BOSTON — The Bruins hit the ice for practice on Thursday morning at TD Garden with a group of 26 players.
Captain Zdeno Chara skated prior to practice with Strength and Conditioning Coach John Whitesides. It has been a week since he sustained his upper-body injury in a preseason game and was ruled out day-to-day.
Chara began skating on his own on Monday, and his workouts have progressed throughout the week to include more conditioning, stickhandling and shooting drills with Whitesides.
As the preseason winds down, the Bruins have just one exhibition game remaining on Friday, Oct. 2 in Washington, D.C. against the Capitals.
They’ll need to get to their 23-man Opening Night roster by Tuesday, Oct. 6 with the NHL kicking off the season on Oct. 7. The Bruins host Winnipeg in their opener at TD Garden on Oct. 8.
While no roster cuts had been announced by the end of the Bruins’ 11:00 a.m. practice on Thursday, the following players were not on the ice for the skate: forwards Anton Blidh, Brandon DeFazio, Alex Khokhlachev and Ben Sexton; and defenseman Chris Breen. All five players suited up in Wednesday night’s preseason game in New York against the Rangers.
BOSTON — Tuukka Rask was the last Bruin to get into preseason action, starting his first game between the pipes on Monday night at TD Garden.
The end result was a 3-1 for the Red Wings to mark the Bruins’ first loss of the preseason.
Just as the rest of the team has been using the exhibition games to tune up their play, Rask will do the same.
“Nice to get into a real game, and I definitely felt it, but you know, it’s good to get that first one under the belt and keep moving on,” said Rask, who stopped 21 of 24 shots.
How many games will it take for him to get his timing down?
“Hopefully not more than two,” Rask smiled. “But you know, it’s just a matter of getting out there. You know you can stop the puck, but it’s just a matter of getting out there and getting a feel for the flow of the game and stuff like that, so I’ll be alright.”
The winger has been skating with the pair for most of camp as Head Coach Claude Julien experiments with line combinations.
The members of the trio are familiar with one another. All three exhibit skill and responsible two-way play.
“We had some good practices and one game, so hopefully we can even build on some things tonight in that game,” Eriksson said following Monday's morning skate. “We still have a couple games left here and some practices before everything starts, so definitely feeling good and just need to work on some things and get that chemistry going.”
As they get more games together, that chemistry should continue building.
“Practice helps, to talk on the ice and talk through some stuff, what we want to do out there, but then in the games it’s a little bit different so of course, it’s nice to get some games too and get that feeling and find each other on the ice,” he said.
Two seasons ago, as Eriksson was starting his time in Boston, he was put on a line with Bergeron and Marchand for training camp and the first few weeks of the 2013-14 season before suffering his first concussion. The line looked like it was gelling. When Eriksson returned from his injury, he didn’t rejoin the tandem.
“My first season I had the opportunity to play with them in the beginning too,” said Eriksson. “And we got a couple of games in, but then they kind of switched it up a little bit and then I’ve been playing with different lines the past two years here.”
“I’m just hoping to find that chemistry and a line to play with — it’s always a nice feeling to have that and have that feeling coming in, knowing that you have a line to play with, so I’m just going to do everything to earn that spot and work on some things and get better.”
He’s not looking to do anything different with his game, playing with the longtime tandem.
“I’m not trying to change my game, I’m just trying to go in there and help them out,” said Eriksson. “And I know they’ve been playing together for a long time, so they know each other real well, so I’m just trying to be a guy who comes in and helps them out and makes plays for them and yeah, I’m just trying to do my best.”
The chemistry that Bergeron and Marchand have makes it automatically easier for any player to slide in on their right wing.
“It allows us to talk to them and kind of be on the same page a lot quicker,” Marchand told BostonBruins.com earlier in training camp. “It does allow it to be easier for me and Bergy when a new winger switches out.”
Roster Reduced as Bruins Head into Final Preseason Stretch
The Bruins announced a series of roster cuts on Sunday afternoon, with nine players headed to the Providence Bruins Training Camp and the rest of the 2015 draft picks returned to their junior teams.
With three games remaining — Monday’s home game against Detroit and two more road games in New York and D.C. — Julien and his staff are getting closer to their regular season roster.
“We have to start making some tough decisions here,” said Julien. “I’ve been impressed, I’ve been pleased with the number of guys that we’ve had at camp that have really made a good impression.”
“Some of them are already gone, you know, whether it’s back to junior and you know I look at [Jake] DeBrusk as an example — and here’s a young kid that did an unbelievable job at protecting that puck — he’s 18 years old and he’s playing against pros and he’s protecting the puck, and making plays, and taking pucks to the net like he did the other night, and cutting in and not afraid to take that puck to the net.”
“There’s some impressive things from some different guys that we’ve seen, so again, we’ve got some real tough decisions coming up. But we’ve had a good number of players here that have really opened our eyes and that’s the encouraging part of it.”
Rask Gets First Preseason Start
As Julien announced on Sunday, Tuukka Rask will start his first game of the preseason on Monday night against the Red Wings.
“I’ve been fine — I said yesterday I’m sure I could have had a game or half a game if I really wanted to,” Rask said Monday, on not dressing for the first four preseason games. “I figure that I’ll play my games this week and carry over to next week.”
Czarnik Gets Opportunity
The 22-year-old is just glad to still be at training camp after another round of cuts.
“It’s something that we worked for and that we’ve been trying to do all week and trying to make the final roster, so it’s exciting right now and I’ll try and take advantage of it,” said Czarnik, who has impressed the Bruins’ coaching staff and management since rookie camp.
“Fortunate to be here and tonight’s going to be a good night I think — playing with them is a real honor and I’m excited to get things going.”
No matter where Czarnik ends up at the start of the season — Boston or Providence — the opportunity he’s getting at camp will help both him and the Bruins’ staff.
“You get down to the last few numbers, you look at different players and even if they’re not here [at the start of the regular season], the evaluation we can make on these guys knowing that can be a call-up and what they can bring to your team,” said Julen. “Whether it’s reliability or whether it’s creativity…It’s important to see those kinds of things.”
“He’s been with Frank Vatrano for most of camp and now he’s got an opportunity to maybe play with some more experienced guys and we’ll see what he can do. Like I said, we’re still in an evaluation process here and he’s had a good camp and he’s here because he still deserves to be here.”
Krejci Back at Practice
While Krejci won’t be suiting up on Monday night, he was back at practice after being given Sunday off.
The center skated with a second session of non-game players that included forwards Anton Blidh, Brett Connolly, Brian Ferlin, Alex Khokhlachev, Tyler Randell, Zac Rinaldo; defensemen Chris Casto, Tommy Cross, Matt Irwin and Adam McQuaid; and goalies Jeremy Smith and Jonas Gustavsson (who will be Rask’s backup on Monday before likely getting his own full game between the pipes in New York on Wednesday).
“[On Sunday] you guys asked, you know, [about Krejci not practicing]— it’s been a long camp and a lot of guys started getting a little stiff so we’re over cautious with him,” said Julien. “We don’t want anything to go wrong. So we just…this is how we’re handling some of our veteran players.”
After the skate, Krejci was anxious abut getting back with his linemates.
“Obviously we’ve been kind of clicking, finding some chemistry,” said Krejci. “They’re playing tonight, I’m not, so you know, I hope the best for them and for the team, but once tomorrow comes, I hope to be back with those guys in practice.”
“It’s been fun in games, practices, new guys kind of coming in and they’re pretty vocal in the dressing room as well, they have some character, so it’s fun to have them and it’s been a good ride so far.”
Zdeno Chara skated Monday morning on his own and is “doing better,” according to Julien.
“Things are going as expected, I guess. It’s all encouraging,” Julien said.
Chara left Thursday’s game with an upper-body injury that was termed “day-to-day.”
“We’ve kept it day-to-day because he’s progressing so obviously [won’t be in tonight — we’ll see how the rest of the week goes here and like anything else, we’re going to be more cautious than anything.”
Gustavsson Welcomes Birth of Daughter
Gustavsson was away from the team for a few days while he was welcoming the birth of his daughter in Detroit on Friday. The new father had an exciting couple of days before returning to the team.
The netminder was able to fly back with the Bruins following Saturday night’s game in Detroit. He had originally been slated to start the Sept. 24 game against the Rangers. At camp on a Professional Tryout Agreement, the timing wasn’t necessarily ideal, but it wasn’t an issue for him or the Bruins.
“We knew this coming into camp, that if the baby wasn’t born before camp, there was a big chance that I maybe I’d have to go for a day or two, so that’s something we knew and obviously hockey’s important but you know I feel like family always comes first,” said Gustavsson. “We all knew that day would come sooner or later, so it is what it is, and I’m just happy everything went good and now I can just focus on hockey.”
Projected Lineup vs. Detroit 9/28Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — Loui Eriksson
Matt Beleskey — Austin Czarnik — David Pastrnak
Frank Vatrano — Ryan Spooner — Jimmy Hayes
Chris Kelly — Joonas Kemppainen — Max Talbot
Linus Arnesson — Kevan Miller
Torey Krug — Zach Trotman
Joe Morrow — Colin Miller
Starting Goalie: Tuukka Rask // Backup: Jonas Gustavsson
BOSTON — Dennis Seidenberg underwent successful back surgery last Thursday, Sept. 24, and is on the road to recovery.
He is expected to be sidelined for about eight weeks, until mid-November. In technical terms, Seidenberg had a lumbar microdiscectomy performed by Dr. Louis Jenis at Mass. General Hospital that repaired a lumbar spine disc herniation.
After a long offseason, that was not the way Seidenberg would have liked to begin the 2015-16 season. The even more frustrating part for the defenseman is that he doesn’t know exactly how the injury occurred.
“Usually, when something like that has happened, you’re like, ‘Oh my God,’ during a movement or exercising somehow,” Seidenberg said on Monday morning, addressing media for the first time since training camp began.
“But I woke up that morning (Monday, Sept. 14) — just feeling that nerve pain, I had a feeling in the back of my leg, and then eventually shooting down my calf.”
DETROIT — When the Bruins faced off against the Red Wings in Detroit on Saturday night, they iced a lineup that featured the minimum eight veterans.
On the opposing end, the Wings’ lineup boasted the likes of their captain Henrik Zetterberg, Justin Abdelkader, Gustav Nyqvist, Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson, with their top two lines that would likely start the regular season.
It could have been a lop-sided game, if not for the Bruins’ leaders paving the way for a young, hard-working team that wasn’t outbattled.
It was the Bruins’ third straight game featuring 3-on-3 overtime.
“Overall, I really liked our effort as a group,” Head Coach Claude Julien said postgame from Joe Louis Arena. “We had a young team tonight and they had quite a few of their vets — I wanted to see our guys compete and they did that.”
WILMINGTON — Malcolm Subban will get the start in goal for the Bruins on Saturday night, when they face off against the Red Wings in their first road game of the preseason at Joe Louis Arena (7:00 p.m. ET).
It will mark Subban’s second game of the preseason. He stopped all 17 shots he faced playing half of the Bruins’ game on Sept. 22 against the Washington Capitals at TD Garden — an eventual 2-1 win in overtime. He split the game with Zane McIntyre.
On Saturday, Subban will get his chance to play an entire game. Jeremy Smith, who got his shot at a full game on Thursday night (Sept. 24), will serve as the backup.
“Really looking forward to it. It will be pretty cool — last time I played in Detroit was a few years ago, didn’t go too well, so I’m hoping to have a better outcome this time,” Subban said following the Bruins’ morning skate at Ristuccia Arena on Saturday, before flying to Detroit.
BostonBruins.com - When Brandon Carlo’s name was called by the Boston Bruins at the 2015 NHL Draft, he was beside himself.
“I’m lost for words at the moment — I thought I was going to maybe be able to handle myself, but I can’t even barely think,” a soft-spoken, smiling Carlo managed to say, sitting at a podium and wearing his new Bruins’ hat and Black and Gold jersey with the Spoked-B. “It’s been unbelievable. It feels great to be a Bruin.”
After spending a week with the organization at July’s development camp, attending the rookie tournament and continuing on to main camp, Carlo can officially call himself a member of the Bruins, having inked a three-year, entry-level deal with the club on Friday.
The 18-year-old defenseman was the team’s first second-round pick at the draft at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., selected 37th overall.
Carlo had suited up in two preseason games with the Bruins when the signing was announced on Sept. 25.
WILMINGTON - Bruins Captain Zdeno Chara is day-to-day with an upper-body injury, according to Head Coach Claude Julien.
“He’s day-to-day, which is good news for us — that’s what I’ve been told, so that’s all I can say right now,” Julien said following practice at Ristuccia Arena on Friday.
Chara left Thursday night’s preseason game at TD Garden against the New York Rangers within the first five minutes. The team announced during the first intermission that he had an upper-body injury and would not return to the game.
There are still two weeks of the preseason before the Bruins’ season opener on Oct. 8.
“It’s day-to-day — that’s all I’ve been told,” Julien reiterated, when asked about Chara being ready for the start of the regular season. “I’m not the doctor, obviously, but day-to-day is good news for me. I thought it might be worse [on Thursday] night.”
Chara’s short-term status is certainly good news, though it’s coupled with the news earlier this week that defenseman Dennis Seidenberg would be out approximately eight weeks after back surgery.
WILMINGTON — The Bruins hit the ice for practice at Ristuccia Arena on Friday morning as training camp continues along.
The group was comprised of players who did not suit up in Boston’s preseason game at TD Garden on Thursday night — a 4-3 come-from-behind shootout win over the New York Rangers that gave the Bruins their third straight victory of the preseason.
The group that played in the game had the day off on Friday.
“We’re giving some guys a little bit more time to play together in camp — you know, you see Beleskey with Krejci, I don’t think that’s any secret and we’re trying to hopefully get chemistry going there,” Head Coach Claude Julien said recently.
With four preseason games still on tap, there’s plenty of time to still get a feel of different combinations and experiment with lines if Julien and his staff don’t get the results they are looking for.
BOSTON — Forming a 23-man roster for Opening Night is at the forefront of training camp. The immediate future, the start of the 2015-16 Bruins’ season, is just over two weeks away.
There’s an important aspect of main camp, though, that will pay dividends far into the future beyond the upcoming campaign.
Camp is where recent draft picks play alongside NHL veterans and Stanley Cup Champions. It is where rookies put on the Spoked-B in front of fans at TD Garden for the first time. It is where they shoot on Tuukka Rask in practice, go to battle with Zdeno Chara in the corners and face off against Patrice Bergeron on the dot.
They see where they stack up against NHL talent, and they know what they need to hone in on for the future.