|09.22.16 at 3:50 pm ET|
BRIGHTON — With Team Canada being given
a break from destroying everyone at the World Cup of Hockey an off day, Claude Julien flew from Toronto to Boston to brag about destroying everyone at the World Cup of Hockey check in with the Bruins for the start of training camp.
Julien, who is running Team Canada’s penalty kill under Mike Babcock, said that he came back to “make sure everything got off on the right foot” before his assistants take over for the opening days of practice. Canada, which won all three of its first-round games, will play an elimination game Saturday in the tournament semifinals. Canada would be a heavy favorite against its potential opponents (Russia or Team North America), so it could be a few days before Julien is in Boston again.
Two thirds of Canada’s top line is made up of Bruins, as Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron have flanked Sidney Crosby in the tournament. Julien said he didn’t need to talk Babcock into forming the line given Bergeron’s chemistry with Crosby in the Olympics and Marchand since the 2010-11 season.
“I didn’t have to push for any of that, to be honest with you,” Julien said. “One of the reasons is Sid and Bergy have obviously played together before. At the same time, when you look at Bergy and March, they’re pretty good together as a pair. It just seemed to be the right fit to start with, and it just worked out. We weren’t necessarily thinking, ‘That’s the line, it’s going to stay that way.’ They certainly had to prove that they were a good line and they did that. Our two guys have no doubt been dialed in from Day 1 and to me have been tremendous players for our hockey club.”
Marchand, who is entering the final year of his contract, scored a career-best 37 goals last season.
“I think Brad’s been that kind of a player for quite a long time,” Julien said. “We just have to look back from his first year to where he is now. When I say he’s matured as a hockey player, he’s also matured as a person because he’s also become a pretty good leader. Right now, where he is with Team Canada, he’s also very respected by his teammates for the way he prepares, the way he plays and everything else. He’s come a long ways, and at the same time, what better way to grow and become better than when you’re playing alongside probably one of the best two-way centers in the league? He’s had that luxury, and as a coach, you’re extremely proud of what they’ve done so far.”
|09.22.16 at 2:53 pm ET|
BRIGHTON — If and when Zac Rinaldo makes it back to the NHL, he’ll have to serve a five-game suspension. That won’t apply during the preseason, however, as B’s general manager Don Sweeney said that the league will allow him to play in exhibition games.
Rinaldo was given a five-gamer for a hit on Cedric Paquette that he committed on Feb. 28, the same day he was waived by the team with the intention of being sent to Providence. He has one more year on his contract and plans to push for a return to the NHL.
Sweeney said that Rinaldo is currently injured, but clarified that he should play in the preseason.
“That’s been clarified by the league. He’s eligible to play in preseason games,” Sweeney said. “He has a little bit of a lower-body injury that he’s nursing right now. He’ll be out for the first couple of days of camp, and we’ll monitor and see, but he doesn’t have any restrictions in preseason. He’s still under suspension in the regular season; he’ll have to serve those, but he doesn’t have any restrictions in preseason.”
|09.22.16 at 2:46 pm ET|
BRIGHTON — The Bruins kicked off training camp Thursday with fitness testing, and they’ll take the ice for the first official practices of the season Friday.
Don Sweeney said there were no major surprises in the testing, with no two names drawing more attention than David Krejci and Torey Krug. The players are coming off offseason surgeries for hip and shoulder injuries, respectively, and both players will practice Friday in a limited capacity.
Both Krejci and Krug said they intend to have no limits skating-wise, but intimated they will not take contact yet. Sweeney said the players will be on a “modified contact” plan in the early going of camp as they look to be ready for the Oct. 13 season-opener. Krejci said his plan is to play at least a couple preseason games.
Zach Senyshyn, who has been skating in recent days after an appendectomy on Sept. 4, will also practice with the team. Zac Rinaldo is nursing an injury, according to Sweeney, and will not practice in the earlygoing of camp. Suspended at the NHL level, Rinaldo will be allowed to play in preseason games.
|09.22.16 at 9:53 am ET|
Though he’d seen his stock rise leading up to the 2015 draft, Jake DeBrusk was supposed to be a late first-round pick who was years away from making the NHL. That’s what he the scouting reports said, and that’s the path he came to expect.
“I kind of thought I was going to be a two-to-three-year [wait] for the NHL; that was my projection and what I was told anyways,” DeBrusk said Wednesday.
As it turned out, DeBrusk ended up being the second left wing drafted when the Bruins selected him 14th overall, ahead of higher-billed prospects. So what happens to one’s expectations for their development when they’re told they’re one thing and end up being another? Do they expect they’ll reach the NHL sooner? Do they expect they’ll be better?
These kind of questions are interesting in the case of DeBrusk, as he is now entering his second training camp. Assuming he doesn’t make the Bruins, he is eligible to play in the AHL. This is now officially his job, and the days of making a quick impression and then heading back to junior for the year are over.
“[Last year’s camp] was one of those things where I just wanted to learn as much as possible and things like that,” he said. “Now it’s [still] learning, but it’s one of those things where I feel I’m striving for a job and I’m motivated to do it.“
DeBrusk was not happy with last year’s training camp, one that saw him flunk his conditioning test along with fellow first-round picks Jakub Zboril and Zach Senyshyn. He was realistic in thinking he wasn’t expected to make the team, but he came away disappointed in what he showed the Bruins.
“I kind of thought last year, just try to get maybe into a game or things like that, but I didn’t know how the process worked or anything like that. It shell-shocked me, to be honest,” DeBrusk said. “It didn’t go so well and that’s one of the things I learned a lot from. You’ve got to learn from your mistakes as much as your wins.”
Now, after a WHL season that saw him miss time due to injury and get traded, DeBrusk wants to leave the Bruins with a difficult decision when it comes to roster cuts. He was more than a point-a-game player last season after his trade to Red Deer, putting up 56 points (20 goals, 36 points) in 54 games. He’s also bulked up to 187 pounds after aiming to finish the summer close to 190.
The most likely destination for DeBrusk is Providence, but the B’s failing in their efforts to get left wing Jimmy Vesey leaves the door open a crack that he could steal a job. With the CHL-NHL transfer agreement no longer blocking him from being a pro, DeBrusk is glad that he’s not in an all-or-nothing situation, but his primary objective is to show he’s closer to the NHL than people thought he’d be at this point.
“Even with the [rookie] games, I felt way more comfortable and just back to myself,” DeBrusk said. “That’s when things are going good, and that’s the best kind of hockey I play, is when I’m feeling like this. I’m just looking forward to continuing it on and strive for that Bruins squad.”
And that’s how you write about a guy without mentioning his testicles once.
|09.21.16 at 10:02 pm ET|
The Bruins announced their roster for training camp, a group that includes Zach Senyshyn, who has skated the last two days after undergoing an appendectomy on Sept. 4.
Camp will begin Thursday, with players undergoing off-ice testing before beginning practices Friday. David Backes, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, Tuukka Rask and Zdeno Chara will join the team after returning from the World Cup of Hockey. Claude Julien will also join the camp in progress, as Boston’s assistant coaches will run camp while Julien is serving as an assistant coach for Team Canada.
The full roster is as follows:
Forwards: Noel Acciari, David Backes, Matt Beleskey, Patrice Bergeron, Anton Blidh, Colby Cave, Peter Cehlarik, Austin Czarnik, Jake DeBrusk, Brian Ferlin, Jesse Gabrielle, Seth Griffith, Colton Hargrove, Jimmy Hayes, Danton Heinen, Justin Hickman, David Krejci, Sean Kuraly, Brad Marchand, Dominic Moore, Peter Mueller (professional tryout), Mark Naclerio, Riley Nash, David Pastrnak, Tyler Randell, Zac Rinaldo, Tim Schaller, Zach Senyshyn, Ryan Spooner, Frank Vatrano, A.J. White
Defensemen: Linus Arnesson, Chris Breen, Brandon Carlo, Chris Casto, Zdeno Chara, Tommy Cross, Alex Grant, Matt Grzelcyk, Torey Krug, Jeremy Lauzon, John-Michael Liles, Adam McQuaid, Colin Miller, Kevan Miller, Joe Morrow, Rob O’Gara, Alex Roach, Jakub Zboril
Goaltenders: Anton Khudobin, Zane McIntyre, Tuukka Rask, Malcolm Subban, Dan Vladar
|09.21.16 at 1:19 pm ET|
Stanley Cup champion Phil Kessel was the coolest American hockey player on Tuesday night. After Team USA got eliminated from the World Cup of Hockey with a 4-2 loss to Canada, he went on Twitter and dogged management for not putting him on the team.
This was funny for a lot of reasons, one of which was because pretty much everyone agreed that his omission was a move that suggested Team USA wanted to be tough more than it wanted to be good. Plus people didn’t know that Kessel, whose social skills have been overanalyzed throughout his entire career, had such a zinger in him. It was a feel-good moment for humor, for social media and for America.
Well, David Backes was pissed about it.
David Backes said it’s disappointing that former USA players were critical on social media last night. “Distasteful and aggravating”
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) September 21, 2016
Backes said tweets “don’t get lost in the fray and those comments are there and have been read and I think will be remembered.”
— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) September 21, 2016
You can understand why a player on Team USA wouldn’t appreciate jokes so soon after an embarrassing exit from the tournament. Nobody is of higher character than Backes, but of course he’s going to be offended when someone makes a joke like that.
Yet the joke obviously wasn’t about Backes, unless Backes felt that Kessel was suggesting he should have been on the roster instead of the former Blues captain. The joke was clearly more of a shot at Dean Lombardi and John Tortorella, and quite frankly Kessel has been the butt of so many jokes that should be able to make fun of everyone for the rest of time without getting any backlash.
|09.20.16 at 10:59 pm ET|
Phil Kessel was infamously left off Team USA’s roster for the World Cup of Hockey, as the team placed a higher emphasis on intangibles than skill.
The Penguins forward might not have ended up being able to participate in the tournament due to a hand injury anyway, but that didn’t stop him from getting a jab in after Team USA was eliminated from the World Cup in two games, the minimum possible for a team to get bounced.
Just sitting around the house tonight w my dog. Felt like I should be doing something important, but couldn't put my finger on it.
— Phil Kessel (@PKessel81) September 21, 2016
For what it’s worth, Kessel had two fewer goals than Team USA did in its decisive two games.