(Photo: Alan Sullivan)
On Sunday the Boston Bruins announced transactions concerning those at camp. Not very surprising, given their age and stage of development, Jakub Zboril (Saint John Sea Dog, QMJHL), Brandon Carlo (Tri-City Americans, WHL) and Jake DeBrusk (Swift Current Broncos, WHL) were all returned to their Junior teams. However, these players left impressions on head coach Claude Julien and it is clear he is looking forward to seeing more of them.
For those who were expecting Malcolm Subban to serve as the backup goaltender for Tuukka Rask, they will have to wait a little longer. Both Subban and Zane McIntyre were assigned to the Providence Bruins along with Noel Acciari, Chris Breen, Anthony Camara, Brandon DeFazio, Justin Hickman, and Ben Sexton. The final person cut in this round was Ben Youds who has been released to join the Providence Bruins Training Camp.
In the goalie department that brings the backup netminder competition to Jeremy Smith and Jonas Gustavsson. Gustavsson was away from camp for a few days, and had been expected to play in Thursday’s game against the Rangers. However, his wife was just about to give birth to a daughter. The little girl made her appearance in Detroit on Friday afternoon, arriving before the Bruins did for their preseason game. Gustavsson is set to be backup Monday night as Rask is given the start and expected to play the entire home game against the Red Wings.
During practice Monday morning, it was clear that the remaining group of players—which still includes some youngsters—will see a couple of them get another chance in evening’s game. Austin Czarnik will center a line with Matt Beleskey and David Pastrnak. While not an 18-year-old, Czarnik finished college this past spring and as such is entering into his first full season of professional hockey.
“Honestly? Just that. Communication,” Beleskey said after practice. “You know we talked about some tendencies [Czarnik] likes to do and just be simple, play your game. I’ll let him do his thing and I’ll do mine.”
However, the younger players are often a little intimidated when it comes to vocalizing on ice to a veteran player.
“Yeah, I think it’s make them feel comfortable and make them realize that we’re all part of it,” Patrice Bergeron said this weekend. “Their input is as important as ours and that’s’ the only way you can succeed is by everyone feeling comfortable and everyone, you know, uh, giving their thoughts also their ideas about how they think a shift should be going.”
Some of the younger players have been watching these veterans and idolizing them, so it is understandable how such vocalization to someone they see as a superior can be difficult. The Bruins organization though strives to ensure that all of its prospects understand that they are important and that they are there to be evaluated as professionals.
While practice cannot fully simulate a game experience, what it can help with is this communication. Knowing that the guy to your right or left is the guy on your line for that evening’s game and discussing how each handles certain situations is paramount to seeing a productive team in general. And if the youngsters get used to doing this early on, by the time they do make the team, they will already be comfortable with such associations.
What is clear, watching the rushes, the drills and the games as they have progressed is that the team is coming together. There is more communication. There is a confidence that is building among those who continue to be on the roster with this most recent of cuts.
After Monday’s game against the Red Wings, the team will play two additional preseason games, both on the road. The first will take place on Wednesday, September 30 against the New York Rangers. The second will be on Friday, October 2, when they meet the Washington Capitals.