Seguin sits for the Bruins in Game One

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Seguin sits for the Bruins in Game One

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com
BOSTON The Bruins have completely fortified their walls for the invading Habs now that their series finally gets going Thursday night at TD Garden, and the Boston lineup has taken full shape. While Chris Kelly was among a scarce number of Bs regulars getting some last loops around the ice during a sparsely-attended optional skate before Game 1 opens up the 33rd matchup between the Big Bad Bruins and the High Flying Canadiens, the rest of the Bruins were getting their playoff minds right.Our emotions have nothing to do with, to me, with the physical part of the game, Claude Julien said. We need to play within the rules no matter what. And I dont know if its emotion more than its discipline, and its about focus. So theres no doubt, theres two teams that are here today that are very excited about starting these playoffs, and were one of those teams.Rookie wunderkind Tyler Seguin will be a healthy scratch as expected, and Claude Julien said the Bruins have decided on the 20 players theyll be going with for tonights Game 1 statement. The team will make adjustments accordingly. Shane Hnidy and Matt Bartkowski will be the healthy scratches for the Bruins on defense with Steve Kampfer working his way back from a knee injury suffered last weekend.
The scratch isnt such a bad thing for the 19-year-old Seguin to sit and watch the playoff-level of intensity to start things off, but theres a very good chance theyll need him on the power play before its all said and done in these Stanley Cup playoffs.Theres no logic here, Julien said. I think its just weve got twenty guys in our line-up tonight that we feel is the line-up we want to go with. Concord, Mass. native, Boston Bruins and Providence College alum Hal Gill is a key statue-like figure for the Montreal Canadiens given his defensive shutdown capabilities and his 6-foot-7 size at defenseman. His size, strength and courageous willingness to block shots means Gill will get the call time after time against the Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton line.Gill admitted the Bs first line had a little bit of everything with size, speed and scoring ability, but said the Habs focus will be on simply executing the speed transition game plan rather than exacting revenge or taking numbers.We need to start off winning a game," Gill said. "Thats what were focusing on. Its not about revenge or anything else other than focusing on the task at hand. I dont think you can look at any of the CharaPacioretty stuff and carry it around with you. We need to simply rely on the fact that we can move a level up in the playoffs. Tim Thomas wasnt on the ice for the Bs optional skate, but is expected to get the call from now until their final postseason game this spring.Marc Savard is still resting and recuperating from a concussion suffered back in January against the Colorado Avalanche, and Julien said he hasnt really made any marked improvement since initially suffering his fourth head injury.Ive kept in contact with Savvy every week or so," Julien said. "We communicate, and things havent changed in his case, and its unfortunate for him, Im sure hes going to be sitting at home and watching these games and wishing he could be part of it because as a player that part of you will never leave. This it the most exciting time of the year, and I know he loved the times that he was in the playoffs. And he was obviously a pretty important part of the success of our hockey club. So will we miss his play? Absolutely. You dont lose an elite player like him and not feel it. Canadiens forward Mike Cammalleri definitely busted out an outlier amid his remarks while discussing the Habs 7-0 loss to the Bruins the last time the team came to TD Garden to play, and must have done well on the SAT verbal portion of the test.We didnt get any revenge," Cammalleri said. "We didnt show up. Those ones are easy to put out of your mind and completely bury. It was an outlier and we treated it like that.
Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs.

Friday, July 29: Good signs in Bruins-Marchand negotiations

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Friday, July 29: Good signs in Bruins-Marchand negotiations

Here are the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while using “malarkey” in my day-to-day vocabulary as much as possible. 
 
-- Dale Tallon was promoted with the Florida Panthers to accentuate his strengths as a talent evaluator, but maintains that he still has final say on hockey decisions
 
-- PHT writer Cam Tucker has another young D-man off the board with the Wild’s Matthew Dumba signing a two year, $5.1 million deal with Minnesota
 
-- In the interest of self-promotion, here’s my take on the negotiations between Brad Marchand and the Bruins: There’s a couple of good signs at the outset of negotiations
 
-- The Arizona Coyotes are stressing the defensive side of things in a big, big way, and it appears to be part of John Chayka’s master plan

 -- Alex Pietrangelo would be a natural selection to replace David Backes as the next captain of the St. Louis Blues. 

-- A moving letter from Sens forward Bobby Ryan to his recently passed mother is up at the Players Tribune website. 

-- Chris Kreider has re-signed with the New York Rangers, and plans to get out of his head and onto the score sheet more often. 
 
-- For something completely different: Jerod Mayo will bring a new voice to Tom E. Curran’s Quick Slants program on our very own CSN network. 

 

List of Bruins prospects includes two familiar names

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List of Bruins prospects includes two familiar names

With decidedly Boston-sounding names and thoroughly familiar faces, given their resemblances to their ex-Bruin dads, it might have been easy to overlook Ryan Donato and Ryan Fitzgerald and focus on the truly little-known prospects at Development Camp earlier this month.

But on the ice, their brimming confidence, their offensive skills and the maturity to their all-around game was impossible to ignore.

When it was over, general manager Don Sweeney singled out Donato, who plays at Harvard, and Fitzgerald, from Boston College -- along with Notre Dame forward Anders Bjork and former Boston University defenseman Matt Grzelcyk -- as players who have developed significantly.
 
“[They're] just comfortable in what they’re doing,” said Sweeney. “I mean, they’ve played at the college hockey level . . . two, three, four years with some of these kids. They’re very comfortable in their own skin and in what they do.”
 
Donato, 20, is actually coming off his first season at Harvard, where he posted 13 goals and 21 points in 32 games. He looked like he was in midseason form during Development Camp, showing off a scoring touch, skill with the puck on his stick in tight traffic, and the instincts to anticipate plays that allow him to beat defenders to spots in the offensive zone. He’s primed for a giant sophomore season with the Crimson, based on his showing at camp.
 
“Every year is a blast," said Donato, son of former Bruins forward and current Harvard coach Ted Donato. "You just come in [to development camp] with an open mindset where you soak everything up from the coaches like a sponge, and see what they say. Then I just do my best to incorporate it into my game and bring it with me to school next year.
 
“One of the things that [Bruins coaches and management] has said to me -- and it’s the same message for everybody -- is that every area of your game is an important one to develop. The thing about the NHL is that every little detail makes the difference, and that’s what I’ve been working on whether it’s my skating, or my defensive play. Every little piece of my game needs to be developed.”
 
Then there's Fitzgerald, 21, who is entering his senior season at BC after notching 24 goals and 47 points in 40 games last year in a real breakout season. The 2013 fourth-round pick showed speed and finishing ability during his Development Camp stint and clearly is close to being a finished hockey product at the collegiate level.
 
“It was good. It’s definitely a fun time being here, seeing these guys and putting the logo on,” said Fitzgerald, son of former Bruins forward Tom Fitzgerald, after his fourth Development Camp. “One thing I’m focusing on this summer is getting stronger, but it’s also about just progressing and maturing.
 
“I thought . . . last year [at BC] was a pretty good one, so I just try to build off that and roll into my senior season. [The Bruins] have told me to pretty much continue what I’m doing in school. When the time is right I’ll go ahead [and turn pro], so probably after I graduate I’ll jump on and make an impact.”
 
Fitzgerald certainly didn’t mention or give any hints that it could happen, but these days it has to give an NHL organization a bit of trepidation anytime one of their draft picks makes it all the way to their senior season. There’s always the possibility of it turning into a Jimmy Vesey-type situation if a player -- like Fitzgerald -- has a huge final year and draws enough NHL interest to forego signing with the team that drafted him for a shot at free agency in the August following his senior season.
 
It may be a moot point with Fitzgerald, a Boston kid already living a dream as a Bruins draft pick, but it’s always a possibility until he actually signs.
 
In any case, both Donato and Fitzgerald beat watching in their respective college seasons after both saw their development level take a healthy leap forward.