July 1st, 2012 — Uncategorized
On the second to last day of camp the crowds were large enough that Ristuccia hit capacity and had to turn late comers away. On the ice it was possible to separate the best conditioned from those still working on it. Physical fitness testing was this morning before practice and scrimmage and with that and four days of being run ragged by Cassidy and Sweeney, chased about the gym by Whitesides and community service, it is quite likely half the players have never had a week this busy.
With only two units of forwards and defense for the black vs white scrimmage it was destined to be short and sharp. While the small group and the emphasis on personal development and team building the tone wasn’t as nasty as it could have been. There were quite a few solid shoulder checks laid out.
The top participants in the physicality should come as no surprise. O’Gara led the bruise brigade with a few solid hits. Knight both absorbed a few solid hits, and returned them. Cross showed a heartening level of physicality on top of his unflappable puck control and smart positioning. Justin Courtnall seemed to attract more than his fair share of hits and just rolled with it dishing out a few and nearly coming to blows with one of his larger fellow campers.
Ryan Spooner’s speed and puck handling were notable from puck drop to final whistle. Torey Krug handled contact with several larger players easily, and flashed in and out of traffic pinching offensively and defending with equal ease. Hargrove showed off a top gear that generated some buzz chasing down a small defenseman and reaching around him after a two stride disadvantage.
- Parker Milner said he decided to come to the Bruins Camp over some other offers after having seen the way they treat players. Will be back at Boston College this fall.
- Tommy Cross was happy to share a locker-room with Milner again and thinks highly of his play.
- Coach Cassidy said ice conditions and small numbers make it difficult for team to scrimmage very long at this time of year. Noted the development of O’Gara and others.
July 1st, 2012 — Collective Bargaining Agreement, player
Yesterday Justin Schultz chose the Edmonton Oilers. Today his contract will be registered with the league. For the Anaheim Ducks this is an ugly blight on their off season. But things like this don’t happen in a vacuum. He was drafted back in 2008 and has had time to observe the Ducks organization in action for all that time. They’ve gone changed coaches, a player has been publicly and repeatedly scapegoated. Collectively the players on the ice have taken the first half of the season off two years in a row.
Then there is a drafting and development record that doesn’t deserve mention. Justin Schultz is 21 years old, he’s an adult. He didn’t choose the team that drafted him. And a team that doesn’t. compete well and douses its stars in public scorn isn’t someplace many will want to play there. When one of the biggest stars in the league who isn’t know for piping up does so just days before the draft maybe this. should be a wake up call.
Some might see this as a reason to change the CBA. I see this as a way to keep players who don’t feel a team offers what they needm or who may be toxic to stay out of low growth situations. As we saw with Jeff Carter thisyear and others in years past; unhappy players don’t perform well. What team really believes a miserable player is good for their team? Let it go, growand learn from it and move on.
July 1st, 2012 — Uncategorized
Today’s skating drills were revealing. Some guys are more agile than they show in the course of a scrimmage. Not surprisingly the players who have done these drills in the past do them best. Ryan Spooner stood out and that was in no way news. Several of the bigger players like O’Gara and Ferlin did quite well, and despite the questions about Cross that should have been stuffed and mounted long ago he went through drills that look painful more smoothly than Hamilton.
I spoke with a couple players after practice, O’Gara who is headed off to Yale in the fall says his goal is to get bigger and stronger. Using the camp stats as reasonably accurate if he puts on 5-8lbs of mass and stays all four years he’ll wind up somewhere in between 205 and 217, I can’t imagine many forwards wanting to go into his corner. Had the most physical shift of the day smashing the larger and older Justin Courtnall repeatedly.
Local boy and USNDT Matt Grzelcyk will be staying local and playing for Boston University for the next few years. Bruins fans can look forward to the nearly inevitable BU/BC Beanpot games have at least once prospect on each team. The smooth skating defenseman was drafted in the 3rd round this year and is among the smaller players at camp. Watch him closely.
Jared Knight says the playoff experience in the OHL helped him develop, and that he’s focused on improving his game and going into camp focused.
The most entertaining and informative exchange of the day however was off to the side as Khoklachev and Subban worked on one end of the ice while the rest of the campers practiced rushes. Khoklachev is held out of contact for a few more weeks. Until the lacerated kidney is completely healed he can’t be a full participant in camp. Subban was in net. As Khoklachev swooped in from the blueline for shot after shot the two ratcheted up the skill level, the two found the competition increasingly humorous. At one point Khoklachev was lying on the ice laughing. The two exchanged mock exuberant celebrations after a save or score. Good to see players who might well play together for ten years making fun out of their very serious work.
Dev Camp ’12 Saturday June 30
Coach Cassidy spoke about the development of various players. Tommy Cross was praised for coachability while playing two games in Providence last year. Stressed that the camp was about developing individual players and familiarizing players with the Bruins expectations and way of doing things. Later he mentioned the Providence Bruins not only had 11 1st year pros, but fourteen concussions, the highest in the AHL last year. He’s expecting a better season this year.