Big Bad Blog
WEEI.com Blog Network

Black tops white in scrimmage

09.20.10 at 1:17 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Though the white team featured perhaps the most intriguing line on the ice in Patrice Bergeron centering Mark Recchi and Tyler Seguin, the black team claimed a 3-1 victory in the Bruins’ intrasqaud scrimmage on Monday.

Seguin hit Bergeron in the slot, who promptly beat Nolan Schaefer to open the game’s scoring early in the second half (the sides took the ice for two 20-minute periods), but Zdeno Chara and Jamie Arniel both netted goals for the black squad, with Lane MacDermid potting an empty netter. Check back here for post-game comments from the players and coach Claude Julien.

Read More: Training camp, Tyler Seguin,

At least Joe Colborne doesn’t have to wear a neck guard

09.19.10 at 11:35 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Bruins 2008 first-round pick Joe Colborne has a lot of things that should eventually make him a key contributor in the NHL. This summer, his leadership was displayed during rookie development, and last week Peter Chiarelli singled him out as someone whose skating has improved in the offseason. Looking at him, his 6-foot-5 frame makes size his biggest possession, but Colborne also has something that nobody else on the ice at training camp has: a cage.

neckguardColborne got his nose and lip cut up pretty badly last week after taking an elbow to the face in the first of the Bruins’ two rookie games against the Islanders. He had stitches on the inside and outside of nose, as well as the inside of his lip and underwent neurology tests to determine whether he may have suffered a concussion. Everything checked out regarding the latter, but as a result of the facial injuries, he’s been forced to rock a full cage at practice. While wearing the mask doesn’t affect a player’s abilities in any way — he’s gone at 100 percent in practice and will play in Monday’s scrimmage — the quirks of adding a cage have been noticed by the young center.

“Thank goodness I went to college and had to do two years with the cage,” Colborne said Sunday. “It took a little bit of getting used to [Saturday] but today today it felt better.”

The cage isn’t too uncommon for players to wear over short stretches when playing with injuries to the face. The likes of Joe Thornton and Zdeno Chara have sported it in the past for Boston, but it is certainly a nuisance to to those forced to wear them. That’s where the conversation took a turn to youth hockey, when full cages were the norm, and depending on which youth hockey organization one was in, players were instead bugged by the vaunted neck guard.

“Oh yeah. All the way up,” Colborne said when asked if he was forced to wear one while playing as a youngster. “They were pretty pointless to me. We all just taped them up and made them as small as possible so they’re more comfortable.”

Straightening his neck out and moving it side to side, almost robotically, he added, “you walk around like this and you can’t move your neck at all in them.”

The neck guard and the cage both fall into the category of annoying pieces of equipment. Colborne certainly doesn’t miss the neck guard, known more among young players for itchy tags and restricting qualities than any protective benefits, but can find solace in the fact that it’s been a while since he’s had to wear one and, more importantly, that they’re out of his life completely. The same can’t be said for the temporary adjustment back to a cage as he tries to impress the Bruins brass and coaching staff.

“I had to get used to it for college, but then all summer I was back to the half-visor, and in rookie camp I was half-visor. It’s just cooler, it’s easier to breathe, it doesn’t restrict your vision when you’re trying to look out and use your peripheral vision and look down and see the puck,” Colborne. “When you’ve got those bars in the way, it gets in the way.”

Though it could be days before the stitches on Colborne’s nose are gone, he’s been able to feel the ones in his lip dissolving during the practice sessions and even saw some fall on the ice on Sunday.

Colborne said Sunday was the first day he could breathe out of his nose. His right nostril is still giving some issues when it comes to breathing, but thanks to relentless icing his face — which was very swollen a day after the hit — hasn’t been as big a problem as he prepares to ditch the cage within the next couple of days.

“It’s come down a ton. I’ve been icing it non-stop. Literally I’ve just been going home and plopping ice on it all day long,” Colborne said. “The extra time I’ve been putting in has helped out. It already just feels more natural.”

Colborne picked up 72 points over his two-year career at the University of Denver. He finished last season with six games in Providence, his first taste of the AHL.

Read More: Joe Colborne, Training camp,

Black/White scrimmage for Monday

09.19.10 at 11:20 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Claude Julien announced Sunday that rather than having two sessions each for Groups A and B on Monday, the team would have one session at 10:30 followed by a scrimmage at noon. It is anticipated the lines would be the same as they have been in practice thus far. The scrimmage will be closed to the public but it should be interesting to see how some of the younger guys who got to play against Islanders rookies last week fare against seasoned vets. We’ll have a full report following the scrimmage.

Ference not taking health for granted

09.19.10 at 12:44 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference has proven himself as a capable defenseman since coming over from Calgary during the 2006-07 season. One thing he hasn’t been able to prove is an ability to stay on the ice for 82 games. Though he did so in the 2005-06 season, his last full campaign with the Flames, since coming to Boston he has yet to be able to skate in as many 60 games in a season. The most recent hiccup to Ference’s health was a groin that required offseason surgery.

AP Photo

AP Photo

Ference feels good as he enters his 11th season in the NHL, but the 31-year-old knows the game too well to assume a full season of play is a given.

“There’s nothing you can do to stop injuries from happening. It’s hockey. If something else comes up down the road, it’s not because of a lack of rehab or anything like that. It’s just the sport, so I can’t say, ‘Oh yeah. Awesome, nothing’s every going to happen again,’ but I feel great right now.”

Ference took four weeks to recover from the surgery, which took place in late May. He is skating in Group B for the team’s training camp practices and is paired with Cody Wild.

Here are a couple of other notes from a 10-minute long chat that had Zdeno Chara poking fun at the defenseman’s popularity.

- Ference is no stranger to teams making big pushes in the playoffs, as he was a member of the 2000-01 Penguins and the 2003-04 Flames. Asked how he compares this team to the past squads he’s been on, he pointed to his Penguins days in saying, “We don’t have Mario [Lemieux] on our team.” Ference played in 18 games in that postseason, one in which Pittsburgh fell to te Devils in the Eastern Conference finals.

- Ference seemed optimistic for the 2010-11 squad, referencing the Bruins overcoming “a really good test” in some regular season rough patches and earning a playoff berth.

Read More: Andrew Ference, Training camp,

Going camping: a look at the rivals

09.18.10 at 5:02 pm ET
By   |   Comments

The Bruins have opened training camp with yesterday’s fitness testing and two on-ice sessions on Saturday. Tyler Seguin figures to be the center of attention around the Garden for the time being as he adjusts to playing with NHL veterans, but the Bruins aren’t the only ones to kick things off. Here’s a quick roundup of what the Northeast division rivals have been up to.

Sabres (100 points in 2009-10)

Perhaps the biggest change in how the 2010-11 Sabres will look will be in the most literal sense of the word. The team unveiled their new jerseys for the coming season, with the overall theme encapsulating a very classic feel.

While the Bruins got their festivities started a bit early with two rookie exhibitions at the Garden this past week and a used equipment sale on Saturday, the Sabres held “Puck Drop 2010″ to mark the opening of the team’s camp. The event consisted of a street hockey game, season ticket holders picking up their tickets for the coming season, and of course, fans getting their hands on the team’s new sweaters at .

Senators (94)

Things aren’t so joyful in Ottawa, where defenseman Filip Kuba is out after suffering a leg injury, the extent of which is being determined. Kuba played in 53 games last season and missed the final 11 of the regular season and the entire playoffs with a lower body injury.

Saturday’s injury reportedly came as a result of Kuba’s skate getting caught while on the ice for the team’s second session. The biggest injury news in the division likely remains Friday’s development regarding Marc Savard being held out by the reoccurrence of post-concussion symptoms.

Canadiens (88)

Pat Hickey at the Montreal Gazette takes a look at an impressive showing early on from Ryan Russell, who picked up two points in the team’s camp-opening scrimmage. The 23-year-old forward has spent the last three seasons in the AHL and entered camp a longshot to make the Habs.

Hickey notes other players who grabbed attention, including Maxim Lapierre, who with three goals in the playoffs last season scored nearly half as many postseason goals as he did in 76 regular season games.

Maple Leafs (74)

The Maple Leafs couldn’t wait until the exhibition games to drop the gloves, as Michael Liambas, who last October was suspended for the remainder of the OHL season after a dirty hit on an opposing defenseman, squared off with Jay Rosehill. According to this report, coach Ron Wilson said that Liambas, 21, is a “very long shot” to make the team.

Read More: Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Training camp,

Chiarelli wants Bruins to ‘respond’ to postseason collapse

09.18.10 at 1:16 am ET
By   |   Comments

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli told both the team and the media Friday that his intention is not for the Bruins to forget the Flyers’ incredible comeback from a three-games-to-none defect in the Eastern Conference semifinals. In fact, he wants the team to use it as a reason to avoid complacency and to take the next step.

“One of the things we talked to the group about this morning was not essentially turning the page — this is always going to be in out memory — but building on it,” Chiarelli said. “I don’t think we are ever going to turn the page on it. We are going to build on it and we are going to respond to it.”

The message was well-received by Claude Julien, who noted he wants to make the city proud of their team again, and the players.

“Half of it is not forgetting what happened at the end of the season and half of it’s using it as motivation going forward,” defenseman Mark Stuart said. “It’s a little bit of both.”

For the complete story, click here.

Tuukka Rask working on becoming a Bostonian

09.17.10 at 2:30 pm ET
By   |   Comments
John Vu photo/WEEI.com

John Vu photo/WEEI.com

Finland native Tuukka Rask has done plenty in Boston so far as a goaltender. In his first full season splitting time with Tim Thomas in net, Rask led the NHL in both goals against average (1.97) and save percentage (.931).

Now, after bringing Finland to Boston, Rask is getting more acquainted with becoming a Bostonian. After spending a couple of months in his native country, Rask did what he could to soak up the Boston atmosphere outside of hockey season.

“I had never seen Boston in the summertime, so I kind of wanted to see that. I was really impressed, it was awesome here.”

As such, his offseason activities included plenty of golfing — including charity tournaments for both Shawn Thornton and the Bruins foundation — and, like many locals this summer, taking in the Aerosmith/J. Geils Band concert at Fenway Park last month.

With fitness testing taking place Friday morning, the offseason fun is over for Rask, but if he continues what he started last season, his affection for the city will undoubtedly be reciprocated.

Read More: Training camp, Tuukka Rask,
Bruins Box Score
Bruins Schedule
Bruins Headlines
NHL Headlines