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Bish's Blog

No Rest on Sunday

Boston's rookies take to the ice for practice.

Sunday, 09.06.2009 / 10:08 AM / Bish's Blog
By John Bishop  - BostonBruins.com
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No Rest on Sunday
8:14 p.m.
Jonas Gustavsson is wowing the "home" crowd.

BTW:  Around here they Gustavsson him "The Monster."

The big Maple Leafs goalie (6'3, 192-pounds) is really standing on top of that crease and daring the Pittsburgh shooters to beat him or try and go around him.

I'd be interested in seeing a Tuukka Rask vs. Jonas Gustavsson matchup down the line.

8:11 p.m.
I just noticed that there several Beanpot alums in this tournament and they happen to be from my alma maters -- Boston U. and Northeastern:

Jason Lawrence, BU, Boston
Brian Strait, BU, Pittsburgh
Joe Vitale, NU, Pittsburgh
Brad Thiessen, NU, Pittsburgh


And a quick perusal of the rosters also shows a nice representation from all over the NCAA. As a big supporter of college hockey, that's good to see.

7:37 p.m.

I already posted this on Twitter, but just in case you haven't joined up, Courchaine will be in the net tomorrow against Toronto. Hutchinson will take on Ottawa on Wednesday and Matt Dalton will be in the barrell on Thursday against Pittsburgh.

I wonder if we'll have a matchup between two of the NCAA's best from the 2008 season with Brad Theissen from Northeastern suited up for the Pens.

If you haven't signed up to follow the Bruins on Twitter, take a second to do so and send me a note.

7:26 p.m.
Regrouping...

I'm back to the hotel after a nice dinner with fellow Bruins employees. Thanks for the company, guys.

All-in-all it was a very entertaining day of activity for the B's rookies, who hit the rink early and stayed late in preparation for their tilt with Toronto on Monday night.

Kudos to the people of Kitchener for their friendliness and on their beautiful arena, The Aud.

I am also lucky to be working at my hotel desk while also watching the Buds take on the baby Penguins on Rogers TV. It's a sloppy game, but lots of hitting and some early animosity is keeping me involved.

In case you are wondering, it's 0-0 in the first.

3:13 p.m.
Back on the ice after a short break.

2:44 p.m.

The rookies are getting a refresher course (or in some cases, a crash course) on the defensive and offensive systems. Coach Houda is heavily involved.

An aside: Goalie Michael Hutchinson, a string bean when I met him in July 2008, has definitely gained some muscle on his frame .

2:27 p.m.

Hits! The new B's are using some five-on-five drills to get ready for tomorrow and shoulders are being used. A good sound, folks.

2:21 p.m.

Coach Murray's style seems very similar to Coach Julien's. High-paced, thorough drills laced with instructions and classroomesque teaching at the board.

Murray seems to bark a bit less than Julien, though -- but hey, it's early.

FYI: Lane McDermid is a "little dinged up." And is not on the ice.

1:49 p.m.
Practice got started a little bit early. Frankly, it's pretty great to see actual hockey happening. There are no hits yet, but they are coming, for sure.

Perhaps due to the newness of the season and the rustiness of the skaters, the goalies look very strong, early on.

9:30 a.m.

Good Morning Caaaaaanada (and hockey fans in the United States)!

The new B’s are waking up for their first full practice of the 2009-10 season.

Me, I am just trying to get rolling – trying being the operative term. But thankfully, I have a couple of hours before the bus heads for the arena.

So, I was thinking of what would set the table for everyone in terms of explaining what the B’s rookie camp (and, by extension, their part in this rookie tournament) is supposed to accomplish.

A quick re-listen of my recorder gave me the answer.

“There is no question [that rookie camp] blends with what we have said and established in development camp,” said Don Sweeney, Bruins director of hockey operations and player development. “In a perfect world [the Bruins prospects would] all kind of move along together and end up playing with a Bruins jersey.

“Realistically that’s not going to happen but, I think [the camp is about] forging relationships and understanding…the expectation level.

“These players have an understanding being around the organization of what is kind of going to be expected, and within the locker room that’s a whole other set of expectations.”

And hopefully by managing those heightened expectations in a slightly more controlled environment than the big league camp will help the Bruins youngsters when they make their way up the professional ladder.

“I think you start to identify [those expectations] and the more you are around the core group and move into the main stream of the locker room of Zee [Zdeno Chara] and all that group…hopefully things continue to move forward,” said Sweeney. “The Providence guys have an understanding of what they were supposed to do last year and we have a couple of those guys.

“I want that, and you know that was done by design I want that [brought] into to the locker room environment up in Kitchener so that the newest guys that come into our organization have an understanding of what these guys have started and to where they are hopefully headed.”

Asked about those expectations and responsibilities on Saturday morning Zach Hamill sounded like a young man who knows his role.

"Obviously, it's a long bus ride and a tough day [on Saturday]," said Hamill. "But that's part of being a hockey player. That's when you develop as you get older and that's how you develop to take on stuff like this."

Hamill intends to become a leader in the Bruins locker room during this week of rookie training.

"Nobody really judges you until [they see you] in games," he said of his chance to take center stage. "Some guys played last year and developed some chemistry.

"Even if they don't expect me to be in a leadership role, I hope to be in [one] and be one of the guys they come to to ask for help."

Morning reading...
Expectations bumped for Bruins rookies (F. Shinzawa, Boston Globe)
Toeing the fourth line (F. Shinzawa, Boston Globe)
Bruins rookie ready to get a leg up (M. Kalman, The Bruins Blog)
Bruins’ rookies hit the road (S. Harris, Boston Herald)

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