While yesterday marked the official open of the Boston Bruins 2021-22 training camp, today the players took to the ice for the first time at Warrior Ice Arena.
Split into two groups, we got our first glimpses of Linus Ullmark, Nick Foligno and Derek Forbort, as well as where others like Tomas Nosek and Erik Haula could slide into the lineup.
It was a high intensity open to camp with several situational drills. Here are some of the takeaways from the day.
One of the biggest interests of the day was Bruce Cassidy’s initial line and defense combinations to see what could work down the line and where tweaks are needed.
Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak for some reps
*Cassidy threw Jesper Froden on the wing with Marchand and Bergeron during the skate to give him some experience. Pastrnak filled in on the wing with Jakub Lauko and Cameron Hughes during drills also.
Taylor Hall – Jack Studnicka - Craig Smith
Jake DeBrusk – Haula - Foligno
Trent Frederic – Curtis Lazar – Nosek
There’s no surprise Bergeron, Marchand and Pastrnak were spot on and helped the newcomers on the shuffled lines. The “Lazar” and “Studnicka” lines showed promise. Studnicka and Hall have speed and it worked today. Haula also offers speed and he clicked with Foligno - not 100%, or even 50%, sold on DeBrusk’s efforts from this afternoon just yet though.
It’s only day one, but there might be some clues as to where Cassidy sees Forbort’s worth on the roster.
Forbort took several reps during breakout and offensive coverage drills with Charlie McAvoy. It’s too early to say if this will stick, but Forbort complimented McAvoy’s playing style. He’s a big body and was more about created puck movement along the blue line and down deep instead of taking the shot.
Other pairings were:
Matt Grzelcyk - Connor Clifton
Mike Reilly - Brandon Carlo
Urho Vaakanainen - Tyler Lewington
Ullmark had his hands full in the first grouping with some talented shooters, and looked really good. Ullmark tracked the puck well through traffic and held his post during wrap arounds.
Jeremy Swayman looked like he picked up where he left off at the end of the season and he’ll be exciting to watch through training camp and preseason.
Sound bites from Day 1:
- “He’s a really big body. He’s a lot stronger than people realize. I know it’s one thing that caught me off guard going against him in practice. He’s really solid on the puck and on his skates. Then you add his poise and patience and puck control in there... He wants to be the guy to have the puck on his stick and make plays. That’s when he thrives.” -Marchand on Forbort
- “It’s tough to see guys move on. There are big holes to fill and you can’t from one individual player but collectively as a group you hope you can...We have a lot of depth and we plan on doing that collectively.” -Marchand on the team stepping up to fill the roles of David Krejci and Tuukka Rask
- “Until they boot me out of the league. wWith my history, it could be tomorrow... You play as long as you can. Once you’re done, it’s not coming back.” - Marchand asked how long he’ll play for
- “The play itself will come by every practice. If we can sort everything, we’ve got pretty much everything handled. With the pre-school and living situation, where to go buy groceries, Parks to go to, getting all that sorted out before the season starts will be our main priority. If I feel like I’m enjoying myself off the ice, I’ll enjoy myself on the ice.” - Ullmark on his priorities during these two weeks of camp.
- “I stay in the present. Stay in the moment that’s something for the future. It’s nothing that I can focus on right now.” - Ullmark on if Rask returns
- “I notice that I’m hearing his voice really well and I know that he’s doing the same with me. We’re trying to understand positioning. Defensively I’m trying to help him with the reads that I would like. And offensively I think he’s doing a great job of using me on the blue line where I like the way he passes the puck to me. I think we’ll feed off of each other’s game as long as we continue to communicate. I love it because we’re all positive vibes.” – Carlo on playing with Reilly
Stay tuned to SCOC for more updates on training camp and preseason games as these next few weeks roll out!