Saturday, September 15, 2007


It was the third day of training camp for the Bruins as they prepare for the 2007-2008 season and the boys were put through some intense drills. They were split into a couple of groups as coach Julien barked out the orders for the first hour. They did some 2-on-2 and 3-on-3 drills and some forechecking drills with a ton of contact especially down low. They broke into sprints to end the first session, which seemed to be the normal full speed then cool down then full speed driven by the intermittent whistles. The second group went through much of the same grueling workout as the first group had with a little less out of Julien. Then it was time for the rookies to hit the ice with coach Gordon leading the drills. They worked on a ton of positional drills as the rookies tried to learn the B’s system. At times having the boys play with their sticks upside down to stress the importance of body positioning against the puck carrier.
Not that you can really put any stock into what transpired but a few things stood out as the practice went along. One thing of note was Peter Schaefer played along with Savard and looked like he was shooting more than his usual role of digging out the puck in the corners and dishing the puck. Maybe the thinking is to put him on the top line in the hopes to use his quick shot to boost scoring. If you really think about it his style of play the last few seasons was a lot like that of P.J. Axelsson, mostly in a checking role or playing with guys who want the puck, so there really isn’t a need for the B’s to have two guys playing that way. Schaefer can hit the net better than P.J. so he would fit that role on the first line with better results. It may not have any meaning, but really who else do they have to put on that wing? Maybe converting Kessel to wing would work, but if you read the practice the same way, they had Phil centering Murray in the second group. Like I stated above you truly can’t put much stock in things this early, but speculation is always fun. Another thing of note was seeing the new goaltending tandem of Thomas and Fernandez as both have two distinctive styles to their play. Thomas displayed his usual “flopping butterfly of sorts” style throwing everything at the puck to make saves and Fernandez used a more traditional style playing the angles with precision and testing his repaired knee a few times diving across the goal mouth. The rookies looked good, but with all of the veterans in camp it would be a stretch to think any of them will crack the lineup this year.
Overall the Bruins still have a ton of questions to answer as they head into this season, but that is what training camp is for and I’m sure the B’s coaching staff will figure out how to put the pieces together to ice the best possible product. They are a bit more skilled this year, a bit tougher and with Julien leading the way you can bet they will be more responsible on defense. Making the playoffs may be the goal of this team, but it won’t be easy, as most of the other teams in their division have made improvements as well. Still the Bruins should look much better than last year and should give the fans something to cheer about.

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