|09.28.09 at 5:40 pm ET|
Boston Bruins Principal Charlie Jacobs announced during Monday’s Bruins Media Day festivities that the club will honor Bruins legendary play-by-play commentator Fred Cusick during the second period of the team’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday, October 3.
During the first media timeout of the second period, the club will dedicate the Bruins home TV broadcast booth to Cusick by renaming it the “Fred Cusick Broadcast Booth.” The club will also install a silver microphone centered in a black and gold frame on the TD Garden’s level 9 façade beneath the home TV broadcast booth.
“His memory will always live in on in the hearts and minds of Bruins fans, and we feel that these permanent dedications to Fred will memorialize and honor his contributions to the Bruins, for fans and media to see,” said Jacobs.
Cusick passed away on September 15, 2009 after serving as the play-by-play commentator for the Bruins for 45 years before retiring in 1997.
|09.28.09 at 2:32 pm ET|
With Zach Hamill and Brad Marchand both dropped down to Providence, it’s expected that David Krejci will be able to skate in Thursday night’s season-opener against the Washington Capitals. Krejci was at his customary position centering a line of Blake Wheeler and Michael Ryder, and B’s coach Claude Julien took as a great sign when his young pivot took part in all drills at practice.
Both Marco Sturm (groin) and Steve Begin (groin) also skated a full practice on Monday morning at the TD Garden, and neither player felt any health restrictions during the session.
“It’s a positive because nobody told me they had to get off [the ice] and they’re doing fine,” said Julien, referencing all three players battling assorted bumps and bruises. “They’re doing fine. Krejci is fine and he’s been practicing with us for close to a week now. The other two guys had small groin issues, and with a day off yesterday — and giving them a few days to heal before that — it’s going to help us Thursday.
“[Krejci] is day-to-day, and I’ll still put him at 50-50 for Thursday. We’ll see how he feels tomorrow. Today was a little more gritty for him at times with 3-on-3 down low. We made sure that guys finished their checks on him and made sure he’ll feel comfortable. I think a lot of it is feeling comfortable [mentally].”
• Vladimir Sobotka couldn’t keep the smile from his face after learning that he had made the final roster after a training camp effort that improved with each passing day. The young Czech Republic forward pointed to a conversation he had with Julien that helped him relax and begin playing his game — a mix of puck skills and controlled aggression.
“I’m glad I could stay here and get this opportunity. I just have to keep it simple,” Sobotka said. “The last three games I felt less pressure on me and I didn’t put it on myself. I didn’t try to do too much on the ice and it helped me. I wanted to try to score two goals every game, you know, and it wasn’t working.
“[Julien] told me to play like I did two years ago and I’d be good. I try to play without minuses, the coaches don’t like that. Try to score some goals, keep it simple and play my game.”
• Chris Bourque has made the Washington Capitals’ final roster after a competitive training camp, and he’ll be taking shifts at his hometown rink on Thursday night for the first time as an NHL player.
|09.28.09 at 10:07 am ET|
Bruins rookies Zach Hamill and Brad Marchand were both assigned to the AHL’s Providence Bruins on Monday morning in the final cuts of training camp. Both youngsters showed promise and impressed B’s officials throughout the two-week camp: Marchand had a pair of goals in five games and Hamill potted two goals in six preseason games. Both youngsters should be among the first players recalled should injuries hit the B’s in the first few months of the season.
The two moves are pretty clear indicators that both Vladimir Sobotka has made the team and David Krejci’s surgically repaired hip is pretty close to ready for game action. The moves leave the Bruins with a total of 22 players for the club’s final NHL roster when the regular season opens against the Capitals on Oct. 1.
|09.26.09 at 10:51 pm ET|
With a 4-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets still fresh in his mind, rookie goaltender Tuukka Rask still couldn’t hide his excitement at winning a spot on the Bruins regular season roster Saturday afternoon. The B’s announced that Dany Sabourin was being sent down to Providence prior to the game, and that meant a goalie competition — one that was fairly one-sided – was officially over.
One short season ago Rask had the best camp of any Bruins goaltender, but was busted down to the AHL for seasoning with veterans Thomas and Manny Fernandez on the roster. It was difficult for the 22-year-old to hide his frustration on his way down, but things couldn’t be more opposite this time around as Thomas’ understudy.
“[I'm] really excited,” said Rask. “This is something that I’ve been working toward. I feel for [Sabourin] because I was in the same spot last year. Obviously it’s fun to be here, and I’ve been hoping for it to happen. It’s good that it happened.
“It’s a little different feeling [this year]. You can imagine what it feels like when you have a good camp and then you’re sent down. But if that’s the way things are you’ve got to get over it.”
The young goalie clearly was battling with a fatigued team in front of him playing its sixth game in eight nights, but there were flashes of exactly what he’ll bring to the table this season on Saturday night. He’s bigger and plays a much more silent game between the pipes than his Vezina Trophy-winning partner, and he managed 31 saves against a Blue Jackets team piling on Grade A chances over the final 30 minutes of play.
“When you looked at the way [Tuukka] played in those first few exhibition games, it was clear he had improved a lot from what I saw last year,” said Claude Julien. “Personally from what I saw in the playoffs in Providence the year before, he had collapse a little bit. Especially in that last game.
“Mentally he’s become stronger and physically he’s become stronger and he’s in a lot more control. He’s got a lot more experience and he’s the right fit for us. Tonight, I think he played well. Didn’t have much help in front of him. We’re confident in him, and he’s going to play. We all know Timmy is not a goaltender that will play 70, or 75 games. Tuukka will need to come in and do the job, and we’ll confident in him.”
Rask was never more impressive than when he completely stone-walled Russian sniper Nikita Filatov skating in all alone for golden opportunity in the third period. There was no panic or quick movements, and Rask didn’t allow any holes for Filatov to pick at as he came speeding toward the cage. Rask won’t be required to play any more than 30-35 games in his first season backing up Thomas, but the 6-foot-2, 171-pounder is ready to fill whatever role comes his way.
“I’m really excited for Thursday and to get things going,” said Rask. “We’ve just got to get this train going on the right track. Just get a good start and never look back.
“The job I’m given, I’m going to try the best I can and help this team. You want to do your best and simply help the team. That’s all I can do. I feel like I’ve been this team for two weeks now, and it feels good.”
|09.26.09 at 8:35 pm ET|
The Bruins announced a series of expected roster cuts prior to the Columbus Blue Jackets game that trimmed the training camp roster down to 24 players. The particular players sent down to Providence indicated that heralded rookie goaltender Tuukka Rask has won the backup goaltender’s spot, and that both Brad Marchand and Zach Hamill are in the running for final roster spots.
Hamill could stick with the club for Boston’s first few games if David Krejci isn’t quite ready to play Thursday night as he comes back from right hip surgery. Marchand and Sobotka were in a competition for a spot earlier in camp, but it appears that Sobotka has won himself a job with three strong performances at the end of the preseason.
“It’s important for these guys to come in and — whether they’re with us at the beginning of the year — at least know we can call them up and feel comfortable with their play,” said B’s coach Claude Julien
The Bruins are down to 24 players, but will pare down to either 23 or 23 bodies when they announce their final roster for the Oct. 1 season debut against the Washington Capitals. Here are the most recent cuts for the B’s:
The following six players have been waived for the purpose of assignment to Providence: Drew Fata, Drew Larman, Guillaume Lefebvre, Dany Sabourin, Trent Whitfield and Andy Wozniewski. Mikko Lehtonen, Jeff LoVecchio and Adam McQuaid have been assigned to Providence. Kirk MacDonald has been returned to Providence. Zach McKelvie, Levi Nelson and Yannick Riendeau remain injured, non-roster players.
|09.26.09 at 7:26 pm ET|
Former B’s defenseman Don Sweeney was named Assistant General Manager of the Bruins on Saturday afternoon in a promotion from his former titles of Director of Player Development and Director of Hockey Operations. Sweeney will serve in tandem with Assistant General Manager Jim Benning and the duo will split the different business and hockey operations duties encompassed in the job description.
Sweeney has been an instrumental piece in the player development phase of the Bruins organization that’s been an unadulterated success under B’s GM Peter Chiarelli. The former Bruins blueliner incorporated the prospect development camp that’s now become an annual event designed to serve as an Bruins orientation of sorts for the younger players.
“Don deserves this promotion,” said Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli. “He is a very diligent person who truly cares about the welfare and development of the player both from the personal and professional perspective. In his three years as part of our management group, he has shown tremendous passion, a growing aptitude for the business side of hockey and most importantly the willingness and enjoyment of being part of a management team and learning from others like Jim Benning and Scott Bradley.
“I believe in this business model with two assistant GMs because of the ever increasing intricacies of this business and the good chemistry between those in our group. Jim, Don and Scott will all continue to have specific duties and responsibilities, and I will continue to rely heavily on all three individuals.”
Drafted by the Bruins as their eighth pick, 166th overall, in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft, he went on to play four seasons of college hockey at Harvard University. He played in the 1986 NCAA Finals before graduating with a degree in Economics.
The defenseman played 16 seasons in the National Hockey League, including 15 in a Bruins uniform. He is one of just two defensemen and four players in team history to play over 1,000 games in a Boston sweater and he still ranks third on the team’s all-time games played list. He also ranks in the top ten of the club’s all-time lists in career goals, assists and points by a defenseman. He played his final NHL season with the Dallas Stars in 2003-04.
|09.26.09 at 9:40 am ET|
The Bruins took the Friday night win by a 2-1 score over the Ottawa Senators, and Milan Lucic rocked the clear decision in his first fight of the new hockey season. Sens tough guy Chris Neil blasted Marc Savard with a hit against the boards on the prior shift, and Lucic wasted no time stepping in to protect his linemate on the very next face-off.
Lucic threw a shove at Neil as they lined up for the face-off, but the Senators forward wouldn’t respond until Big Looch shoved his stick right between Neil’s legs at the drop of the puck. The combatants then finally dropped the gloves and Lucic landed a series of powerful rights that ripped Neil’s forehead open. Lucic clearly looks ready to get the season going with one preseason game remaining on Saturday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets. I have a feeling Savard isn’t going to sustain many heavy hits this season if that’s the outcome each time he does.
Here’s the video courtesy of youtube:
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