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Peter Mueller still getting feet wet with Bruins

09.29.16 at 3:12 pm ET
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Peter Mueller has dressed in each of the Bruins' two preseason games. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Peter Mueller has dressed in each of the Bruins’ two preseason games. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

BRIGHTON — When Peter Mueller took a professional tryout with the Bruins late in the summer, he had more to worry about than just playing. After admittedly being immature in previous NHL stops, the 28-year-old said he had to prove to teams that he would commit to an organization. He needed to assure teams that if an AHL deal was his only way to return to North America after three years in Europe, he’d take it.

Of course, there’s nothing more important than just playing, for all the other stuff becomes moot if the 2006 eighth overall pick doesn’t convince the B’s that he’s worth a contract.

Two games into the preseason, Mueller has gotten typical PTO treatment, meaning he’s been one of just three players to dress in both contests as the team tries to get as good a look at him as possible. Monday saw him skate on the right wing of Sean Kuraly and Peter Cehlarik, while Wednesday saw him positioned on the right wing of Ryan Spooner and Matt Beleskey. He’s also seen time on the power play both games and on the penalty kill Wednesday against the Red Wings

“To be honest, it’s nice to play in the games. I’d rather play in the games and showcase my skills,” Mueller said after Thursday’s practice. “As much as you want to show how good you are in practice, it’s tough to show it that well. To be honest, it’s great to play in both games.”

Prior to the start of the preseason schedule, Mueller, a center earlier in his career, said that he’d played mostly at either right or left wing in Europe. A right shot, Mueller has been used exclusively at right wing thus far in the preseason, which is good and bad for his chances of staying in Boston. The Bruins are thin at right wing after David Pastrnak and possible David Backes, but the Frank Vatrano injury also presents opportunity on the left side. Mueller says he has no preference, as long as he’s playing.

The Bruins are drawn to Mueller’s skill, which is what got him drafted and gave him five years in the NHL prior to his departure after the lockout-shortened 2013 season. He didn’t set the world on fire offensively in either of the last two seasons abroad, but he put up 46 points (24 goals, 22 assists) in 49 games in the Swiss National League-A in 2013-14. Last season, he scored 13 goals and 12 assists for 35 points in 43 games in the Swedish Hockey League.

“I didn’t know him very well as a player before, to be honest with you, so I don’t have anything to go by, but I think he’s been OK,” Bruins assistant coach Bruce Cassidy said of Mueller’s preseason games. “We haven’t generated a ton of offense, and he’s that type of player. I think it will take him a while to develop some chemistry, but he’s shown moments where he’s got his shot off and had some looks. You can tell he’s got a heavy shot; he’s around the puck, so there’s certainly something there offensively. Hopefully it keeps getting better and better.”

Mueller’s last NHL experience did not go well, as he and the Blues severed ties on a one-year contract two seasons ago when he was told he wouldn’t make the team. After two more years in Europe, Mueller is glad to be back in North America, where he’s said he’ll stay regardless of what kind of deal he’s offered.

“It’s an honor to wear this jersey, it really is,” Mueller said. “And not just the jersey, but the whole experience has been tremendous and great so far. Even putting on the practice jersey and coming to the facility, this is an unbelievable experience. For me, I’m cherishing it every second of the way.”

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Red Wings players are taking their gloves off for high fives, which is great

09.28.16 at 9:52 pm ET
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The question was directed to Drew Miller, but one of his teammates in the background interrupted him.

“Oh yeah, it’s sticking,” the unidentified-Red-Wing-because-he-was-out-of-the-reporter’s-sightline-but-possibly-Luke-Glendening said.

The “it” in question is something pretty weird. After Glendening scored to make it 3-0 in the second period of a 5-1 preseason win over the Bruins Wednesday, Glendening took off his glove and, corny as hell, called for a high five. Miller and Steve Ott obliged, taking their gloves off and cheerily slapping hands. It was the greatest.

Then, after Miller scored in the third period, they did it again.

“It’s just something fun we were doing in training camp, just messing around,” Miller said after the game. “We said we’d do it on our first goal. We didn’t think it would be this soon, but we’re just having fun building chemistry. I thought all the guys on the bench got a good chuckle out of it.”

It would appear to be a just-their-line kind of thing for now, but if guys like Miller and Glendening want that celebration to become more prominent, they might need to ask more teammates to take part. Miller hasn’t scored more than seven goals in any of the last four seasons, while Glendening has hit double digits in goals (12) in just one of his three NHL seasons. Ott has a grand total of three goals over the last three seasons.

“If we can keep scoring, we’re going to do it,” Miller said. “Hopefully we can keep scoring more goals.”

What a story to write during the preseason. Gimme five.

Read More: Drew Miller, Luke Glendening, Steve Ott,

Takeaways from Bruins’ preseason loss to Red Wings

09.28.16 at 9:31 pm ET
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Malcolm Subban

Malcolm Subban

The Bruins played their second preseason game Wednesday night, suffering a 5-1 loss to the Red Wings at TD Garden. Malcolm Subban played the first two periods before giving way to 2015 third-round pick Dan Vladar.

Here are some takeaways:

– It was a weird night for Subban, who allowed four goals in two periods but also made ton of big saves on breakaways, partial breaks and even a 2-on-0. All in all, Subban faced 34 shots over 40 minutes behind a horrible defense.

After stopping the first 16 shots he faced in a busy first period, Subban allowed a pair of goals in 21 seconds in the period’s final minutes. Detroit’s first goal came when Kyle Criscuolo redirected what was either a shot or a slap-pass from Brendan Smith on the power play. Detroit followed up that goal with another when a shot from in close by Steve Ott beat Subban short side.

– Ryan Spooner had an absolute monster of a rush to set up a second-period goal for Austin Czarnik. Spooner beat two defenders through the neutral zone and offensive zone before dishing to Czarnik, who finished the play with an easy backhand tap.

– Spooner wants to be better on faceoffs this season after finishing last season with a 42.76 percent success rate. The officials on Wednesday took notice of Spooner’s desire to improve, as Spooner was called for a faceoff violation in the first period. He went 4-for-16 at the 

– One injury to watch: Noel Acciari left the bench in the third period after limping off the ice. 

– Czarnik was one of three players (the other two being Sean Kuraly and Peter Mueller) to play in both preseason games, so you can bet the Bruins want to get an honest look at the second-year pro. It’s been so far, so good for Czarnik, who also had an assist in Monday’s preseason opener. The Miami of Ohio product had 20 goals and 41 assists for 61 points in 68 games for Providence last season.

– On that whole “horrible defense” thing, none of Boston’s six defenders were particularly impressive, although Matt Grzelcyk might have been the best of the bunch Wednesday. The first-year pro picked up the secondary assist on Czarink’s goal.

Boston gave up a ton of scoring chances and displayed loose coverage in front of the net, such as when Andreas Athanasiou sent a pass across the net through both Jeremy Lauzon and Chris Casto to set up an Anthony Mantha goal.

– Maybe the most interesting part of Wednesday’s game: Red Wings players took off their gloves to give real high fives to celebrate goals.

Dennis Seidenberg agrees to 1-year deal with Islanders

09.28.16 at 2:36 pm ET
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Dennis Seidenberg

Dennis Seidenberg

When the Bruins signed Dennis Seidenberg to a contract extension at the start of the 2013-14 season, they essentially chose an older player rather than a better and younger player in Johnny Boychuk, whom they would trade a year later. Why? Perhaps because Boychuk would be more expensive and they wanted the future cap space to sign Dougie Hamilton. Now, all three players are gone. Two of them are with the Islanders.

As first reported by TSN’s Darren Dreger, the Islanders and Seidenberg have agreed to a one-year contract worth $1 million. According to a source, the Islanders were not the only team to offer Seidenberg a contract since the start of the World Cup of Hockey, in which he is currently competing for Team Europe. The 35-year-old blueliner was also offered professional tryouts by a number of teams, and it was expected that he would have had more contract offers after the conclusion of the World Cup of Hockey.

Seidenberg, was bought out by the Bruins with two years remaining on his four year, $16 million deal. The Bruins will take on cap charges of $1,166,666, $2,166,666, $1,166,666 and $1,166,666 in each of the next four seasons as a result of the buyout.

The Islanders will become the sixth NHL team for Seidenberg, who has also played for the Flyers, Coyotes, Hurricanes, Panthers and B’s. Acquired by the Bruins via trade during the 2009-10 season, Seidenberg spent parts of seven seasons with the B’s, many of which were spent anchoring Boston’s second pair.

The Germany native’s biggest contributions to the B’s came in the 2011 postseason, when he was teamed with Zdeno Chara and served as an instrumental force in Boston’s Stanley Cup championship.

Read More: Dennis Seidenberg,

Lineup: Zach Senyshyn, Malcolm Subban in for Bruins vs. Red Wings

09.28.16 at 10:48 am ET
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Zach Senyshyn

Zach Senyshyn

BRIGHTON — Zach Senyshyn will be among those getting their first preseason action Wednesday night when the Bruins host the Red Wings at TD Garden. Senyshyn, who underwent an appendectomy on Sept. 4, will skate on the right wing of a line with Austin Czarnik and Sean Kuraly.

It’s something of a surprise to see Senyshyn getting into games this early, but it’s a good sign as he looks to show his progress from his first training camp a season ago.

“I think that I feel really confident and back to a 100 percent,” Senyshyn said. “I’m ready to go tonight.”

Czarnik, Kuraly and Peter Mueller are the only players in Wednesday’s lineup who also played on the Bruins’ preseason opener on Monday. The forward lines from morning skate were as follows:


On defense, the B’s will dress Linus Arnesson, Chris Casto, Matt Grzelcyk, Jeremy Lauzon, Adam McQuaid, Colin Miller. The goalies for Wednesday are Malcolm Subban and Dan Vladar.

Read More: Zach Senyshyn,

Danton Heinen has realistic chance of starting season in NHL

09.27.16 at 6:55 pm ET
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Danton Heinen

Danton Heinen

When Danton Heinen decided to turn pro after his sophomore year at University of Denver, he eyed the NHL, but he’d have been warranted if he assumed he’d start the 2016-17 season in Providence.

Fast forward to this week, and a job in Boston is there for the taking. While the left-shooting Heinen’s best chance of stealing a job once looked to be on the right side, Frank Vatrano’s foot surgery means that there’s a job to the left of either David Krejci or Ryan Spooner/David Backes up for grabs. One will be filled by Matt Beleskey. The other, reserved for Vatrano, could be filled by Heinen and he knows it.

“Maybe,” Heinen said. “You never like seeing a guy go down, and he’s such a good player, but I guess that opens up another spot. I’m just going to work as hard as I can and see what happens.”

Heinen, a fourth-round pick in the 2014 draft who quickly shot up prospect rankings with 45 points in 40 games as a freshman and 48 points as a sophomore, spent his first preseason game Monday logging big minutes and playing on the penalty kill and power play. In the third period, he cut through the slot and redirected a point shot in for the game-tying goal of an eventual shootout loss.

That wasn’t the only bright spot for Heinen, who was noticeable on nearly every shift — mostly for good. Yet he also looked a bit overzealous at times, such as when he made a blind pass in the offensive zone that was intercepted and went the other way for a Blue Jackets goal. Still, it was a mostly strong debut for a 21-year-old who had never gotten to experience an NHL training camp due to NCAA restrictions.

“He looks to make plays every time he’s on the ice,” Bruins assistant coach Bruce Cassidy said. “Like a young player, he’s going to have to learn to manage it, when the play’s there and when he’s going to have to put the puck in a place where we can get it back, [make a] safe play. I think every young player goes through that. You want players that want to make plays and have the ability to do that, so I think that’s a good problem to have. He’ll just have to learn to manage it.”

Heinen was robbed by Curtis McElhinney on a second-period 5-on-3, preventing him from notching a two-goal night. On the other side of special teams, Heinen was deployed to kill multiple penalties.

“You’ve got to be good in all three zones,” Heinen said. “[Playing] the PK just makes you more versatile. I thought I was alright on the PK. I think there’s room for improvement, but it was definitely fun just to get some reps.”

Heinen was centered by Riley Nash on Monday. Where Nash seems ticketed for a fourth-line job on the wing, it will be interesting to see how he looks if and when he’s played alongside the likes of Krejci, Spooner or Backes. He and Krejci were linemates on the first day of training camp, and if they can show any chemistry this preseason (and Heinen can fend off Peter Mueller), there’s a decent chance they could be linemates come mid-October.

Heinen is far from a sure thing to make the NHL as a first-year pro, but his chances are looking a lot better than they were just a week ago.

Read More: Danton Heinen, Frank Vatrano,

Takeaways from Bruins’ preseason loss to Blue Jackets: Danton Heinen, Brandon Carlo make impression

09.26.16 at 9:43 pm ET
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Brandon Carlo

The Bruins opened preseason play Monday night with a 3-2 shootout loss to the Blue Jackets at TD Garden. Danton Heinen, Jimmy Hayes, Brandon Carlo, Jake DeBrusk, Jakub Zboril and Anton Khudobin were among those in uniform for the B’s, with Hayes and Heinen both scoring goals in regulation.

The B’s will next play Wednesday when they host the Red Wings. Here are some takeaways from Monday night’s exhibition:

– Two top prospects collaborated on the Bruins’ second goal Monday, as Heinen capped his first (preseason) NHL game by redirecting a point shot from Carlo.

Heinen, who stands a good chance of helping fill the void created by Frank Vatrano’s injury, was utilized heavily with mixed results. Skating with Riley Nash and Seth Griffith, Heinen moved the puck well for the most part in 5-on-5 play and also saw time on the power play and penalty kill, but a blind pass in the second period led to a turnover that yielded a Blue Jackets goal on the ensuing possession.

– Carlo was paired with John-Micheal Liles Monday. He looked mostly solid prior to his goal, with a bright spot coming when he skated the puck around Brandon Saad coming out of the defensive zone in the first period. He got caught high in the offensive zone after the B’s entered, however, and with better puck management Columbus could have had a 2-on-1 as a result.

“Arguably our best D, if not our best D,” Bruins assistant coach Bruce Cassidy said of Carlo’s performance against the Jackets. “Real good decision-making, gaps are good… he jumped up the ice, got his shot through when it was there. He matched up well with whoever was put out there, pushed back in front of our net. Lot of good things.”

– Boston’s first goal came from Hayes, who completed a give-and-go with DeBrusk after a pass from Austin Czarink in the neutral zone. Hayes going to the net and scoring was a welcomed sight for a Garden crowd that didn’t see it often enough last season. True to their concerns, Hayes couldn’t handle a bouncing loose puck in the slot during a third-period power play.

– Heinen wasn’t the only top notable Bruins prospect at fault for Columbus’ second goal. Jakub Zboril left Daniel Zaar alone in front of the net to tend to Sam Gagner, who fed the puck in front to the open Zaar to set up the goal. There appeared to be some confusion between Zboril and Seth Griffith as to who should have had whom, leading to some unsuccessful job duplication.

– It was an up-and-down night for Griffith overall. He missed the net on a good chance during a second-period 5-on-3, and though he appeared to make up for it moments later by setting up Danton Heinen, Curtis McElhinney robbed Heinen to keep the score 2-1. Griffith later picked up an assist on Heinen’s goal, sending the puck to Carlo from the wall. He was called for a delay of game minutes later for sending the puck over the glass.

– Peter Mueller didn’t necessarily stand out in his preseason debut. The most notable thing the camp invite did Monday was take a second-period hooking penalty.

– Anton Khudobin played the first two periods and Zane McIntyre played the third and overtime. No major issues with either performance, although I still have no idea how/if Sonny Milano’s first-period power play goal went in.

– The lineup for the Bruins Monday was as fallows, with Kevan Miller and Liles both serving as alternate captains:


Zboril-Kevan Miller


Read More: Brandon Carlo, Bruce Cassidy, Danton Heinen, Jimmy Hayes
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