Training Day Camp 4: McQuaid's Cup Motivator, Smith Gets Gritty
Day 4 of Training Camp kicked off with two on-ice sessions at 10:00 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. Chceck out the blog as Caryn Switaj took you around TD Garden, in the locker room and behind the scenes at Training Camp.^CS
10:05 AM - Huge fan turnout today! A few thousands packed in on a beautiful Sunday in New England to take in some hockey.... #IsItOctoberYet
Day 4, Group B Lines/PairingsLucic-Krejci-Iginla
10:33 - A lot of "crispness" to the start of the day, with sharp passes and good flow. Bobby Robins appears in the visiting team tunnel at TD Garden (players on Boston's roster last season are using their room, with Providence players and young guns are using the visiting team locker room). 'How's it looking?' he asks. 'Boys look good.'
11:07 - The Lucic-Krejci-Iginla line show good tic-tac-toe passing chemistry (is anyone surprised?)
11:09 - Matt Bartkowski fires one home. He's been paired with Kevan Miller for all of camp. While pairings like Zdeno Chara and Zach Trotman will be getting to know one another, Bartkowski and Miller know each other well, having formed a solid pairing in Providence last season.
11:19 - David Krejci feeds Torey Krug for a laser past Malcolm Subban from the high slot during 4v4 practice. He gets a huge roar of cheers. No. 47 does the post-practice bench interiview to the fans with me; he jokes it's been very different having the fans in the building (first two practices were closed to the public) -- but it's obviously a nice change to get that support, even if it's just during practice.
11:25 - Center-ice stretch, led by the ever affable and always vocal Shawn Thornton today.
11:56 PM - Adam McQuaid speak with media in the locker room...
The Bruins' practice today looked sharp, with crisp passes and a smooth flow to it. After Day #4, No. 54 feels like signifcant progress has been made, to all get in line before the preseason games.
"I feel like in a short period of time, we’ve gotten a lot sharper and even in some of our scrimmages and some of our 5-on-5 type drills, our guys are finding their positions and knowing where they need to be," said McQuaid.
"And that just takes a little bit of time, but the guys have been doing it for a while so it doesn’t take very long for them to get back to where they need to be."
The B's may be getting back to where they want to be in the short term, but the long-term goal awaits. So, a beat reporter asked McQuaid about the team's obvious ultimate goal. Only, with a twist.
'Which is the greater motivator,' the reporter began. 'Winning the Cup, or coming so close - and not winning?'
"It’s not easy, obviously. I think it definitely motivates you to get that close and just come up short," said the defenseman. "You can learn just as much from losing, if not more, in many ways. It’s something that we’ve been through both sides of it and we know how it feels both ways, so again we don’t want to have to feel what we did last year again and hopefully we’ll be able to get back there and finish on top."
12:15 - Next group hits the ice, to Dropkick Murphy's (nice touch - that doesn't happen during a close practice) and another welcome reaction from the fans.
12:36 - There's a "Tuuuuuk" chant that erupts whenever Tuukka skates from the bench to go between the pipes. Literally, every time. It's great. Here he is earlier, in the locker room, preparing for practice with long-time Equipment Manager Keith Robinson.
Day 4, Group A Lines/PairingsMarchand-Bergeron-Eriksson
Rask, Svedberg, Morrison
A teaching moment for Justin Florek with Brad Marchand...
No. 63 later does the post-practice bench interview with me to a crowd still full of fans after the second session.
At one point, with these fans getting their first glimpse at Loui Eriksson this week, I ask him what he's seen from his line so far during camp and what fans can expect out of his new trio, along with Bergeron.
Marchand pauses, and says to the fans, "Loui's looking pretty good, eh?" The crowd-pleaser gets a roar....
1:19, or, too many times to actually write one time - Reilly Smith has speed to his game, has been labeled by Chiarelli for his "silky smooth" type of play and vision, and has quite a shot in his aresenal. He's showcased that throughout camp.
I wrote this piece on Smith, Fraser and the third line following the third day of camp, and have noticed the grittier side to his game, to go along with his "hockey smarts."
"When you join a new team, sometimes that changes your style of play a little bit, just to better suit yourself in the new organization," said Smith. "That's always been a part of my game; it kind of just depends on the team that you're playing for and what they want to see out of you."
Smith has been playing on the right wing, with Jordan Caron on the left and Chris Kelly as his centerman. They're both gritty; they both go hard to the net. Maybe a bit of that has rubbed off on him, and he's absorbed what the B's are looking for out of him.
"Absolutley, it's definitely the line I'm playing on, but it's also the organization and their outlook on how you play and be successful in the NHL."