|09.13.14 at 5:17 pm ET|
ANTIOCH, Tenn. – David Pastrnak drew three penalties, made some nice plays and lost half a tooth in his first game as a Bruin.
Pastrnak centered a line with Anthony Camara and Seth Griffith as the B’s rookies took a 2-0 loss to the Panthers Saturday. He created a few of chances in the first period, the first of which came when he spun off a defender high in the zone and dished it to the wing. Later in the first, he intercepted a pass from Florida goaltender Sam Brittain and sent it in front, but Griffith couldn’t get there in time.
His best play of the game, however, was a one-man show in which he stole the puck from 2014 first overall pick Aaron Ekblad high in the defensive zone, bolted through the neutral zone and went through a defender for a partial break. He was then slashed by Florida defender Jonathan Racine and wasn’t able to get much on his shot, which was stopped by Brittain.
In the second period, Pastrnak got his stick on a puck in the neutral zone and pushed it up to Camara and Griffith for a 2-on-1. The next shift, Camara returned the favor by sending a pass up to Pastrnak in the neutral zone, but Pastrnak missed wide with a slap shot. He was also on the ice for the game-winning Panthers goal during 4-on-4 play early in the second.
One thing that was very apparent Saturday: Pastrnak tries to force a lot of turnovers defensively and gets his stick on a lot of pucks. Once he gets it, he makes things happen.
“Certainly, some offensive opportunities he created on his own or from some other people are fun to watch,’ B’s assistant general manager Don Sweeney said after the game. “There’s some risk-reward in his game that at times will really translate and other times he’ll understand that that’s a young man’s play. That’s what coaching and growth and development is all about.
“But [we’re] really excited about the offensive plays that he did make and the effort that he puts in. He’s back on the back check, strips the puck and goes the other way as well. Lots of good things to like about David’s play and lots of things to have some talking moments that I’m sure coaches will address with him.”
Pastrnak got better on faceoffs as the day went on. There was a brief scare in the third period when Racine appeared to get him in the face with a high stick. He lost half a tooth on the play, with Racine going off for high-sticking.
He stayed in the game and drew a penalty shot on his next shift. After some fancy stick handling, he hit the post trying to beat Panthers goalie Jacob DeSerres glove side. Since shootouts will be held at the end of each of these games no matter what, Pastrnak got another crack at it and was stopped.
|09.13.14 at 4:10 pm ET|
ANTIOCH, Tenn. — The Bruins rookies lost the opening game of their three-game tournament Saturday, falling to the Panthers by a 2-0 score.
Here are some observations from the game:
– 2014 first-round pick David Pastrnak centered Anthony Camara and Seth Griffith in addition to skating on the first power play unit. He made a few really nice plays, most notably stealing the puck from 2014 first overall pick Aaron Ekblad late in the first, flying through the neutral zone and going through a defender before being slashed on a partial break.
Pastrnak caught a stick to the face midway through the third period, but was not bleeding and stayed in the game after getting checked out by a trainer on the bench. Pastrnak lost half a tooth on the play.
He didn’t miss any time, however, as he drew a penalty shot on his next shift and hit the post.
For more on Pastrnak’s game, check out today’s Pastrnak Watch.
– Malcolm Subban was in goal for the B’s. He wasn’t tested in the first, facing just three shots on goal. Panthers forward Steven Hodges scored on Subban with a wrist shot from the left circle on Florida’s first shot of the second period, with Cody Payne (a fifth-round pick of the Bruins in the 2012 who was traded to the Stars in the Jaromir Jagr deal) tucked a loose puck in front past Subban’s right skate for a power play goal in the second.
Subban made up for a Dawson Leedahl turnover in the third by making two stops in front. He finished the day with 19 saves.
– Brian Ferlin skated on the second line with Ben Sexton and Matt Lindblad.
– Camara took three penalties the third period. Shortly after he took a trip by taking down a Panthers player on a race to the puck, he want back to the box for high-sticking. He also took a cross-checking penalty with the goalie pulled with just over a minute to play.
– Regardless of the score, shootouts will occur at the end of each of these games. Seth Griffith scored for the B’s, Alex Fallstrom, Camara, Ferlin and Pastrnak were stopped by DeSerres.
|09.13.14 at 1:46 am ET|
NASHVILLE — As darkhorse candidates to make the Bruins go, Brian Ferlin’s numbers won’t dazzle the ‘they need a sniper!’ crowd.
Yet Ferlin, whom the Bruins chose in the fourth round of the 2011 draft (a round after they took Anthony Camara), presents an intriguing case. The Jacksonville native left Cornell to sign with the Bruins after three years of playing in coach Mike Schafer’s defensive system, and he feels he has more to give offensively.
While it’s good that he aspires to be a better offensive player, his numbers at Cornell weren’t bad, especially considering the system the team played. For example, with 13 goals in 32 games as a junior, Ferlin was the only Cornell player to reach double digits in goals scored. As a sophomore, he was second on the team with 24 points (11 goals, 13 assists).
His .84 points per game clip as a junior (27 points in 32 games), combined with his two-way play, was enough for the Bruins to encourage the 6-foot-2, 201-pound right wing to turn pro.
“At the end of the day, they left it up to me,” Ferlin said Friday. “They didn’t really push me too much one way or another, but after talking to Sweeney and Chiarelli, those guys, they made it really clear that there was obviously opportunity within the organization and I just kind of felt like I was mentally and physically ready to make the jump to the next level.”
Though he’s yet to play an AHL game, Ferlin hopes he can make a strong enough push to make himself a realistic candidate to take one of the forward spots that is up for grabs. One thing he has going for him is that he’s a right shot, as none of the NHL right wings on Boston’s roster are righties. Ferlin is, as are David Pastrnak and Seth Griffith.
Ferlin’s also willing to fight, it seems, as he worked on technique with Bobby Robins after a recent informal practice. Robins, Ferlin said, had approached him about it, and Ferlin accepted with the mindset that he should be able to offer anything and everything to the team if it means getting a spot. He’s only fought twice before, dating back to his USHL days in 2010. The last fight he got in was against now-Canadiens defenseman Jared Tinordi.
Yet for all the smart hockey he plans to offer and his willingness to drop the gloves, it will be offensive firepower that will round him out as a prospect. It’s common for players to be weak in their offensive zone, but not being able to produce offensively ‘ something that has plagued players like Jordan Caron ‘ can really hurt players who otherwise have NHL qualities.
“I think that certainly the areas that I needed to work on in my game defensively and playing really solid in all three zones, that’s a big thing that coach Schafer emphasizes at Cornell,” Ferlin said. “I think I definitely came out of there a more well-rounded player, but it’s definitely not a run-and-gun offense. You’re not taking a bunch of chances. Traditionally, there’s not many guys that put up huge numbers there. There’s been a lot of pretty good pro players that come out of that program, so I’m not too worried about it from that standpoint.
“I think coach Schafer really helped me and he obviously plays a similar system to what the Bruins expect out of their guys — being responsible in all three zones, so I think that will help me really translate over well to the pro game.”
|09.12.14 at 8:58 pm ET|
ANTIOCH, Tenn. — Welcome to the first installment of “Pastrnak Watch,” in which we’ll sporadically provide updates on David Pastrnak’s push for a roster spot this training camp.
In Friday’s practice, which was the first for Bruins prospects since they arrived in Nashville for a five-day stay and rookie tournament, Pastrnak played all center.
Pastrnak doesn’t play center for Sodertalje SK in Sweden, though he’s played it a bit this summer for the Czech Republic Under-20 team. There’s no shot he’d be a center this season for the Bruins (the need is at right wing, the position he plays in Sweden), but Pastrnak said after the practice that playing center helps him round out his game, as it comes with more defensive responsibilities.
The 18-year-old centered a few different lines, as he skated with Seth Griffith and Anthony Camara early, and Brian Ferlin and Camara later, while also working on the power play with Camara, Griffith, Lindblad and Chris Casto.
“I think you’ll probably see him play both the center and the wing during this rookie camp; I think that’s the plan,” Providence Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said after the practice. “I’m kind of going off management where they slotted him in at center, so that’s where he’ll play.
“I think they’ll probably move him around, but you’ve got to do more as a centerman away from the puck, and I think it will be good for him to show the people he needs to show what he’s got in that area of the game. Like most young guys, I think he’ll struggle a little bit early on. It’s normal to want to get going on offense and get ahead of the puck and learning to play below the puck is always a challenge for a centerman. Hopefully, he catches on quick and it works out well for him. And hopefully he has the puck a lot and he doesn’t have to worry about it.”
All in all, Pastrnak looked like he fit in well with the group of NHL hopefuls. He pulled off a successful deke to score on Malcolm Subban early on during drills, but Subban answered back by gloving a wrist shot on Pastrnak’s next turn. Subban also stopped a pair of Pastrnak one-timers.
Pastrnak is wearing No. 88. During 3-on-3 drills, he put in strong work behind the net to steal the puck from a bigger defender. He also tried to pull off too fancy a spin move on Kevin Sullivan high in the zone and lost the puck. Pastrnak and the B’s rookies will face off against Panthers prospects at 2 p.m. Saturday.
More to come on Pastrnak (bigger piece Saturday in addition to these updates throughout camp).
|09.12.14 at 7:23 pm ET|
ANTIOCH, Tenn. — Bruins prospects have kicked of their stay in Tennessee with a practice at the just-opened Ford Ice Center.
The B’s youngsters will play three games as part of a four-team rookie tournament. They’ll play prospects from the Panthers on Saturday, Lightning Sunday and Predators Tuesday. The roster is as follows:
FORWARDS: Andrew Aamon*, Spencer Asuchak*, Anthony Camara, Mitchell Dempsey, Alex Fallstrom, Brian Ferlin, Seth Griffith, Cory Kane*, Dawson Leedahl*, Matt Lindblad, Pastrnak, Ben Sexton, Kevin Sullivan*.
DEFENSEMEN: Linus Arnesson, Bryce Aneloski*, Mickael Beauregard*, Chris Casto, Lee Moffie*, Frankie Simonelli*, Mike Young*.
GOALTENDERS: Adam Morrison, Malcolm Subban
*Aamon, Aneloski, Asuchak, Beauregard, Leedahl, Moffie, Simonelli, Sullivan and Young are in rookie camp on a tryout basis.
Prior to the practice, a big ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the Ford Ice Center, which will serve as the Predators’ practice facility. Among those present for the ceremony was none other than country legend and elite in-concert storyteller Vince Gill.
My dad and I go to see Gill whenever he’s in Boston, so I assumed he would be friendly enough to tolerate some punk coming up to him and saying “my father go to see you whenever you’re in Boston.” Not only was he super-friendly, but he shared that he actually grew up a Bruins fan because the Bruins’ minor-league team, the Oklahoma City Blazers, were the closest team to his hometown of Norman, Okla.
Gill said he’s never gotten a chance to go to an actual Bruins game over the years and has since adopted the Predators as his team, but said he went to tons of Blazers games as a kid, with Wayne Cashman among the Bruins he saw.
|09.10.14 at 2:07 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Johnny Boychuk hopes he hasn’t played his last game as a Bruin.
With the Bruins in a tight spot salary cap-wise ($3.218 million in space, assuming Marc Savard is put on long-term injured reserve), the team more or less needs to make some sort of move in order to sign Torey Krug and Reilly Smith, both of whom remain without contracts with just over a week before training camp begins.
Boychuk is a potential trade candidate because he is entering the final year of his contract and, should he reach free agency, would be worth more than the Bruins could afford. His limited no-trade clause also expired on May 31. Though he’s a key member of Boston’s blue line, Boston’s depth at defense means at least one player could be expendable.
Speaking to the local media for the first time this season, Boychuk said he isn’t focused on anything but playing for the Bruins.
“This is my family and you always want to stay with them,” he said. “It’s such a great team and organization.”
Boychuk admitted he has heard the reports of him possibly being traded, but he noted that Maple Leafs defenseman Tomas Kaberle was rumored to be traded to the Bruins for years before it actually happened in 2011. As such, he won’t put stock in what he hears until a move is actually made.
“It’s tough to hear, but at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter what anybody says,” Boychuk said. “If it happens, then you work on that part. But until it does, you can’t control it, so you’ve just got to keep playing the way that you can and you always want to stay here, but if something happens then it does. But you have no control over it. You want to stay with the guys that you grew up playing with.”
The Bruins recently signed their other top UFA-to-be in David Krejci to a six-year, $43.5 million extension. Not counting Savard, the B’s currently have $49,897,857 in cap dollars committed to just 10 players for the 2015-16 season. The cap is expected to go up from its current $69 million mark, but money figures to still be tight with Boychuk, Carl Soderberg and Dougie Hamilton among the players who will need new contracts. Boychuk said he would like a new deal with the Bruins, but wouldn’t have a problem with being unsigned into the season.
Asked what he feels like he’d be worth in a trade, Boychuk reiterated that he doesn’t want to find out.
“I don’t even know what I’m worth,” he said. “I’m just worth whatever somebody’s willing to give, I guess. But I don’t want to be traded at all.”
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
|09.09.14 at 5:15 pm ET|
WILMINGTON – If anyone knows what it feels like to be Torey Krug or Reilly Smith right now, it’s Brad Marchand.
The fall after the B’s won the Cup in 2011, Marchand, a restricted free agent, remained unsigned up until two days before training camp began. The sides avoided a holdout by striking a two-year, $5 million deal.
With training camp opening next week, both Krug and Smith remain without contracts. Marchand can remember the feeling of being days out of training camp and trying to agree to a new deal.
“It’s tough,” he said Tuesday. “They want to be here and we’d love to have them here. I don’t know what’s happening with the negotiations, but it is a frustrating time for both sides.
“You want to be with the guys and skating and have all that stuff behind you, because at the end of the day you love the game and you don’t want to be missing out on this stuff. Hopefully it will get done soon, and I’m sure it will.”
In the cases Krug and Smith, the circumstances are different than Marchand’s was. For one, Krug and Smith are entry level free agents and therefore don’t have any leverage. The biggest thing at play here, however, is the fact that cap space is tight.
Boston has only $3.218 million to sign both players for the coming season. A trade is expected at some point, but until the B’s do anything, forcing both players to take less than they’re worth is the team’s only move.
Training camp holdouts happen in the NHL (Drew Doughty in 2011 among them) and both P.K. Subban and Ryan O’Reilly were restricted free agents who missed games in the lockout-shortened 2013 season before eventually signing with their teams.
For his own sake, Marchand doesn’t want to see Smith, the right wing on Boston’s second line, sit out into the season. He’d rather have Smith in camp so prepare for the season with Marchand and Patrice Bergeron.
“It would be good,” Marchand said of Smith’s situation resolving itself sooner rather than later. “It’s always good to have as much time in training camp to play with your line, but that’s not something I can control.”
And if Smith remains unsigned for a long time?
“Me and Bergy will just go out and have fun by ourselves, I guess.”
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