Staying fresh: An update on Bruins overseas


Staying fresh: An update on Bruins overseas

Though there might be some good news in CBA negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA this week, an even 10 Bruins players are still skating overseas waiting for the lockout to be over.

The actual count of Bs players overseas is nine with Tyler Seguin back in Boston this week during a two-week break from regular season games for his Swiss EHC Biel hockey club. Seguin finished his first stint with Biel totaling 13 goals and 23 points in 15 games, and racked up four goals in a game last Friday while the home crowd chanted Seguins name amid the offensive outpouring.

Here's an update on the rest of the Bruins overseas:

Zdeno Chara has two goals, seven assists and has a minus-1 rating in 11 games HC Lev Prague in the KHL, but he has been saddled with a lackluster team that lost eight games in a row after bringing the Bs captain on board. Its really not often that you see Chara as a minus player after a double-digit amount of games, but the speed of the Russian hockey league plays away from some of Charas strengths.

Tuukka Rask has bounced back nicely from his tweaked groin and is 6-2 with a 1.85 goals against average and a .936 save percentage for Plzen HC. The Finnish goaltender appears primed and ready for a return to Boston as the starter between the pipes for the Bruins.

Patrice Bergeron has 16 points (8 goals, 8 assists) and is a plus-15 in eight games for HC Lugano and has returned from an injured hand that kept him out for a few games.

Andrew Ference has three points and is a plus-1 in seven games for Ceske Budejovice HC, and also missed a game with a banged up finger after he took a shot off the hand during game action.

David Krejci has 14 points (seven goals and seven assists) in 12 games and is a plus-2 for HC Pardubice. He has been one of the Bs best performers overseas while skating in his home country.

Dennis Seidenberg has four assists and is a plus-5 in 10 games for the Mannheim Eagles while skating in his native Germany. Between Seidenberg, Chara and Ference skating in Europe and Dougie Hamilton playing for the Niagara IceDogs during the lockout, that means four of six projected Bs defensemen should be ready to hit the ground running when the regular season does begin.

Rich Peverley has 2 goals and 11 points in 14 games for JYP in the Finnish League, and is clearly thriving in a European League that focuses on skating speed and high-class offensive skill.

Goaltender Anton Khudobin is 3-6-2 in the KHL for Moscow Oblast-Atlant with a 3.02 goals against average and a .908 save percentage, and has remained healthy while playing in his native Kazakhstan.

In addition to Bostons NHL players overseas, the Bs 2012 second round pick Alex Khokhlachev has two points and is a minus-5 rating in 19 games for Moscow Spartak in the KHL. He is in Canada this week to play with Nail Yakupov for Team Russia in the Subway Super Series in Quebec. Its expected that his old OHL team, the Windsor Spitfires, is going to at least kick the tires on any potential interest Khokhlachev might have in returning to Canada after his struggles in his native Russia.

Moreland not worried about filling Ortiz's shoes because 'there's no replacing him'

Moreland not worried about filling Ortiz's shoes because 'there's no replacing him'

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Mitch Moreland knows he's likely the only new player in Boston's lineup since David Ortiz retired at the end of last season.

He's just not listening to those who say he needs to replace Big Papi's lofty production.

"I try not to hear it because there's no replacing that guy," said the 31-year-old first baseman, who signed a one-year, $5.5-million deal with the Red Sox during the offseason.

"I think it's going to be more of a team effort," he said. "Obviously we picked up two big arms as well, and it's a very balanced club."

After playing his first six-plus seasons in the majors with the Texas Rangers, Moreland is with a new organization for the first time in his career. So far, he said, the move has been smooth.

"They welcomed me from Day One," he said. "Handshakes and hugs right off the bat. It's going to be a lot of fun. You can see why they had so much success last year."

Coming off a subpar 2016 with a .233 batting average, 22 homers and 60 RBI, Moreland tested free agency. He wanted to go to a team that had a good chance at competing for a championship -- like he felt with the Rangers.

"Something that was at the top of my list as a player," he said. "If I was going to be on a team, I wanted a team that had a chance to win. It makes it that much more fun to come to the park every day when something's on the line and you're fighting for a chance to play in the playoffs, fighting to win the division and fighting to win a World Series."

A first-time Gold Glove winner last season, Moreland knows the defending A.L. East champion Red Sox wanted his defensive skills at first to allow Hanley Ramirez to shift to Ortiz's vacated DH spot.

"It gives you a little more confidence," Moreland said. "I take pride in that. That's going to be my main goal, to go out and show what they saw."

A left-handed batter like Ortiz, Moreland knows some people will expect him to fill the void offensively because of which side of the plate he bats from.

"I think it'll be a group effort picking up what will be missing," he said. "There's no replacing that guy."

Manager John Farrell also said the club needs to move on from Ortiz so Moreland and everyone else can relax and focus on their own game.

"David's effect on the lineup was felt by a number of people. We know opponents would game plan for David," Farrell said. "I think it's important for our guys - as we put David out of our mind, in a good way - that it's still a focus on what their strengths are in the strike zone."

The transition may be easy for Moreland so far, but one thing has certainly changed: spending spring training in Florida instead of Arizona.

"Fishing's a lot different than Arizona, so that's nice," he said.

NOTES: "We're getting a firsthand look to why he's been so successful and an elite pitcher," Farrell said after left-hander Chris Sale pitched batting practice. The Red Sox acquired Sale from the Chicago White Sox in an offseason trade for four prospects. They also acquired right-handed, hard-throwing setup man Tyler Thornburg from Milwaukee . . . Farrell said righty Steven Wright, who missed the final two months of the season with a shoulder injury, "was unrestricted in his throwing." . . . The Red Sox will have a shorter workout Tuesday with the players association set to talk to the team and the organization's annual charity golf tournament in the afternoon.

Report from the Fort: Trenni and Lou discuss pitching

Report from the Fort: Trenni and Lou discuss pitching

Trenni Kusnierek and Lou Merloni comment on Tyler Thornburg's, Steven Wright's and Drew Pomeranz's work at Red Sox training camp on Monday.