TD Bank
Features
 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

An Eager Study

Cunningham working to hone new aspects of game

Thursday, 10.25.2012 / 11:35 AM ET / Features
By Evan Sporer  - BostonBruins.com
X
Share with your Friends


An Eager Study
false

BostonBruins.com — Through the eyes of many teammates, Craig Cunningham has seen what it takes to make it through the AHL ranks of Providence, up I-95 to 93, and to the TD Garden.

No toll is required, but there is a certain price to pay — a hockey commitment — in order to earn the right to wear Black & Gold in Boston.

Cunningham, 22, understands that commitment and is working hard to amplify the skill set that brought him to the pro game from juniors, all while incorporating the Bruins edict of being "hard to play against."

"It’s pretty tough to be a top six forward in the NHL," Cunningham told bostonbruinsTV after practicing Wednesday at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Rhode Island.

However Cunningham added that the ability to score, and be "a pain in the side of a lot of guys" that goes a long way in getting yourself recognized.

Still, as Cunningham while is looking to refine his role, he said its important that the other elements of his game not lag behind.

As such, Craig scored in the P-Bruins opening weekend on a tip-in when he drove hard to the net with his stick on the ice.

It was that play, and that effort, that Providence Head Coach Bruce Cassidy referenced when talking about Cunningham.

"He goes to the net well, both his goals this year have been center lane drive," Cassidy said. "We try to tell some of our guys that aren’t 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds that they have to be tenacious on pucks, and second and third effort, because they might not win that battle the first time.

"[Cunningham] has bought into that. He recognizes that’s something he needs to do."

Cassidy and the P-Bruins are focused on both developing players, and winning AHL games. But Cassidy praised Cunningham’s ability to work with the coaches, and said it will put the forward on the fast track in terms of his progression.

"He’s got a good nose for the net, he’s got a good release, he works on it every day, but he also recognizes that it’s another level in the NHL," Cassidy said. "I like his path right now, and that’s a good attitude to have.

"If those guys know every day they’ve got to get better in practice, and they’re not just using it to punch the clock, I really believe they’re going to get ahead faster than the guy beside them if he’s just going out there...not really competing hard, every time, in practice."

Cunningham was in the middle of the action during the P-Bruins two wins this past weekend, when he scored a crucial goal to tie up the contest in the first period of Saturday’s tilt against Springfield, before Providence went on to win 3-1.

But a humble Cunningham was quick to credit the team’s approach to its recent success.

"If you look, our forecheck is a lot better," Cunningham said. "We’re hunting pucks, we’re recovering pucks, and we’re getting them to the net.

"Both goals that I’ve got have kind of just been around the net, been a bounce, and there they are."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
2 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
3 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
4 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
5 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
6 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
7 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
8 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Bergeron 81 23 32 2 55
L. Eriksson 81 22 25 1 47
M. Lucic 81 18 26 13 44
C. Soderberg 82 13 31 10 44
B. Marchand 77 24 18 5 42
D. Hamilton 72 10 32 -3 42
R. Smith 81 13 27 7 40
T. Krug 78 12 27 13 39
D. Krejci 47 7 24 7 31
C. Kelly 80 7 21 6 28
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Rask 34 21 13 .922 2.30
N. Svedberg 7 5 1 .918 2.33
Hallmark Health System
BRUINS FAN POLL
 
Friendly's - Official Family Restaurant and Ice Cream of the Boston Bruins
Jack Links
NHL Ticket Exchange
Dunkin' Donuts Perks   AMI Graphics   Geico - Aim for savings

Click the instant ticket and enter to win Second Chance Drawings