The arena was again well filled with fans, some dressed a tiny bit more realistically for the frigid conditions of the Ristuccia arena than others. Some of the people were the same folks who had been several days running, but there were also a lot of people who hadn’t been the last two days. Claude Julien visible with some scruff and looking like golf had a spot on the days to do list was present as was Peter Chiarelli.
While as I said before, there isn’t a ridiculous spread in talent from top to bottom, there were definitely a few players that stood out. My very top tier includes just four players, three of the defensemen but I could be easily convinced to add two of the forwards who while less well rounded or were still high end. After those six players there is a tight bunch of twelve to sixteen players who are solid but didn’t display one or two elements in the time I was there. Five years ago, and probably even four any or all of the top six players could have made the Bruins roster. This year, I highly doubt any of players at this camp crack the roster without a bit of help from the injury bug or someone suddenly demanding a trade.
From the scrimmage and shootout today:
Volden: Lights out goaltending in the shootout. He faced some truly pretty shots and got rousing cheers from the crowd.
Button: Just plain looked good. Didn’t seem to be flustered by anything.
Camara: Looked damn solid, love his work ethic and willingness to go through traffic. Think Jeremy Reich type work ethic with better wheels and hands.
O’Gara: One of the youngest players in camp, didn’t look out of place playing with some of the top players at camp.
Fallstrom: Showed a more physical presence than I’d seen from him yesterday or in past camps.
Trotman: During the scrimmage he was paired Warsofsky and got a couple really nice looks and potted a goal from the high slot.
Warsofsky: Made a neat play along the boards during an offensive zone entry. He got rubbed out along the wall, and didn’t miss a beat in spooning the pass to the slot as he slid a good ten or twelve feet on both knees. No sign of ill effcts from it. Could turn into a powerplay quarterback.
Knight: Grabbed my attention by going deep into the defensive zone and working hard at blocking shots and taking away lanes. Plays with a bit of swagger, people are either going to love him or hate him.
Spooner: He drilled Hamilton a couple times during scrimmage and special teams practice.
Hamilton: Seemed to drop back into more of a defensive role today than yesterday.
Cross: Answered any reasonable questions on his knees over the last two days with not just some of the best mobility for the bigger guys, but some of the best mobility in camp. Perhaps the thing that sticks out most even over his obvious leadership is his positioning. He appears in the right spot and shifts smoothly with it around the ice.
Khokhlachev: Was shifted to left wing from center (he plays both) in scrimmage, looked very comfortable, was again a going concern in all three zones.
Spinell: Looked comfortable at his own crease to the opponents blueline, still in college and in camp on an invite. I’m not sure where he’s sign when he graduates, but where ever it is will be getting a solid piece.
I liked the camp, and can’t say enough about the competitiveness and energy of the camp. While a few players were flagging at one point or another I didn’t get the impression anyone was mailing it in. Today’s scrimmage was much more physical than yesterdays with a few hits that were a touch more than the “light contact” you normally see.
Not so risky guesses:
- None of the guys at camp this year make the NHL roster out of camp without multiple injuries at a given position.
- One of the defensemen who was at camp and in the AHL at some point last year jumps the queue to be the first callup over one or more of last years call ups.
- Two of the forwards here this year make the team in two years.
- At least two forwards and defensemen as yet unsigned ink their entry level contracts before the start of Boston’s 2012-13 season.