|Why Benoit Pouliot prepared for the season with a UFC trainer||09.17.11 at 8:00 am ET|
Ask any of the Bruins to describe their summer, and you’ll hear a lot of guys saying it was the best summer of their lives. The returning members got to celebrate winning the Stanley Cup and got to show off the trophy to their family and friends. As a result, they have had nothing but good things to say about the offseason.
Benoit Pouliot is singing a different tune.
“It was awful,” the newcomer said of his summer as training camp opened.
No, Pouliot wasn’t talking about being non tendered by the Canadiens or anything of that sort. What made it such a terrible summer — in a good way — was his new training program.
Pouliot spent the offseason with Jonathan Chaimberg, a UFC trainer, and it paid off. The 6-foot-3 forward gained weight (he said he was at 208 or 209 pounds at one point — the most he’s ever weighed) and weighed in at 203 on Friday, which is five pounds more than he weighed when playing for the Canadiens last year.
The training program was unorthodox for Pouliot and the other NHL players in attendance, but it did the trick.
“There were some things I’ve never done,” Pouliot said. “There were ladder things. You walk up a ladder for cardio, or push a sled with like 600 or 700 pounds on it. I’m telling you, you don’t want to do it. That was the worst thing ever, but hey I pulled through it. The trainer was so good to me and pushed me so hard that right now I feel great.”
So why did Pouliot seek the help of a UFC trainer?
“I wanted to get bigger,” he said. “Everyone’s been, ‘Hey, you’re not big enough. You’re not big enough. You’re tall, but you’re not [big],’ so I tried to do that as much as I can and now I feel good.”
|David Krejci puts Benoit Pouliot fight behind him||09.16.11 at 4:55 pm ET|
One of the shortest fights of the Feb. 9 Bruins/Canadiens penalty-minute bonanza took place between a couple guys who now share a dressing room in Benoit Pouliot and David Krejci.
Pouliot weighed in on the brief bout, in which he took Krejci down with the first actual punch thrown, when he met the media this week, saying that he had spoken to Krejci and that the two were happy to be teammates.
Friday, Krejci echoed Pouliot’s comments.
“It was nothing personal when we fought,” Krejci said. “He wanted to fight. I wanted to fight him, and that’s what happened. ‘¦ There’s no need for him to apologize to me or anything like that. It’s nothing personal. It’s business. That’s what happens in hockey. We talked about it, and he seems like a nice guy. I don’t know him that well yet, but I’m sure he’s a good guy.”
|Andrew Ference not worried about who gets the vacant ‘A’||09.16.11 at 2:58 pm ET|
Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference is a strong candidate (and, in one man’s opinion, the best candidate) to potentially wear the “A” that Mark Recchi wore for the Bruins last season. What does he think of joining captain Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron as the letter-bearing Bruins?
“It’s not really on my radar,” Ference said.
Ference has certainly established a voice in the Bruins’ dressing room, but he’s happy that he’s on a team full of players who can be leaders. If he does end up getting the letter, Ference doesn’t planning how he approaches things.
“You see what Rex, how he wore it, and what he did with something like that. He didn’t go out of his way to try to be somebody he wasn’t,” he said. “I’ve mentioned that before with Zee, what a great leader he is because he just is himself. We have a group full of guys who have learned from Zee or Rex and learned those lessons, how Bergie carries himself.
“I think within the confines of the dressing room, I think we all know everybody has their own strengths of leadership, whether it’s by example or some guys are more vocal than others. So whether you have something on your jersey or not, I think you have a responsibility to add what you can to the dressing room. I don’t think it changes who you are or should be or anything like that. It just is what it is, and they’ve got to put it on somebody.”
|Heavier Tyler Seguin weighs in on second camp||09.16.11 at 2:16 pm ET|
Bruins second-year forward Tyler Seguin said Friday that he has gained “a bit more” than 10 pounds since the end of last season after spending the offseason working out in Toronto.
“I’ve gotten stronger,” Seguin said. “All my tests were better, so I definitely feel better, more confident and a bit more mature.”
Seguin spent the offseason working out in Toronto with former Maple Leafs strength and conditioning coach Matt Nichol. Other athletes who train with Nichol include Canadiens forward Mike Cammalleri and Lee Stempniak.
Seguin had 11 goals and 11 assists last season as a rookie. Having now established a roster spot, Seguin said the feeling entering camp now is far different from what it was when he came in last season.
“Last year I was really more blind coming in,” Seguin said. “This year, I know what to expect, so I’m excited to get going. Excited to take that experience into this year.”
Where he figures into the lineup this year is anyone’s guess, as he could remain on a retooled third line or potentially jump up to the second line and take the spot left vacated by Mark Recchi.
|David Krejci looking ahead to hockey, not his next contract||09.16.11 at 1:50 pm ET|
David Krejci is entering the final year of his contract and has communicated a message to his agent.
“I told him to leave me alone,” the Bruins’ first-line center said Friday after fitness testing at TD Garden.
Krejci is set to be a restricted free agent at season’s end, as he is in the last season of the three-year, $11.25 million deal he signed after the 2008-09 season. He likes Boston and would be happy with a new deal, but he made it clear that he doesn’t want to think about one until the sides agree.
“If there’s going to be some talk, [agent Larry Kelly]’s going to keep it to himself, and when he thinks there’s a good deal for me or something, he’ll let me know and I’ll decide. I told him to leave me alone. He knows that from my other contract. I’m going to be focused for a good start, and what happens happens.”
The 25-year-old led all postseason players with 12 goals over the Bruins’ championship run. As such, he’s focused on continuing the success that brought the Stanley Cup to Boston as apposed to worrying about the value of his next deal.
“Obviously, it’s nice that you make a living doing what you love to do, but that’s not why I play hockey,” Krejci said. “I started playing hockey when I was a kid because I loved it, and I still love it. What happens happens. If they’re going to offer me a deal, [general manager Peter Chiarelli] is going to talk to my agent, then he’s going to let me know and we’ll see what happens.”
A Boston Globe report recently stated that talks have opened between Krejci’s agent and the Bruins. Krejci showed he wasn’t kidding about asking to be left out of the loop, as he said Friday that the report was the first he’d heard of the sides talking.
“The first time I heard about it was when I saw on the internet that they’ve opened discussions. That was the first time I’d heard about it,” he said. “I wasn’t thinking about it at all this summer. I’m not going to be talking about it this season either. I’m just going to have a good year, help the team get to the playoffs. ‘¦ That’s where my mind is right now.”
While Krejci’s mind is on hockey, he’s also happy with where he is physically. Krejci spent the offseason following the 2009-10 working his way back from a wrist injury that both ended his playoffs and required surgery. Now coming off a completely healthy season and a relaxing offseason, Krejci is both refreshed and ready to start all over again.
“That was the best summer I’ve had in a long time, maybe in my life,” he said. “I know it was short. [The two years previous to last year] I had some injuries, so I had to do some rehabs and stuff. This one was short, but it was pretty good.”
Krejci had 13 goals in the regular season last year and 49 assists, with his 62 points making it the second highest total o his career. He had 73 in the 2008-09 season.
|Claude Julien: Stanley Cup hangover is real, and Bruins must avoid it||09.16.11 at 1:13 pm ET|
If things this time last year were about responding to one of the worst collapses in professional sports history, the Bruins can consider themselves fortunate to have a different frame of mind as they prepare for next season.
The coach made that clear Friday following the opening of training camp, as Claude Julien noted that it’s important for his players to not lose focus because they are the defending champions.
“What we accomplished last year really doesn’t matter this year,” Julien said. “It’s going to be starting from scratch and building our team up to go through the highs and lows of a season and battle through it and work your way into a playoff spot and be ready to battle for it. There’s a lot of things that need to happen throughout the course of the season for us to have success again.
“The famous Stanley Cup hangover that everybody talks about, I don’t think we should be different from anybody else. What we’ve got to be better at is how we’re going to handle it.’¦ Obviously it is a real thing, and we need to be ready this year even more than last year.”
|Some thoughts heading into Bruins training camp||09.15.11 at 10:52 pm ET|
The Bruins will return to TD Garden Friday as they officially open training camp with the thing every young hockey player dreams about: fitness testing. With rookie camp concluding on Friday, the players invited to camp will hit the Garden ice on Saturday.
Click here for the training camp roster, which is essentially the Bruins’ roster and the rookie camp roster (minus five players) with the addition of veteran tryout Chris Clark.
Camp will open with the roster spit into two squads, with each group holding their own practices for the early going. The Bruins will hold a black and white scrimmage in on the Providence Bruins’ ice at the Dunkin Donuts center on Tuesday, and they’ll play their first preseason game Wednesday in Ottawa, their first of two preseason meetings with the Senators.
The preseason schedule also features two contests against both the Islanders and Canadiens.
Here are the groupings:
Forwards: Jamie Arniel, Patrice Bergeron, Gregory Campbell, Nathan Horton, Alexander Khokhlachev, Lane MacDermid, Kirk MacDonald, Kyle MacKinnon, Daniel Paille, Benoit Pouliot, Calle Ridderwall, Yannick Riendeau, Tyler Seguin, Jamie Tardif, Shawn Thornton, Trent Whitfield.
Defensemen: Matt Bartkowski, Johnny Boychuk, Colby Cohen, Andrew Ference, Steven Kampfer, Nathan McIver, Zach McKelvie, Dennis Seidenberg.
Goaltenders: Anton Khudobin, Tim Thomas.
Forwards: Anthony Camara, Carter Camper, Jordan Caron, Stefan Chaput, Chris Clark, Craig Cunningham, Zach Hamill, Josh Hennessy, Chris Kelly, Jared Knight, David Krejci, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, Rich Peverley, Tyler Randell, Max Sauve, Ryan Spooner.
Defensemen: Andrew Bodnarchuk, Ryan Button, Marc Cantin, Zdeno Chara, Joe Corvo, Dougie Hamilton, Adam McQuaid, Kevan Miller, David Warsofsky.
Goaltenders: Michael Hutchinson, Tuukka Rask
There are a few things that come to mind when looking at the groupings. Here are some random notes attempted to be turned into something interesting:
– Some of the youngsters with little chance of making the team are at least paired with guys they can learn from. Take Group B for example. Camara, the Bruins’ their-round pick in June, is a gritty young winger with his fair share of fights in the OHL. He’s in the same group as Lucic, who could give him a bit of advice as one of the premier power forwards in the NHL.
Then there’s Hamilton, the ninth overall pick in June’s draft. Hamilton has long looked up to the 6-foot-9 Chara, the tallest player to ever play in the NHL. While Chara can’t teach the 6-foot-5 Hamilton how to be as tall as him, he can certainly help show the young defenseman the ropes.
– Group A has two defenseman who figure to last long into camp battling or the seventh defenseman spot in Bartkowski and Kampfer. Bartkowski made the Europe trip with the team last year and was the last guy cut from camp, but Kampfer ended up playing in 38 games for the B’s in an up-and-down rookie year. With Corvo figuring to take Kaberle’s spot in the lineup, the Bruins have a couple of young defensemen with NHL experience competing for the role McQuaid filled early on last season.
– One guy to watch will be Hamill, who was the eighth overall pick of the 2007 draft but has played just four games in the NHL. This is the final year of his entry level deal, and he’ll be a restricted free agent at season’s end. With open roster spots minimal, it will be interesting to see where Hamill stands amongst the other players likely destined for Providence this year.
– Speaking of high draft picks, 2010 second-rounders Knight and Spooner both impressed in camp last season before returning to the OHL. If a young player is going to push Caron for a roster spot, it could be Spooner or Knight, who had 35 and 25 goals in the OHL last season, respectively. The team told Spooner he needed to put the work into his body last year, and he spent the year cutting down his body fat, something for which the team has commended him.
– There are no questions as to which goalies will be on which team, an injury to Thomas or Rask is the only thing that could give Khudobin or Hutchinson even the smallest of chances of making the NHL team. Saturday will be Thomas’ first time on the ice with his teammates this preseason, as he was not at optional veterans’ practices.