- The Vets: Really set tone for camp. High intensity in each drill/scrimmage. Pulling players aside to give advice where needed.
- Youth shadowing veteran players: The big example was Studnicka and JFK seeking out Bergeron to work on faceoffs off to side in between drills, but there were quite a few instances of younger players trying to get inside the hockey brains of older, established players.
- Chara’s skating: I mentioned it both days, Chara’s skating looks more fluid and while it probably won’t ever be described as graceful, there is a certain, more noticeable aspect of effortlessness not usually seen in his strides.
- Carlo’s Effort/intensity: Carlo was one of the more consistent players on the ice both days. He was quick to use size and strength to move other players, while putting a noticeable amount of effort in with each drill. He looks like a player eager to avoid a so called “sophomore slump” in his second season with Bruins.
- No Pasta on the ice: It’s always better with Pasta around. Enough said.
- Senyshyn: There’s been a lot of criticism surrounding Senyshyn since the Bruins drafted him 15th overall in 2015. Frankly, he hasn’t done a whole lot to quiet those critics and this camp was another example of that. A full year in Providence will likely do him a world of good and hopefully he can come into training camp next year and truly compete for a spot. With him, it’s not always that he looks bad, it’s that he just doesn’t do enough to separate himself from the pack, which for a Top 20 pick, is asking for criticism from fans.
- Zboril/Lauzon didn’t stand out: Much of what I said about Senyshyn can be said of these two, albeit to a lesser extent. Lauzon has dealt with injuries and Zboril has made more noticeable strides to improve than Senyshyn, but with any high pick, the pressure to stand out is high. Both 20 year olds will play in Providence this season, and a strong showing would go a long way to potentially earning a late season call up. Fans need to remember they are early in their development and this is part of the process. For every Charlie McAvoy, there are a hundred other players who take longer to develop.
- Pasta at camp: See above. More Pasta, forever and ever, Amen.
- McAvoy: Charlie has shown he is capable of handling the learning curve quickly. He plays with a noticeable confidence, even against the veteran players. That swagger seems to be an integral part of his hockey identity both on and off the ice. Cassidy mentioned his composure in the big moments as one of his defining characteristics. From my perspective, it will be interesting to see how he responds to the inevitable rough patches in his first full NHL season.
- McIntyre: Noticeably more confident, sees the puck well in traffic and rarely out of position. Overall, he showed well in camp and may very well be competing for the backup spot, if he can continue to do so in his preseason start(s).
- Subban: Not fluid, trails play by split second. Almost looks like he has to think about how to best react before actually moving. He is, in my eyes, clearly not NHL ready at this stage which is fine. Remember, goalies take years to fully develop. He still has time, but if he takes too much longer, he may see Daniel Vladar overtake him on the depth chart.
One thing I notice with Subban is the glove hand almost seems like afterthought to him. Focused on positioning & relies on reaction w/ glove https://t.co/EZ8Oto7iIz— Colin Beswick (@CBeswick) September 15, 2017
- Depth forwards: None really stood out among Schaller, Agostino, Acciari & Nash. In a tight camp, more may be needed to keep grip on bottom 6 roles. I think it’s safe to say Nash will be on roster, if only for his penalty killing and reliability. The others may be at more risk if the youth movement is to be believed. When I asked Bruce about Nash’s underutilized offensive ability, he replied “It’s up to us to get him out of that comfort zone of, I made it as a defensive minded guy. When you have the puck, think offense. Listen, not reckless but trust your offensive game more... It’s in him, we just have to get it out of him”
- Senyshyn/Zboril/Lauzon: See above, none did enough to stand out from peers and for three high picks, the clock is just now starting to truly tick on their development. I wouldn’t be shocked to see each excel in AHL, but obviously the jump from AHL to NHL is a whole different ball game for players of all skill sets and ages.
Talked w/ Senyshyn: "I just really want to compete & show them my comp. nature, just be hard on pucks, winning ever battle, showing them 1/2— Colin Beswick (@CBeswick) September 16, 2017
- Krejci looked healthy, skating well again.
- Based on both McAvoy, Miller and Cassidy’s comments, it’s looking like a Kevan Miller & Charlie McAvoy pairing, at least to start the year.
- DeBrusk/Bjork both look to have a real chance to make roster, if Bruins do indeed focus on youth on wings.
Overall, the training camp was a success. It had consistently high levels of competition, no player injuries and a successful fan turnout. Coach Cassidy has been consistently preaching a quick pace. His drills were a reflection of that philosophy, with multiple scrimmages, and high tempo drills focused heavily on zone entry and/or stretching the ice. The next step is the first pre-season game of the year against old friend Claude Julien at 7PM in Montreal.