, he showed a finishing flourish with the puck whenever he was around the net. He was literally blowing by defenders with his speed throughout drills each and every day at camp, and it was hard not to notice. Time after time Bjork buried those chances earned through speed and tenacity and showed the offensive confidence that saw him lead Notre Dame in points (12 goals and 35 points in 35 games) last season as a sophomore.

“You can tell the guys that have been here. Grizzy [Matt Grzelcyk] has a great week and Anders [Bjork] has a great week because they’re just comfortable in what they’re doing,” said Bruins general manager Don Sweeney. “I mean they’ve played at the college hockey level for two, three, four years in some of these cases. They’re very comfortable in their own skin and in what they do.

"In Anders’ case he gained a tremendous amount of confidence in the World Juniors last year and you can tell he’s carrying that over offensively. He also plays in a very tight system at Notre Dame, so the habits away from the puck are really ingrained in him. Now he’s looking to explore his offensive side.”

The good news for the Bruins: Bjork wants to keep improving on the offensive end and pump up the goal-scoring numbers in his third season with the Fighting Irish. If the week spent at Ristuccia Arena is any indication, Bjork should be lighting it up in Hockey East next season after being a second team All-Hockey East selection last season.

“I’m just working on trying to contribute a little more offensively, and really work on my goal-scoring and offensive abilities like that,” said Bjork, who is a bit of a legacy at Notre Dame with his father, mother, siblings and cousin NHL forward Erik Condra all having matriculated in South Bend as well. “Working on the little things in areas like goal-scoring and playing on the wall are what I’ve been focused on. The feedback from the Bruins has been really good, and really helpful.

“Sometimes they’ll check in after a game or after a weekend of games, and give really helpful feedback. Sometimes it’s even different than what my coach said, so it’s nice to get my viewpoint and sometimes they see things that my coach doesn’t notice. Stuff like that has been really helpful, and has helped me develop as a player definitely.”

Bjork said the Bruins have stressed consistency and greater focus in his game from shift-to-shift and game-to-game and that’s something he clearly took to heart in a dominant week at development camp. Given the rising number of college hockey players that are foregoing the teams that drafted them and become free agents following their senior seasons, one would expect that next season will be Bjork’s last at Notre Dame before signing with the Bruins.

The way that the 6-foot, 188-pound Bjork is improving his game each and every season after being projected a couple of years ago as a possible third-line player in the NHL, the Bruins should be looking to bring him into the Black and Gold fold sooner rather than later. 
 

Tuesday, July 26: Daley’s surprise visit with the Cup

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Tuesday, July 26: Daley’s surprise visit with the Cup

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while never getting tired of the Bernie Sanders/Curb Your Enthusiasm parallels.

*PHT writer Cam Tucker has Trevor Daley making a surprise visit with the Stanley Cup and talking more about his emotional moment hoisting the Cup right after the win by the Penguins.

*Don Cherry and Ron MacLean get their just reward with a star on the Canada Walk of Fame after years of great hockey entertainment.

*Adam Larsson has heard the fan reaction in Edmonton after being traded for Taylor Hall, and he’s downplaying it all.

*A lack of a deal for RFA defenseman Jacob Trouba with the Winnipeg Jets doesn’t mean Trouba trouble quite yet. But it sure doesn’t sound like things are all ducky in Winnipeg.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Dan Rosen sits down with Arizona Coyotes GM John Chayka to answer five questions about his new gig, and some big changes for the Desert Dogs.

*Scott Powers has Jimmy Vesey’s camp confirming that the Chicago Blackhawks will be one of the teams on Vesey’s “short list” when he speaks with teams on Aug. 15. Watch out for Stan Bowman and the Blackhawks, who have been out to see Vesey a couple of times in Foxboro over the last month.

*The Washington Capitals continue to build depth among their forward group, and have constructed a strong roster for next season.

*For something completely different: if you love baseball or have ever enjoyed some of the truly great Dan Shaughnessy columns over the years, you will enjoy this column from Shaughnessy about his Hall of Fame induction. Congrats to Dan, a true titan in our industry.