Camper tallies first NHL goal in win over Sens


Camper tallies first NHL goal in win over Sens

KANATA, ON Carter Camper might have never guessed that his first career NHL goal would be a garbage man special, cleaning up a loose puck right in front of the net. But the 23-year-old didnt seem to care.

Camper's goal came in his third game with the Bruins and ended up being pretty important in Bostons 5-3 win over the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place. It was the stuff of boyhood dreams for a youngster that hasnt quite awoken from his NHL dream just yet.

I definitely have dreamed about that from the time I was a little kid skating in the backyard or all by myself just dreaming of maybe someday scoring my first NHL goal, said Camper. Josh Hennessy made a great play on the fore-check getting the puck loose. I saw McQuaid shoot it from the point and saw the puck loose, and I was able to just shoot it in.

I saw the puck go in and I saw everybody celebrating. It didnt really hit me until I got back to the bench, but it was pretty cool. Whether it's one shift, five shifts or ten shifts I just want to go out there and make a difference.

Camper only skated 10 shifts and 5:57 of ice time, but he maximized his chances by waiting for Ottawa backup goaltender Alex Auld to fumble around Adam McQuaids point shot.

Once the puck had managed to elude Aulds glove hand it was up to Camper to attack the net. Instant offense is exactly what the Bruins had in mind when they called the undrafted free agent out if Miami (OH), but tight, must-win hockey games arent all that conducive to learning.

Even so, Camper is getting a piece or two per game to add to his pro experience and NHL body of work, and all of that amounted to some production on Saturday night. Claude Julien has enjoyed seeing Campers progress over a handful of games, and the novelty never wears off seeing an excited youngster tasting success at the NHL level for the first time.

Those kinds of rookie moments can bring energy and enthusiasm to a veteran hockey club full of players with their eyes on the Stanley Cup prize.

I was really happy for him. Every time we put him on I had to be careful because the Ottawa coaches were putting their top line out there, said Julien. I didnt have an opportunity to play them too, too much. So that line didnt see as much ice as I would have liked to, but they scored a big goal.

It was nice to see all three working hard, and I thought Carter did a great job of standing his ground around the net, finding that puck and finding a way to score.

It wasnt the one-time sniper shot that Carter might have dreamed it would be, but it goes down as an official NHL goal in the books for a player that hopes to stick around for a while.

Spooner, coming to life with Bruins, feels Julien 'just didn't really trust me'

Spooner, coming to life with Bruins, feels Julien 'just didn't really trust me'

BRIGHTON -- The Bruins' third line has been reborn under interim coach Bruce Cassidy, and the players are now openly admitting they desperately needed a change.

Claude Julien never trusted Frank Vatrano, Ryan Spooner and Jimmy Hayes enough defensively to play them together, but this line has blossomed under Cassidy: Six goals, 15 points and a plus-11 in seven games. They’ve survived in the defensive zone by rarely playing there. Instead, they push the pace, make plays to keep the puck out of the D-zone and, most importantly, keep producing the secondary offense that wasn’t there in the first 55 games of the season. 

No one has been freed from the shackles more than Spooner, who is back playing his natural center position after being forced to play left wing under Julien. The 25-year-old said Tuesday that getting a clean slate with a new coach has been extremely beneficial to him, and that perhaps he didn't always love playing for the guy now minding the bench in Montreal. 

“I felt like the last coach ... he just didn’t really trust me,” said Spooner, who has two goals and six points along with a plus-1 rating in seven games post-Julien. “It might've been kind of on me not really playing to the potential that I have, but at the same time . . . I just don’t think that he really liked me as a player. It’s kind of in the past now. It’s just a part of the game. It’s up to me to just go out there and just play, and not have that stuff in the back of my mind. 

“I just kind of have to go out there and believe in myself and I think at times I wasn’t really going out there and doing that. Maybe that’s something to learn. This sport has ups and downs, and I’ve had my downs. You learn that you can just sort of push through it. If you do that then things can be good.”

Spooner has 10 goals and 33 points along with a minus-3 this season, and could potentially surpass last year's numbers (13-36-49) in his second full season. 

Most felt that the speedy, skilled Spooner would be one of the big beneficiaries of the move from Julien to Cassidy, and now he’s showing that with a new lease on life in Boston. 

Tuesday, Feb. 28: Nothing coming easy for Habs

Tuesday, Feb. 28: Nothing coming easy for Habs

Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading while it’s all happening around the NHL world ahead of tomorrow’s NHL trade deadline.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Eric Engels says that a torturous February shows that nothing will come easy for the Montreal Canadiens.

*Some raw locker room video from the Florida Panthers with local D-man Keith Yandle holding court with reporters.

*PHT writer James O’Brien has some early thoughts, and some praise, for the Washington Capitals landing puck-moving D-man and big ticket rental player Kevin Shattenkirk.

*The Toronto Maple Leafs up their playoff cred by landing gritty, big third-line center Brian Boyle ahead of the trade deadline.

*Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook are the city of Chicago’s longest-tenured teammates having spent the last 12 years together with the Blackhawks.

*Patrice Bergeron and Toucher and Rich are getting together for their 10th annual Cuts for a Cause, which will be on March 27.

*For something completely different: Jimmy Kimmel gives his perspective of the debacle that went down at the end of the Academy Awards on Sunday night.