The Bruins continue to trim down their roster closer to the final group that will start the regular season as they cut a couple more promising young players from training camp. The team announced that defenseman Jeremy Lauzon and winger Ryan Fitzgerald were both sent down to AHL training camp in Providence after both players put together solid camp performances.
Fitzgerald scored in the first home preseason game against the Detroit Red Wings last week, and Lauzon scored the second goal in Monday night’s 4-2 win over the Blackhawks while playing some pretty consistently rugged defense in his own end.
“[Lauzon] is a fun kid to watch, because he’s got a lot of passion for the game, very competitive. He just has to learn what he can get away with recovery-wise. He’s a guy that was talked about getting outside the dots at times where he’s got to work really hard to get back. He’ll give up the good ice sometimes,” said Bruce Cassidy. “Good for him [on the goal]. He got his shot through, I thought he was a lot more under control [against the Blackhawks]. You’d have to ask him, but he seemed less nervous as well and just wanted to play. Might just be a difference from playing a few more games.”
Both players put their best foot forward in the first full training camp for each of them, but their youth and their waiver-exempt status probably made it a bit easier to send them down at this point. With Lauzon now out of camp, it comes down to Matt Grzelcyk and Robbie O’Gara competing for a chance to break camp with the big club in the wake of Torey Krug’s injury likely costing him the first handful of games this season. Fitzgerald made a great impression on the Bruins coaching staff with his skill, hockey IQ and ability to show a little grit to go along with the offensive gifts that made him a scoring star at Boston College.
But Fitzgerald was also part of an extremely crowded field of talented skaters up front where it would appear that Anders Bjork and Jake DeBrusk have the inside track on NHL jobs, and more experienced skaters like Teddy Purcell and Kenny Agostino are still grinding away for chances at a spot on the Boston roster.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while the reviews from the Last Jedi start pouring in.
-- USA Today takes an early look at the expected 2018 NHL free-agent class, which will be pretty good with players like John Carlson, James van Riemsdyk and John Tavares leading the way. But take a look at 2019: Tyler Seguin, Sergei Bobrovsky, Erik Karlsson, Drew Doughty. That’s the class that NHL teams should be saving their rainy day funds for.
-- Erik Karlsson isn't concerned that he was asked to provide a no-trade list to Ottawa Senators management, but it sure sounds like the Sens are considering some major decisions right now as they struggle following last spring’s playoff run.
-- PHT writer Adam Gretz has the details of Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella basically blowing off the media after an ugly loss on Tuesday night.
-- Does Auston Matthews have a concussion right now? That is the million-dollar question in Toronto.
-- Johnny Gaudreau threw out a shootout move against the Minnesota Wild that was so nasty Bruce Boudreau was questioning if it was legal.
-- The Calgary Flames are growing in confidence and building momentum as they forge ahead in the Western Conference.
-- For something completely different: As the review pour in, here is a spoiler-free Last Jedi review from FOH (Friend of Haggs) Rich Shirtenlieb after he was able to get into a sneak preview earlier this week.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while trying to figure out when exactly I’m going to be able to go see the new Star Wars movie.
*The New York Islanders were crying in their beer over the fact that Brad Marchand side-stepped a suspension and claimed it was because John Tavares didn’t writhe around, kick and scream on the ice like a soccer player. The truth is the play wasn’t the kind of thing that’s going to injure a player under normal circumstances but was clearly a late, uncalled for hit. That’s why it got the five-minute major penalty and nothing more. Threatening to give an award-winning acting performance next time in order to try and get a suspension for an opposing player just sounds like crybaby soup from the Isles. Buckle the chin strap and get ready to play a contact sport next time, particularly if you’re Tavares, who was hacking at Charlie McAvoy’s legs with your stick like you’re Paul Bunyan chopping at a piece of wood. It works both ways, you know?
*The Winnipeg Jets continue to be one of the excellent, unsung stories of the NHL’s first half as they really take hold at the top of the Western Conference.
*Here’s a good piece on Jonathan Quick and what his good health has meant to a resurgent Los Angeles Kings team this season.
*Former Boston College standout goalie Thatcher Demko is way ahead of schedule in the Vancouver Canucks organization, but they’re not looking to rush him.
*Here’s a great video of a youngster playing the Star-Spangled Banner on the violin prior to a New York Rangers game at Madison Square Garden. Well done, young lady!
*Pro Hockey Talk as the details of the Ducks and Red Wings getting into a fight on Monday night ahead of the Bruins traveling to Hockeytown for a Wednesday night showdown.
*For something completely different: A list of the 10 actors who could replace Ben Affleck as Batman now that DC has given up the charade that they’re not intending to replace him underneath the cowl.