Claude Julien

Claude Julien

BRIGHTON — Claude Julien’s management of his players’ ice time is not limited to games. Recent years have seen Julien emphasize rest, as he began cancelling morning skates regularly last season and has given more in-season days off to players like Patrice Bergeron.

As such, it’s no surprise to see how Julien is handling players returning from the World Cup of Hockey Final. Bergeron, Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara and camp invitee Christian Ehrhoff, all of whom concluded the tournament Thursday night in Toronto, have been given the weekend off and will not show up to practice until Monday.

“They need some rest. I think they’re going to get it and [they] will because they’re not showing up here until Monday morning,” Julien said. “They will get probably some other days off this week as well, but I think the goal in talking with them and looking at our situation is, they didn’t feel comfortable taking too many days off straight. They don’t want to lose that edge, so they got an opportunity to rest and get back on the ice sooner than later [then] rest again. I think that’s probably the best approach right now for our group.”

For players who had shorter stints in the World Cup of Hockey, the preseason experience has been wonkier than the schedules to which they’ve grown accustomed. David Backes played only two games for Team USA and has not skated in a game since Sept. 20. He will make his Bruins preseason debut Saturday night.

“Truthfully, it’s feeling like it’s getting a little bit long to be here for maybe eight days now and having not played a meaningful game [for a while],” Backes said. “I’ve got to get back into the swing of the things. It’s kind of nice that there’s a little bit of time here now with Claude back and we’ll start getting Marchy and Bergy and Chara back so we can all get the group together a little bit more, start cutting this down to what the team’s going to be like and start to really find our identity.”

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

BRIGHTON — With Providence Bruins camp opening Monday, the big club is preparing to give them some more players.

Speaking after Saturday’s practice, Claude Julien said he expects the Bruins to make cuts following Saturday night’s preseason game against the Flyers.

“I think we’ve got to start cutting down numbers,” Julien said. “Probably after tonight.”

Many of the players cut from main camp will be sent to the AHL, while junior players who will be under 20 years old on Dec. 31 will have to return to their junior clubs for another season.

Saturday’s game will be the fourth of Boston’s preseason schedule. Julien said he monitored the performances of his players while at the World Cup of Hockey, watching all of the team’s exhibition games.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean
Jake DeBrusk

Jake DeBrusk

BRIGHTON — Coming off a 2-1 overtime win in Friday’s exhibition against the Red Wings, the Bruins will continue their preseason schedule Saturday night in Philadelphia. Claude Julien was on the ice with the team Saturday morning at Warrior Ice Arena after returning from the World Cup of Hockey.

The Bruins had the following lines in morning skate, though some of the players will not travel to Philadelphia in Zac Rinaldo, Tim Schaller, Colton Hargrove and Mark Nacliero. Riley Nash, Seth Griffith, Danton Heinen and Colby Cave will be in the lineup.

Rinaldo-Backes-Pastrnak
DeBrusk-Czarnik-Hayes
Mueller-Schaller-Hargrove
Gabrielle-Naclerio-Randell

There are a couple of things to watch with those lines, assuming they aren’t changed too drastically. Austin Czarnik’s line sees him reunited with Jake DeBrusk and Jimmy Hayes, which was a line that played well together in Monday’s preseason opener. Also, it would appear that Peter Mueller will move to the left wing after being used exclusively at right wing early in the preseason.

Defensemen set to play Saturday night are Chris Casto, Tommy Cross, Colin Miller, Kevan Miller, Rob O’Gara and Jakub Zboril.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

When Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand were put on Canada’s first line with Sidney Crosby, it stood to reason that they might end up putting up a lot of points in the World Cup of Hockey. They did.

Brad Marchand

Brad Marchand

When Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand were put on Canada’s first line with Sidney Crosby, it stood to reason that they might end up putting up a lot of points in the World Cup of Hockey. They did.

Marchand led the six-game tournament with five goals and finished second to only Crosby in points. The Bruins left wing had eight points, while Bergeron had seven (four goals and three assists). Crosby, who was named tournament MVP, had three goals and seven assists for 10 points.

Team Canada won the World Cup of Hockey Thursday night with a 2-1 win over Team Europe, winning the first two games of a three-game final series. Team Europe, a surprise to get past the preliminary round, held a 1-0 lead into the third period thanks to a Zdeno Chara goal, but Bergeron tied the game on a power play goal with 2:43 remaining and Marchand scored a shorthanded goal with 44 seconds to go in regulation.

While Marchand and Bergeron starred in the tournament, other Bruins didn’t fare as well. Chara scored a pair of goals, but David Pastrnak (Czech Republic) and David Backes (USA) failed to record a point in their respective teams’ short stays.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean
Peter Mueller has dressed in each of the Bruins' two preseason games. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Peter Mueller has dressed in each of the Bruins’ two preseason games. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

BRIGHTON — When Peter Mueller took a professional tryout with the Bruins late in the summer, he had more to worry about than just playing. After admittedly being immature in previous NHL stops, the 28-year-old said he had to prove to teams that he would commit to an organization. He needed to assure teams that if an AHL deal was his only way to return to North America after three years in Europe, he’d take it.

Of course, there’s nothing more important than just playing, for all the other stuff becomes moot if the 2006 eighth overall pick doesn’t convince the B’s that he’s worth a contract.

Two games into the preseason, Mueller has gotten typical PTO treatment, meaning he’s been one of just three players to dress in both contests as the team tries to get as good a look at him as possible. Monday saw him skate on the right wing of Sean Kuraly and Peter Cehlarik, while Wednesday saw him positioned on the right wing of Ryan Spooner and Matt Beleskey. He’s also seen time on the power play both games and on the penalty kill Wednesday against the Red Wings

“To be honest, it’s nice to play in the games. I’d rather play in the games and showcase my skills,” Mueller said after Thursday’s practice. “As much as you want to show how good you are in practice, it’s tough to show it that well. To be honest, it’s great to play in both games.”

Prior to the start of the preseason schedule, Mueller, a center earlier in his career, said that he’d played mostly at either right or left wing in Europe. A right shot, Mueller has been used exclusively at right wing thus far in the preseason, which is good and bad for his chances of staying in Boston. The Bruins are thin at right wing after David Pastrnak and possible David Backes, but the Frank Vatrano injury also presents opportunity on the left side. Mueller says he has no preference, as long as he’s playing.

The Bruins are drawn to Mueller’s skill, which is what got him drafted and gave him five years in the NHL prior to his departure after the lockout-shortened 2013 season. He didn’t set the world on fire offensively in either of the last two seasons abroad, but he put up 46 points (24 goals, 22 assists) in 49 games in the Swiss National League-A in 2013-14. Last season, he scored 13 goals and 12 assists for 35 points in 43 games in the Swedish Hockey League.

“I didn’t know him very well as a player before, to be honest with you, so I don’t have anything to go by, but I think he’s been OK,” Bruins assistant coach Bruce Cassidy said of Mueller’s preseason games. “We haven’t generated a ton of offense, and he’s that type of player. I think it will take him a while to develop some chemistry, but he’s shown moments where he’s got his shot off and had some looks. You can tell he’s got a heavy shot; he’s around the puck, so there’s certainly something there offensively. Hopefully it keeps getting better and better.”

Mueller’s last NHL experience did not go well, as he and the Blues severed ties on a one-year contract two seasons ago when he was told he wouldn’t make the team. After two more years in Europe, Mueller is glad to be back in North America, where he’s said he’ll stay regardless of what kind of deal he’s offered.

“It’s an honor to wear this jersey, it really is,” Mueller said. “And not just the jersey, but the whole experience has been tremendous and great so far. Even putting on the practice jersey and coming to the facility, this is an unbelievable experience. For me, I’m cherishing it every second of the way.”

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

The question was directed to Drew Miller, but one of his teammates in the background interrupted him.

“Oh yeah, it’s sticking,” the unidentified-Red-Wing-because-he-was-out-of-the-reporter’s-sightline-but-possibly-Luke-Glendening said.

The “it” in question is something pretty weird. After Glendening scored to make it 3-0 in the second period of a 5-1 preseason win over the Bruins, Glendening took off his glove and, corny as hell, called for a high five. Miller and Steve Ott obliged, taking their gloves off and cheerily slapping hands. It was the greatest.

Then, after Miller scored in the third period, they did it again.

“It’s just something fun we were doing in training camp, just messing around,” Miller said after the game. “We said we’d do it on our first goal. We didn’t think it would be this soon, but we’re just having fun building chemistry. I thought all the guys on the bench got a good chuckle out of it.”

If guys like Miller and Glendening want that celebration to become more prominent, they might need to ask more teammates to take part. Miller hasn’t scored more than seven goals in any of the last four seasons, while Glendening has hit double digits in goals (12) in just one of his three NHL seasons. Ott has a grand total of three goals over the last three seasons.

“If we can keep scoring, we’re going to do it,” Miller said. “Hopefully we can keep scoring more goals.”

What a story to write during the preseason. Gimme five.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean
Malcolm Subban

Malcolm Subban

The Bruins played their second preseason game Wednesday night, suffering a 5-1 loss to the Red Wings at TD Garden. Malcolm Subban played the first two periods before giving way to 2015 third-round pick Dan Vladar.

Here are some takeaways:

– It was a weird night for Subban, who allowed four goals in two periods but also made ton of big saves on breakaways, partial breaks and even a 2-on-0. All in all, Subban faced 34 shots over 40 minutes behind a horrible defense.

After stopping the first 16 shots he faced in a busy first period, Subban allowed a pair of goals in 21 seconds in the period’s final minutes. Detroit’s first goal came when Kyle Criscuolo redirected what was either a shot or a slap-pass from Brendan Smith on the power play. Detroit followed up that goal with another when a shot from in close by Steve Ott beat Subban short side.

– Ryan Spooner had an absolute monster of a rush to set up a second-period goal for Austin Czarnik. Spooner beat two defenders through the neutral zone and offensive zone before dishing to Czarnik, who finished the play with an easy backhand tap.

– Spooner wants to be better on faceoffs this season after finishing last season with a 42.76 percent success rate. The officials on Wednesday took notice of Spooner’s desire to improve, as Spooner was called for a faceoff violation in the first period.

– One injury to watch: Noel Acciari left the bench in the third period after limping off the ice.

– Czarnik was one of three players (the other two being Sean Kuraly and Peter Mueller) to play in both preseason games, so you can bet the Bruins want to get an honest look at the second-year pro. It’s been so far, so good for Czarnik, who also had an assist in Monday’s preseason opener. The Miami of Ohio product had 20 goals and 41 assists for 61 points in 68 games for Providence last season.

– On that whole “horrible defense” thing, none of Boston’s six defenders were particularly impressive, although Matt Grzelcyk picked up the secondary assist on Czarink’s goal. Boston gave up a ton of scoring chances and displayed loose coverage in front of the net, such as when Andreas Athanasiou sent a pass across the net through both Jeremy Lauzon and Chris Casto to set up an Anthony Mantha goal.

– Maybe the most interesting part of Wednesday’s game: Red Wings players took off their gloves to give real high fives to celebrate goals.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

When the Bruins signed Dennis Seidenberg to a contract extension at the start of the 2013-14 season, they essentially chose an older player rather than a better and younger player in Johnny Boychuk, whom they would trade a year later. Why? Perhaps because Boychuk would be more expensive and they wanted the future cap space to sign Dougie Hamilton. Now, all three players are gone.

Dennis Seidenberg

Dennis Seidenberg

When the Bruins signed Dennis Seidenberg to a contract extension at the start of the 2013-14 season, they essentially chose an older player rather than a better and younger player in Johnny Boychuk, whom they would trade a year later. Why? Perhaps because Boychuk would be more expensive and they wanted the future cap space to sign Dougie Hamilton. Now, all three players are gone. Two of them are with the Islanders.

As first reported by TSN’s Darren Dreger, the Islanders and Seidenberg have agreed to a one-year contract worth $1 million. According to a source, the Islanders were not the only team to offer Seidenberg a contract since the start of the World Cup of Hockey, in which he is currently competing for Team Europe. The 35-year-old blueliner was also offered professional tryouts by a number of teams, and it was expected that he would have had more contract offers after the conclusion of the World Cup of Hockey.

Seidenberg, was bought out by the Bruins with two years remaining on his four year, $16 million deal. The Bruins will take on cap charges of $1,166,666, $2,166,666, $1,166,666 and $1,166,666 in each of the next four seasons as a result of the buyout.

The Islanders will become the sixth NHL team for Seidenberg, who has also played for the Flyers, Coyotes, Hurricanes, Panthers and B’s. Acquired by the Bruins via trade during the 2009-10 season, Seidenberg spent parts of seven seasons with the B’s, many of which were spent anchoring Boston’s second pair.

The Germany native’s biggest contributions to the B’s came in the 2011 postseason, when he was teamed with Zdeno Chara and served as an instrumental force in Boston’s Stanley Cup championship.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean