Posts tagged ^CS

Fraser, Smith Impress Julien as "Third Line" Spot There for the Taking

BostonBruins.com - When the Bruins made the July 4 trade with Dallas, the main piece was right winger Loui Eriksson.

"It’s been well-documented, we’ve got to rebuild our right side," General Manager Peter Chiarelli had said, emphasizing that status. "So he’s the first piece."

The focus was mostly on the winger, considering the place most had him pegged for before he even set foot in Boston and pulled on the spoked-B, was Tyler Seguin's former spot alongside left winger Brad Marchand and center Patrice Bergeron.

But two other young wingers involved in the trade, the 22-year-old Reilly Smith and 23-year-old Matt Fraser, are impressing B’s Head Coach Claude Julien at Training Camp.

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Torey Krug Still Has Ice in His Veins

 

BostonBruins.com - You get the sense that Torey Krug doesn’t just welcome challenges.

He’s the guy, halfway up Mount Everest, with his oxygen depleting at 27,000 feet, would somehow power his way to the top, never accepting anything less, while making sure his team of climbers also made it through the often deadly journey.

"Ice in his veins." That’s the way Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien had described him during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, when he weaved his skates through the slot, and dazzled with a laser shot that connected on four goals in his first five NHL postseason games.

His high level of confidence is what’s given him the edge he’s needed to make it to this level of the game. There are only two other 5-foot-9 blueliners currently on NHL rosters and one who is listed at 5-foot-8. Most league blueliners pass the 6’0” threshold.

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Counting Down the Days: New-Look Roster, Positional Battles

BostonBruins.com - Training Camp is less than a month away. As I wrote in Part One of “Counting Down the Days,” mid-August is one of the toughest months for a hockey fan. It’s close enough to ramp up the countdowns until the preseason, home opener, and so forth. But just far enough away to feel like an eternity to the fan waiting for the first glimpse of ice.

Among all of the countdowns, there is one date I look forward to the most - the start of camp. This year, the Bruins’ 22-day preseason consisting of a full Training Camp and slate of seven exhibition games, kicks off on Wednesday, September 11.

The previous blog post highlights how the absence of a lockout, and the Black & Gold’s clear focus heading into camp this year will help this new-look B’s roster (and you as hockey fans) get ready for 2013-14.

I also gave [pretty obvious] reasons why I look forward to camp, and why it’s a significant time for the team — teammates get acclimated into the locker room, different linemates begin to develop chemistry, coaches try various line and defensive pairing combinations to find a player’s best fit and healthy competition breaks out among those vying for a spot on the opening night roster.

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P.J. Axelsson Back in Black & Gold

BostonBruins.com - P.J. Axelsson is back with the Black & Gold. Though the 38-year-old will not be hitting the ice to skate through the spoked-B anytime soon (sorry, B’s fans), the former longtime Bruin has joined the organization as an amateur scout. GM Peter Chiarelli made the announcement on Tuesday, via an official team press release. Axelsson will be based out of Sweden and responsible for scouting European amateur prospects.

The native of Kungalv, Sweden announced his retirement from professional hockey this past spring on April 10, following three seasons with Frolunda HC in the Swedish Elite League from 2010-13. His tenure as a Bruin lasted 11 seasons from 1997-2009, when the defensive forward established himself among the Boston faithful as a selfless act on and off the ice. ‘Axie’ never played for another NHL team.

He earned 287 points off 103 goals and 184 assists over his 797 games in the spoked-B, and added 4-3=7 totals in 54 playoff games. But it was his demeanor and leadership off the ice that made him respected and appreciated around the locker room and by the fans.

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Counting Down the Days: No Lockout, Full Training Camp on Tap for B's

BostonBruins.com - Mid-August for a hockey fan is the biggest teaser. You start counting down the days, but the end date still seems so far away. You may check off the days until the season opener, the first preseason game when the new-look roster first steps into action, or the date of a game you’ll see in-person… The numbers float around on social media and various websites.

For me, there’s one date I zero in on the most. All of the above are important dates, no doubt, and there are others that will emerge - the start of informal captain’s practices which get the B’s back together, the team’s annual golf tournament, etc.

But the beginning of Training Camp on September 11 marks the first official date where the players have to report for the 2013-14 season. It’s an important time, for several obvious reasons. New teammates get acclimated into the locker room, different linemates begin to develop chemistry, coaches try various line and defensive pairing combinations to find a player’s best fit, and healthy competition breaks out among those vying for a spot on the opening night roster.

The team’s identity is reinforced, while systems, special teams and distinct plays are all reviewed. A coach gets to know his new players, and gets his team in line and “on the same page” before the season begins. Camp then stretches into preseason games before the new season kicks off — a time to put the focus of the first week together into action.

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Bergeron Still on Track to be Ready for Training Camp

BostonBruins.com - Patrice Bergeron recently checked in from Quebec City, near where he spends his time in the offseason. According to the Bruins’ alternate captain, he’s set to be ready for Training Camp, which kicks off on Wednesday, September 11.

"I’m feeling pretty good. Recovery’s going well," said Bergeron. "I’d say I’m pretty much 95 percent back to where I’d like to be and I’m feeling pretty good."

"So I guess everything’s going well and I’ve been cranking up the workouts as well so, so far so good."

After the playoffs, Bergeron revealed that he played through a broken rib and torn cartilage during Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, along with a separated shoulder sustained in-game and a collapsed lung that was later discovered at the hospital, where he stayed for three days to recover. His “warrior” mentality epitomized the spoked-B, inspired his teammates, coaches and fans, and resonated beyond the sport.

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Campbell Working Out; Thornton Hoping He'll be Ready for Camp

BostonBruins.com - Gregory Campbell powered his way - if he hadn’t already - into the hearts of Bruins and hockey fans everywhere when he showcased the “do whatever it takes” mentality representative of the spoked-B and the Stanley Cup Playoffs this past June.

On June 5, the B’s forward broke his leg (right fibula) while blocking an Evgeni Malkin slap shot during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins. He missed the rest of the postseason.

It’s been just over two months since he underwent successful surgery to repair the break on June 10, and it appears that he’s on track for Training Camp next month.

When media gathered at Shawn Thornton's annual Putts & Punches for Parkinson's charity golf tournament on Monday at Ferncroft Country Club in Middelton, MA, the B's forward divulged that he had seen fellow Merlot liner Campbell a couple of weeks ago in Boston.

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Thornton Hits the Links to Host His Charity Golf Tournament

MIDDELTON, MA - When waking up on a beautiful summer Monday in Boston, it seemed like a perfect day for hitting the links. Sun beaming down, no rain in the forecast, a slight breeze.

Lucky for Shawn Thornton, that Monday - August 12th - marked the day of his annual charity golf tournament, Putts & Punches for Parkinson’s, at Ferncroft Country Club in Middelton, Massachusetts.

"This is a pretty fun one for me - get to come out on a nice day and golf and, see a lot of good people," said Thornton.

"I’m here year round, so it’s pretty easy for me to give back."

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Tuukka's Back in Boston For a While

BOSTON, MA - Tuukka Rask recently arrived back to Boston. One of his first stops? The Bruins’ offices at TD Garden, a place he’ll likely be frequenting for at least the next eight years.

Rask joins the group of B’s already in Boston training locally before Training Camp next month, including Daniel Paille and David Krejci, who we caught up with on Thursday during one of their workouts.

Following a short time off in Tuukka’s native Finland, of which included plenty of golf and tennis, the Bruins goalie was freshly tanned and cooly sporting his usual backwards hat. As cool, calm and collected as ever.

"Summer was great - the weather was awesome, I got to see my family and friends, a lot of golfing and a lot of working out. It was just relaxing in general, so it was awesome," said Rask.

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At the Core of Lucic's Toughness

BostonBruins.com - Milan Lucic is one tough Boston Bruin.

In fact, he was once voted by his peers in an NHLPA poll in 2012 as “the toughest player in the league.”

That “rough and tough” persona has been engrained in the now 6-foot-4, 235-pound power forward since he entered the league in 2007. It’s the reason his checks and hard hits excite the TD Garden crowd and cause fans to chant “Loooooooch” game after game.

Recently, I had the chance to visit Milan in Vancouver with our #BearTracks crew to bring you offseason updates. For me, the most interesting part of these summer trips is discovering connections between the person away from the rink and the Boston Bruin on the ice.

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