|09.28.13 at 10:09 am ET|
The Bruins made four cuts from camp Saturday morning, with Ryan Spooner and Niklas Svedberg the two most notable. With Svedberg cut, Chad Johnson has won the backup goaltending job. Also sent to Providence were Matt Fraser and Matt Lindblad.
Prior to the announcement of the cuts, Spooner gave word of his assignment on Twitter.
' Ryan Spooner (@RSpooner2376) September 28, 2013
Spooner impressed in camp, but with all four center positions locked up there was no feasible spot for him. He has never played wing competitively and the team is not interested in moving him from center, where his smarts and playmaking ability should make him a top-six player at the NHL level down the road.
With Spooner sent down, it would appear the team’s extra forward spot is down to Nick Johnson and Jordan Caron. Both could make the team if the B’s elect to keep 14 forwards. Since Spooner is on his entry level deal, he can be sent to Providence without being subject to waivers, whereas the B’s would risk losing Johnson or Caron to waivers by sending them down.
As for Svedberg, the Bruins were able to save $400,000 off the cap by sending him to Providence rather than Johnson. Svedberg has a $1 million NHL cap hit to Johnson’s $600,000, while Svedberg being on a two-way deal means he’ll be paid $70,000 at the AHL level. Johnson, who is a on a one-way deal, would be paid $600,000 either way.
Neither goalie was necessarily better than the other in camp, making it more sensible to keep Johnson over Svedberg.
With these moves having been made, there are two left to be made. Bobby Robins (out with a knee injury) and Kevan Miller figure to go back to Providence, while the team will also make a decision to move Johnson or Caron down (or out) or keep both.
|09.27.13 at 10:43 am ET|
With the season-opener against the Lightning just six days away, here’s another projection of the Bruins’ lineup:
Extra forwards: Nick Johnson, Jordan Caron
It might be unlikely that they keep two extra forwards, but this scenario would at least allow them to avoid the risk of losing Johnson or Caron to waivers.
The two players who deserve to make the team as an extra forward are Johnson and Ryan Spooner, but it’s hard to imagine Spooner getting a shot. For starters, he wouldn’t be subject to waivers. Also, the only scenario in which he would play would be if a center got hurt, in which case the B’s could just call him up. They’re not going to play him out of position, as he’s never played there before and the Bruins have enough wingers.
Extra defenseman: Matt Bartkowski
No surprises here. In fact, maybe the biggest surprise was the fact that the B’s sent Zach Trotman back as early as they did. Trotman figured to be pushing Dougie Hamilton the most, and though Kevan Miller has played well, he isn’t taking Hamilton’s spot or replacing Matt Bartkowsi as the seventh defenseman.
Niklas Svedberg looked really good at points in Thursday’s overtime win over the Jets, but Johnson also had a solid start when he blanked the Red Wings last Saturday. If they’re even close to even, the job should go to Johnson since he’s on a one-way deal (making the same amount — $600,000 — no matter where he plays) and would carry a $600,000 cap hit at the NHL level as opposed to Svedberg’s $1 million hit. Svedberg is also on a two-way deal, so it would be cheaper to have Johnson making NHL money and Svedberg making AHL money as opposed to both players getting paid NHL dollars.
|09.26.13 at 11:50 pm ET|
With the regular season less than a week away, chat all things Bruins with DJ Bean Friday at noon.
|09.26.13 at 10:12 pm ET|
Loui Eriksson scored 1:46 into overtime off a feed from Ryan Spooner to give the B’s a 3-2 win Thursday night against the Jets in Winnipeg. The teams will play once more Friday in Saskatoon, which will be Boston’s final preseason game.
Here are some observations from the contest:
- Niklas Svedberg got his first full game of the preseason and took turns being spectacular and rather unspectacular. He seemed unsure of himself a couple times early on, including when he let a shot trickle through his five hole that was saved by Dougie Hamilton.
Yet there was also a lot to like about Svedberg’s game. He was sharp enough to glove Chris Thorburn about a minute and a half into the game when the Jets forward picked up a loose puck that had been given away by Dennis Seidenberg in front of the net and threw a quick back-hander on net.
Svedberg also turned in a nice save when, after he kicked a rebound from a Michael Frolik shot to Evander Kane, Svedberg robbed Kane to keep it a 1-1 game at the time.
- Patrice Bergeron‘s line remains a work in progress, as there was some good and bad from the trio. Bergeron scored the game’s opening goal and the trio nearly had a second goal when Eriksson fed Bergeron in front of the net on a second-period power play.
On the other hand, Eriksson crashed into Brad Marchand at the blue line in the second period on a play on which the B’s were whistled for being offsides. So there’s that.
One of the highlights of the game when Marchand didn’t completely undress Dustin Byfuglien on a shorthanded bid, but he did make him drop his stick.
- Hamilton doesn’t need to worry about job security, but he sure didn’t have a good game Thursday night. Hamilton took two penalties and was checked onto bench by Jim Slater in second period. He was also on the ice for Mark Scheifele‘s power-play goal in the third period.
- Spooner’s strong camp continued as he evened the game at two goals apiece on a shot that initially appeared to be tipped by Matt Fraser but was later credited to him. he also assisted Eriksson’s game-winning goal. Spooner, who skated on a line with Fraser and Reilly Smith, has done everything he can to earn a spot on the B’s, but he figures to be a victim of circumstance given that the B’s have more than enough centers and Spooner wouldn’t be subject to waivers like Jordan Caron or Nick Johnson.
|09.25.13 at 4:32 pm ET|
Bruins right wing Reilly Smith has a rather self-deprecating sense of humor, so when the third-line hopeful pooh-poohed the job he did Monday night against the Capitals, perhaps it was to be taken with a grain of salt.
But seriously, it was bad.
Smith, who is both running away with the third line right wing job in training camp and humble enough to admit that defensemen were allowed to take faceoffs before he was in his college days, appears to be getting some more responsibility as the preseason goes on. He has now skated on the projected third line with Chris Kelly and Carl Soderberg in two straight games, and on Tuesday the B’s gave him a look on the penalty kill.
Smith, who killed penalties in the AHL last season (his first out of college, which he split between the Texas and Dallas Stars), has not done so at the NHL level. Perhaps that showed when, after a too-many men call in the second period, Smith was given his first PK shift of the night and saw Connor Carrick score just 16 seconds into it.
“I thought I was going to go serve the penalty,” Smith said Wednesday of the bench minor, which was served by Ryan Spooner. “Kells was like, ‘No Smitty, you’ve got to come. You’ve got to [kill the penalty] with me.’ I was like, ‘Ah, this isn’t going to turn out well.’ They scored about 10 seconds later, so we’ll see if I’m playing the penalty kill tomorrow.”
While the experience was a comically bad one for Smith, he should take the fact that Julien put him on the penalty kill as a good sign. Smith, who was acquired in the July 4 blockbuster with the Stars, has shown legitimate two-way abilities, strength on the wall, strong skating and a decent bit of grit in his first training camp with the Bruins. Putting him on the PK means the Bruins are taking him seriously.
“I guess we’ll see,” Claude Julien said of whether he feels Smith could be a viable option on the PK. “I think we need to have a look at him first and then decide. That’s what preseason games are for. You experiment with those things and then you evaluate and make those decisions. I think overall we’ve got a pretty good group of penalty killers, guys who have killed before, but you try to find out as much as you can from every player, especially the new ones.”
Bad experiences aside — and the B’s did give Smith another shift on the penalty kill, which he says was an opportunity to redeem himself — Smith doesn’t see why he couldn’t become a penalty killer for Boston. He’s a smart two-way player, so even if it isn’t right away, Smith would be happy to offer his services.
“It’s just attention to detail,” he said. “Sometimes you get caught in the wrong spot. I played a lot of penalty kill in the AHL last year. It’s just something that you get better at with time. The NHL’s a lot faster and a lot quicker, so that’s one thing you just have to adapt you.”
|09.25.13 at 1:12 pm ET|
With the Bruins headed north to play their final two games of the preseason, there’s still one thing that they need to see: Niklas Svedberg play an entire game. He’ll do that Thursday against the Jets.
The reigning AHL goaltender of the year played the second half of last week’s shootout win over the Capitals in Baltimore, but to this point Chad Johnson has seen more game action. Johnson struggled in allowing three goals on eight shots in Montreal last week but bounced back with a shutout Saturday against the Red Wings.
At this point, Johnson would appear to have the upper hand in the competition simply because he’s played more and has a good performance under his belt. Yet the competition for Tuukka Rask‘s backup remains wide open between the two, and Svedberg will get his chance Thursday. Rask will then play the preseason finale Friday and have a bit of a wait before the season-opener next Thursday.
Svedberg had a woeful practice Wednesday, as skaters scored on him in bunches during drills. In particular, he was beaten stick side numerous times, and his glove wasn’t much better. Afterwards, Claude Julien cautioned against getting carried away with practices.
“To be honest with you, I don’t put too much value in those practices,” Julien said. “There are guys that get lit up in practice but you can’t get a puck by them in a game, and vice versa. To me, it’s evaluating guys in game situations. As long as he has a good work ethic in practice and has a good attitude, I’m good with that, but at the end of the day it’s what you do in game situations. This is the opportunity we’re going to have to see him tomorrow.”
|09.23.13 at 11:53 pm ET|
The Bruins made three cuts from camp Monday night, sending Craig Cunningham and David Warsofsky to Providence and placing Mike Moore on the waivers for the purpose of assignment to Providence.
None of the three cuts were surprises, as these were relatively minor moves. With two preseason games left and 28 healthy players, expect bigger cuts in the coming days leading up to next Thursday’s regular season opener.
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