|10.02.15 at 11:31 am ET|
The Bruins will play their preseason finale Friday when they face the Capitals at the Verizon Center, but they’ll be leaving a pair of players behind.
Forward Max Talbot and backup goalie candidate Jonas Gustavsson will hang back for Friday night’s game, with Claude Julien saying that neither move is an indication of either player’s status with the team. Tuukka Rask will get the start, with Jeremy Smith backing him up.
The lines in Friday’s practice were as follows:
All seven of the Bruins’ healthy defensemen — Torey Krug, Adam McQuaid, Zach Trotman, Joe Morrow, Matt Irwin, Colin Miller and Kevan Miller — are expected to make the trip. Zdeno Chara did not practice with the B’s Friday, though he did skate again prior to the practice.
|10.01.15 at 6:22 pm ET|
The Bruins announced another round of cuts Thursday evening, with Alexander Khokhlachev the biggest name among those headed to Providence.
Also released from camp were Brian Ferlin, Anton Blidh, Chris Breen, Brandon DeFazio, Ben Sexton and Tommy Cross. Breen, DeFazio and Sexton were previously cut from camp but recalled for Wednesday’s preseason game against the Rangers. Cross must first clear waivers before he can be assigned to Providence.
With Thursday’s cuts, the Bruins now have 27 players (including the injured Seth Griffith, Dennis Seidenberg and Zdeno Chara) on their roster, though goaltender Jonas Gustavsson remains in camp on a professional tryout.
Khokhlachev’s assignment to Providence is the latest step in what’s been a frustrating tenure with the Bruins. After being chosen early in the second round of the 2011 draft (40th overall), the Russian center has performed well in the AHL but has underwhelmed in pro camps. Clearly a skilled player who figures to be an NHL player before long, he raised questions about his attitude when he recently expressed his unhappiness with where he stands in the organization.
“This is my last year of my contract,” he said. “I’m 22 already. If they don’t give me the chance to play, why am I here? I will not play in Providence all my life. They told me, ‘Just wait for your chance.’ I’m still waiting for it.”
Khokhlachev, who has led Providence in points in each of the last two seasons, played just three NHL games last season. When speaking out recently, he pointed to his lack of ice time (2:53 in his last game on Nov. 24) in saying the team has not given him a chance to prove himself in the NHL.
Asked about Khokhlachev prior to the announcement of Thursday’s cuts, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said the team feels he still needs to make improvements in the AHL.
“All players are entitled to their opinion,” Sweeney said. “I feel that Alexander has a tremendous upside skill-wise. He still has a lot to learn away from the puck. He needs to go through these experiences, and he’s only 22 years old. Looking at the big picture for all our young players, they’ll determine when they’re ready to play and when they can help us at the National Hockey League level. I do believe he’s a player that can step in, and whether or not he can play up and down the lineup sort of remains to be seen.
“But we want him to continue to work hard to fill in those gaps, be it faceoffs and there are small details of the game that show up in the scoresheet each night. … There’s just little areas of the game that everybody as a young player needs to go through, experience and then come out the other side of it better. He wants to advocate for himself, so I don’t blame him for that.”
|10.01.15 at 10:37 am ET|
Bruins captain Zdeno Chara skated by himself again prior to Thursday’s practice as he continues to rehab an upper-body injury injury suffered in last Thursday’s preseason game against the Rangers. He did not practice afterwards and will not play in Friday’s preseason finale against the Capitals.
Chara was on the ice for at least 15 minutes, working with strength and conditioning coach John Whitesides. He worked mostly on retrieving pucks, catching passes and stick handling. It does not appear Chara is ready to shoot the puck, as he abstained from shooting aside from an occasional lazy wrist shot.
Asked at Thursday’s media day availability whether he could shoot yet, Chara would only reply, “I skated today.”
The 38-year-old was adamant that his current injury is not related to any previous injuries. He lamented the timing of it and expressed his desire to return quickly.
“It’s not just the games; I hate missing practices, I hate missing skating with the guys,” Chara said. “It’s everything about it that you don’t want to do on your own. It’s a team sport. You have 20-plus guys involved, so I hate not being with them. At the same time, I know that’s the process that you have to go through. I understand the day-to-day routing for a guy who is obviously on the sideline. Hopefully I can be out there soon.”
Asked whether Chara would be available for next Thursday’s season-opener, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said he is “hopeful” that Chara will play.
“He’s made a nice progression here in the last little while,” Don Sweeney. “Injuries have their own timetable. You can put a range on it, but the player himself and where he feels today, tomorrow and where we go forward. I’m not going to sit here and tell you I’m not hopeful that [he returns soon]. Clearly I am, but he’s made good progress and we’ll continue to allow the medical and the healing piece to go forward.”
Also missing from Thursday’s skate were Alexander Khokhlachev, Anton Blidh and the players recalled for Wednesday’s game (Chris Breen, Brandon DeFazio and Ben Sexton. Sweeney said after the practice that the team has made more cuts, but did not specify which players were released from camp.
The lines and pairings were as follows:
Goalies: Tuukka Rask, Jeremy Smith, Jonas Gustavsson
|09.30.15 at 9:57 pm ET|
The Bruins fell to the Rangers, 3-2, in preseason action Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden. The game was followed by a mandatory 3-on-3 session that yielded no scoring.
The Bruins got a pair of goals from Brett Connolly, the first of which came on Boston’s first shot of the game. Connolly took a feed from Jimmy Hayes and tapped it past Henrik Lundqvist to give the B’s a 1-0 lead early in the first period. With the Bruins trailing by two goals late in regulation, Connolly scored with an extra attacker on to bring the B’s within one.
Jonas Gustavsson, who remains on a professional tryout with the B’s, got the start in net for Boston. He stopped 24 of the 27 shots he faced, first getting beaten at 16:27 of the second period on a Ryan McDonagh shot through traffic. The goal, which was credited to Viktor Stalberg, was followed by a J.T. Miller tally in the final minute of the second. The Rangers then took a 3-1 lead on a power play goal from Rick Nash.
The Bruins will conclude their preseason schedule when they face the Capitals Friday night at the Verizon Center.
|09.30.15 at 11:54 am ET|
|09.29.15 at 6:00 pm ET|
Free agent left wing Daniel Paille has signed a tryout agreement with the Rockford IceHogs, the AHL affiliate of the Blackhawks. The agreement was announced by the IceHogs Tuesday afternoon.
Paille, whom the Bruins declined to re-sign this summer in free agency, had attended the Blackhawks’ camp on a professional tryout before being released from camp Monday.
The 31-year-old Paille spent six seasons with the Bruins, winning the Stanley Cup in the 2010-11 season and scoring 10 goals in the lockout-shortened 2013 season. A first-round pick of the Sabres in 2002, he was acquired from Buffalo via trade in the 2009-10 season.
After going the whole summer without being signed, Paille spent the weeks leading up to training camp skating with his former teammates at Boston University and Ristuccia Arena.
|09.29.15 at 5:21 pm ET|
The Bruins announced Tuesday that they have assigned Linus Arnesson, Chris Casto, Austin Czarnik and Frank Vatrano to Providence. The four players were absent from Tuesday’s practice, with Claude Julien declining comment on their status earlier in the day.
In addition to making cuts, the Bruins brought Chris Breen, Ben Sexton and Brandon DeFazio back up from Providence. The three were previously cut from camp, but recalling them means the Bruins will have the trio available for Wednesday’s game against the Rangers.
Recalling players after cutting them in camp isn’t too uncommon, as the Bruins cut Ryan Spooner last fall, brought him up before the end of the preseason and had him on their roster when the season began. It’s unlikely that Breen, Sexton or DeFazio are viable options to make the B’s out of camp, however.