Bruins

Anders Bjork not expected at Bruins camp until this weekend

Anders Bjork not expected at Bruins camp until this weekend

BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins kicked off their 11th annual development camp with a mix of old and new faces among their prospects, but a few of the best and brightest won’t be seen for most of the week-long camp. Bruins player development coach Jamie Langenbrunner indicated that it’s “questionable” that Jeremy Lauzon, Ryan Lindgren or Cameron Hughes will participate in any on-ice workouts due to previous injuries. Likewise, prospective B’s winger and former Notre Dame standout Anders Bjork won’t be arriving at Warrior Ice Arena until this weekend due to a family obligation after signing his entry level deal with the Bruins last month. 

Bjork will be in Boston in time to potentially participate in the intra-squad scrimmage on the final day of develop, and get a midsummer refresher course in all things Black and Gold before competing for an NHL gig this fall. The 21-year-old Bjork was the best forward by quite a bit during last summer’s development camp for the Bruins, and heads into this fall with a lot of expectations after a Hobey Baker-level season in his junior year with the Fighting Irish. 

“Lindgren, Lauzon and Hughes are all very questionable for this week,” said Langenbrunner. “They’re coming off season injuries that I think you guys are all aware of, and at this point in July to push it doesn’t really make a lot of sense. Anders Bjork will be on the ice on Saturday. He had a family obligation this week and will get on the ice Saturday and Sunday.”

Lindgren broke his leg crashing into the boards in the final weeks of his freshman season at the University of Minnesota, Hughes is dealing with a shoulder issue after wrapping up his junior season at the University of Wisconsin and Lauzon has dealt with several injuries over the last couple of seasons playing in the QMJHL. Clearly there is no rush for the 20-year-old Lauzon as he approaches his first NHL training camp as a pro hockey player while in the running with Jakub Zboril, Matt Grzelcyk and Robbie O’Gara among others for a potentially open D-man spot on the left side. 

Here is the full roster for the Bruins Development Camp, which runs through Sunday and should pick up in intensity this weekend once Bjork has shown up for the final couple of days: 

Forwards (* denotes a non-draftee camp invite): Jack Becker, Anders Bjork, Ryan Donato, Trent Frederic, Jesse Gabrielle, Cameron Hughes+, Mason Jobst*, Joona Koppanen, Karson Kuhlman*, Josh Melnick*, T.J. Moore*, R.J. Murphy*, Cedric Pare, Eric Robinson*, Zach Senyshyn, Oskar Steen, Jack Studnicka

Defensemen: Victor Berglund, Ian Brady*, Daniel Bukac, Cameron Clarke, Jeremy Lauzon+, Ryan Lindgren, Wiley Sherman, Urho Vaakanainen, Jakob Zboril

Goaltenders: Robert McGovern*, Jeremy Swayman, Dan Vladar

David Krejci Line looks to shoulder their share of Bruins offensive burden

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USA TODAY Sports Photo

David Krejci Line looks to shoulder their share of Bruins offensive burden

TORONTO – The Bruins top line totaled up 20 points in the first two games, and the B’s took both of those against the Maple Leafs. Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak had zero points in Game 3 on Monday night at the Air Canada Centre, and the Bruins ended up dropping that game to the Leafs. 

So clearly the Bruins’ playoff fate could be strongly tied to the ebbs and flow of their top forward trio, but the hope with the B’s is that the formula won’t be that simple throughout the postseason. A big part of the reason the Bruins gave up a boatload to the New York Rangers in exchange for Rick Nash was to acquire another forward capable of shouldering a scoring load, and turn Boston’s second line into a much more dangerous group. 

All three members of the B’s second line, David Krejci, Rick Nash and Jake DeBrusk, all have goals during the best-of-seven series, but they also came up empty in Game 3 with Krejci and DeBrusk only managing two shots on net between them. They know that they’re capable of more given the offensive talent on the ice, and given that so much defensive attention is being paid to neutralizing Bergeron, Marchand and Pastrnak rather than them. 

“We had lots of good looks. I missed a couple. We had lots of good looks that just didn’t go in,” said Krejci. “So we need to work extra harder [in Game 4] to bury those chances and have them end up in the back of the net. We need to stick to the game plan and respect the game plan.”

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Nash had five shots on net and some pretty good chances, but the best scoring chance was a DeBrusk dangle and pass to Krejci wide open at the net. It looked like the puck hit a rut on the ice and Krejci was never able to settle it down for a shot despite the nice-looking pass, so that line is left biding their team for another chance to carry the offense. 

“I think that’s the main reason why we’re the second line. We all have attributes that can help this team. It hasn’t really come to the table yet, but I still thought that we generated chances [in Game 3], and I think our whole team did. It just wasn’t bouncing our way,” said DeBrusk. “It’s frustrating, but at the same time you take the positives from it. It’s not going to be easy. It’s going to get harder from here on in. Hopefully our top line does their thing, but if not then we’ll be ready to hopefully help out in that category.”

The Bruins top line is ready, willing and able to shoulder the lion’s share of the scoring burden for the Black and Gold, and most nights they’re going to be able to live up to that kind of responsibility. But if the Bruins want to beat the good defensive teams and become a much more difficult team to play against in the postseason, they’re going to need to start getting production from a second line that should be built to play the power, puck possession game in the postseason.

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Patrice Bergeron named Selke Trophy finalist for seventh straight season

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Patrice Bergeron named Selke Trophy finalist for seventh straight season

TORONTO – At some point, they’re going to have to start thinking about re-naming the award after Patrice Bergeron himself.

The Bruins center was named a finalist for the Selke Trophy on Wednesday night for the seventh consecutive season, and is going for his NHL-record fifth trophy for being the best defensive forward in the NHL. Bergeron was named a finalist along with Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier and Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar. Bergeron finished his 12th NHL season with 30 goals and 33 assists for 63 points with 26 penalty minutes and a plus-21 rating in 64 games.

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He ranked fifth in the league in faceoff win percentage (57.3, min. 1,000 face-offs), 12th in face-offs won (784), third in even strength faceoff win percentage (58.0, min. 500 face-offs won) and first in shorthanded faceoff win percentage (58.3, min. 50 face-offs won). The 32-year-old forward also ranked second overall in the team puck possession metric SAT (shot attempts differential), with a 57.56%, which should make the fancy stat nerds very happy.

Some might argue there other more worthy candidates given that Bergeron missed 18 games due to injury this season, but he was also the center of a line that didn’t give up an even strength goal until January while putting up his customarily excellent stats. That being said, a guy like Aleksander Barkov also deserved plenty of consideration outside the top-3 finalists that all come in with equally strong chances of taking home the award.

Bergeron has won the Selke in 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2017. If he wins the year's Selke Trophy, he will break the record held by four-time winner and Montreal Canadiens Hall of Famer Bob Gainey. The Selke Award is given annually to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game. The winner is selected in a poll of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association at the end of the regular season, and will be announced at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas on June 20.

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