Boston Bruins

Bruins talk NHL lockout at golf tournament

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Bruins talk NHL lockout at golf tournament

They were golfing on Monday, and by the looks of things, the Bruins may have plenty of free time for more golf this fall.

Claude Julien, Cam Neely, and a number of Bruins players took part in the team's annual charity golf tournament on Monday, but golf wasn't exactly on the minds of everyone in the organization.

The NHL lockout deadline is Saturday, and without a new CBA in place, it looks more and more likely that it'll occur.

CSNNE's Jessica Moran was on the scene, where Bruins players like Shawn Thornton and Andrew Ference don't seem particularly happy with the process to date.

"We want to fix the problem but we're not just going to take a 20-percent cut or a 24-percent cut or whatever it is across the board and give it to rich teams to get richer," Thornton told reporters. "That's not the answer. It didn't work last time, we were told it would, and now we're looking for solutions and I think our proposal addresses those issues."

But are the players optimistic in a deal soon? Unfortunately, no.

"I don't know if optimistic is the right word, not the way things have been going so far," Ference said. "It's pretty tough to be optimistic. You know, I think that at the beginning of the summer there were a lot of great talks. Hopefully that can continue."

But the talks have slowed, and the two sides are still far apart. The NHL has been through a lockout in the recent past, with many players bolting overseas. That will certainly be the case again.

"It would be the Czech Republic for sure," David Krejci said when asked where he would play if there was a lockout. "That's where I live, that's where I'm from, so that's my home. It would be Czech, but I'm here, I really hope it's going to start. It was a long summer.

"I want to play somewhere because I haven't played in a while," Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask said. "If you don't play and you jump right in the NHL you have an eight-month layover and you could be a little rusty."

Rust could be an issue for the Bruins once the NHL season begins whenever that is. But rest and health certainly shouldn't be. Unless any players get injured while playing overseas, the B's should be plenty healthy for the upcoming season.

"Never felt so healthy, so it's good," Thornton said. "All the injuries have healed up. I think that's probably true across the board. I've seen the guys I've been skating with and everybody looks ready to go."

Coach Julien expects each and every player to show up in shape when the time comes.

"I don't think there's a single lazy player on our hockey club that would stop training or stop getting themselves ready for a season," he said, "because I think everybody is anticipating that there is going to be a season and that's the way it should be."

But that anticipation diminishes by the day.

Brad Marchand: NHL’s new face-off crackdown ‘an absolute joke’

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Brad Marchand: NHL’s new face-off crackdown ‘an absolute joke’

BRIGHTON, Mass – Count Brad Marchand among those NHL players that don’t like how closely officials are calling face-off violations so far this preseason.

The NHL is cracking down on run-of-the-mill slashing penalties to the arms and hands and calling an excessive number of penalties for forwards “cheating” in the face-off circle prior to the drop of the puck. 

This essentially means the opposing centers taking the face-off can’t be standing or have their sticks on the painted hash marks and instead must stand perfectly still while waiting for the puck to drop. Two consecutive violations of Section 10 of the rulebook will result in a two-minute delay of game: face-off violation penalty. It was called on numerous occasions for the first eight NHL preseason games played on Monday night.

Needless to say, Marchand was watching some games on Monday night while not playing in the first two preseason games for the Bruins and he called the stricter interpretation of the rulebook “an absolute joke.”

“The slashing [penalties] is one thing, but this face-off rule is an absolute joke. That’s how you ruin the game of hockey by putting that in there. They’re going to have to do something about that because we can’t play all year like that,” said Marchand. “Basically you have to be a statue. You can’t move. It takes away from the center iceman. I think there was even a play [in the game I was watching] last night where a penalty was called on a 4-on-4 before play on the first penalty had even started because of a draw.

“That’s just a joke. I don’t know how you expect guys to step back, guys are excited to get in there and help out there centerman. I know they’re trying to add a little more offense to the game [with power plays] and make it more exciting, but you don’t want to ruin the game. It’s frustrating for everyone. There are ways to make the game better, but this isn’t one of them. We might as well start throwing D-men in there to take draws.”

Marchand did acknowledge that sometimes on-ice officials put an extra emphasis on making a slew of calls in preseason to let players get used to any new enforcement of rules like for face-offs and slashing calls. Perhaps that’s what is going on here. That may be the case in the face-off circle, but it sounds like Marchand is going to be one unhappy camper if the more stringent face-off rules interpretation creeps into the regular season. 


 

DeBrusk excited ‘to get his look tonight’ with Krejci, Pastrnak

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DeBrusk excited ‘to get his look tonight’ with Krejci, Pastrnak

BRIGHTON, Mass – After watching fellow Bruins prospects Anders Bjork and Jesse Gabrielle score in the preseason opener vs. the Canadiens on Monday night, Jake DeBrusk knows the bar has been set for him as he readies to take the ice against the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night at TD Garden.

It will be the first preseason game for DeBrusk this fall and it his first in a top-six spot at left wing alongside David Krejci and David Pastrnak.

DeBrusk, 20, has worked with Krejci exclusively the first five days of camp and Pastrnak was added to that duo as soon as he signed and reported to Boston last weekend. It’s clear the Bruins are giving the former first-round pick a big audition with Krejci and Pastrnak, and DeBrusk is excited to show what he can do.

“I’m feeling good, excited to put on the jersey again and play at the Garden,” said DeBrusk. “We see each other every day, and we know how good we all are. I saw a couple of [young] guys get on the board last night with a big comeback win. So they kind of set the tone and we’re expecting the same result for sure. I just want to show that I can stay there, that I can play on that line and that I belong in that [top-six] area.”

DeBrusk hasn’t quite immediately taken off the way Bjork has in the first week of camp, but he’s been steadily trying to improve chemistry with Krejci and Pastrnak as the practice days have unfolded. Clearly, there is skill there with DeBrusk after 19 goals and 49 points in 70 games with the P-Bruins as a first-year pro, but there’s still some question as to whether he’s a no-doubt top-six winger or more of a third line type who can play higher in the lineup.

“[We want to see him] get pucks off the wall to Krejci,” Bruce Cassidy said. “Krejci is great coming out of our end with speed and leading the attack. That’s one of his strengths. We look for [DeBrusk] to be on top of pucks and create turnovers much like [Pastrnak] does on fore-check in the neutral zone. He does have good foot speed and a good stick. We’re looking for him to finish plays. Obviously, the guy on the right side, Pasta, has made a name for himself doing that, so not all of the pressure is on Jake to do that.

“We just want him to pitch, and when there are plays there to be finished we want him to be able to do that. Then obviously he’s got to do it on a consistent basis, but he’ll get his look tonight. He’s been on that line for three or four days, so let’s see what he’s got.”

Certainly, the intensity has been there for DeBrusk while also showing a little frustration when plays haven’t been made with Krejci in practice. Now, he’s looking forward to getting a chance in a preseason game where playmaking chemistry either materializes or it doesn’t.

“It goes hand-in-hand that you want to have games with them as well as practices,” said DeBrusk. “I think every day it’s been getting better, so just looking forward to some game action with them. I’m just going to work hard, play my game, stick to my game and hopefully contribute.”

If DeBrusk does all of that, much like his fellow young prospects did on Monday night in Quebec City, then he should be just fine in his first really big audition with the Black and Gold.