8:11a.m. -- The rink is still dark, and practice doesn’t officially start for about another 45 minutes, but Levi Nelson – the first player here, even before the busses arrived with the others – was just headed down the hallway by the Bruins dressing room and was heard saying, “Look at that! Free ice! I’ve got to get out there and snipe some.”
He, Adam Corchaine and a couple of the other campers drove together to get here early.
8:30 -- Impatient to test out a new piece of lumber, Nelson headed out onto the ice in his Crocs.
The Zamboni, however, had important work to do and would have won the battle between the two for ice time, so it was a short-lasting moment.
8:43 -- The first bus just pulled up outside Ristuccia. It’s the beginning of the end, and I bet the guys can see the light at the end of the tunnel…
8:47 -- The nets are coming out, and a couple of the players – Mark Goggin looks to be one of them – are standing at the door onto the ice, talking.
8:50 -- Nelson and Nick Tremblay hit the ice. Courchaine is quick to follow them. There are a few fans hanging out already.
8:52 -- Michael Hutchinson is now on the rink, and everyone’s skating around and getting warmed up for their final day.
Nelson, standing between the two faceoff circles at the end of the ice, is firing puck after puck at Courchaine.
8:54 -- A few of the boys are on the ice earlier than usual. Nelson, Tremblay, Hutchinson, Courchaine, and Fernandez.
Marchand spends some time perfecting his hockey sticks at the workbench.
|Bob Essensa |
Bob Essensa is already hard at work giving the goalies pointers during the warm-up drills.
8:55 -- BTW, let’s just mention again -- Manny Fernandez is here! We thought he and Patrice Bergeron were done for the week after yesterday’s practice, but one-half of the duo clearly came back for more.
Tremblay is taking his turn at bombarding Courchaine with shots.
8:57 -- Manny’s in net against Nelson. Same thing as before.
9:00 -- Coaches Murray and Essensa are passing pucks from behind the net to Nelson and Tremblay, who are stationed in front of the net. They then shoot on whichever goalie’s in net at the time.
9:06 -- Nelson, taking a shot on net, took a dive over Hutchinson’s left leg. He’s fine, and the two of them were laughing as Nelson pulled himself off the ice.
9:14 -- No one new on the ice, but the stands are filling up nicely.
9:23 -- The rest of the campers are coming onto the ice. Most of them are warming up by taking shots on an empty net, but Nelson and Tremblay are still down at the other end taking shots on the different goalies.
9:30 -- Looks like practice is officially under way. The guys are skating in pairs from one end of the rink to the other, then taking shots on the goalies.
9:37 -- So far, typical warm-ups and drills. The guys currently are gathered by the bench listening to instructions.
9:58 -- The new B's are working on one-on-ones, skating in from center ice chasing a puck. They are getting pretty physical.
The boys switch it up to two-on-ones.
10:12 -- A new drill! Three forwards get together at center ice, with two d-men in each zone to work on some five v. two sequences.
The next drill involved some sprinting. Two men go one-on-one until the whistle, at which point they race to the other end of the ice where two other men have joined in with a new puck to create a two v. two.
Guess they still have some energy left.
10:30 -- After that tough drill, the boys look tired heading into the locker room for their quick break.
10:45 -- Our Boys are back out on the ice! And it looks like a scrimmage is coming our way in a little bit by the uniform changes.
For the time being though, they are divided into three groups working on separate drills. We have the defenders down at my end.
They are working on receiving the puck in front of the net, skating it around the net and passing it back out of the zone.
The group at center ice is working on face-offs.
11:06 -- Scrimmage is getting under way. The teams are as follows:
White Team: Ruel, C. Goggin, McQuaid, Nelson, Hamill, Marchand, Wheeler, Arniel, M. Goggin, Colborne, Hutchinson
Black Team: Goulet, Loprieno, Bodnarchuk, Knackstedt, Lehtonen, Sauve, Marquardt, Read, Tremblay, Courchaine
The campers start their last scrimmage of camp, and they are looking amped. Lehtonen gets the first shot off and Hutchinson makes the pad save.
They are skating four-on-four, in 30-second to one-minute shifts.
White gets on the board early thanks to a breakaway from Marchand, who snuck the puck past Corchaine’s blocker to make it 1-0.
White sets up another great play with Marchand breaking out along the boards. Moving fast, he drops the puck to Ruel who picks it up and passes it back to Marchand at the blueline.
Marchand then sends it across to Connor Goggin who takes a hard slap shot from the point, but is denied by Courchaine.
Less than a minute later, the Black team gets Marchand back when Goulet sends him flying into the boards.
Mark Goggin gets the next chance on a semi-breakaway but his shot goes wide, and White remains up by one. On the next rush the other way, Knackstedt takes a shot that flies wide of Hutchison, keeping Black off the board.
Hamill steals the puck from Colborne right inside of the zone to set up another play for White, but nothing comes from it. On the next shift White is denied again on a two-on-one break. Wheeler sends the puck to Nelson, who passes it back to him at the top of the circle. But, Courchaine looks good as he stops a rocket of a shot from Wheeler along the ice.
The duo of Nelson and Marchand really seem to be taking command when they are out there.
Mark Goggin gives White the 2-0 lead when he slips one past Courchaine.
About a minute later, Hutchinson makes a great save off a Matt Marquardt wrister to keep his shutout alive, but Black seems to putting a few more rushes together.
Hutchinson makes another stop from an Alain Goulet slap shot from the point. Back at the other end of the ice, Knackstedt goes down thanks to a hard hit from Denis Ruel in his own end.
After a missed shot by White, Bodnarchuk races up the ice to receive a pass from Joe Colborne. Black was once again denied though, as Hutchinson makes the stop on his shot from the crease.
Not for lack of chances, Black can’t seem to get on the board, but down at his end, Courchaine keeps coming up with the stops, keeping them in the game.
Bodnarchuk does his part on defense for Black when he breaks up a two-on-one break between Nelson and Hamill.
However, Black wasn’t so lucky on the next shift when McQuaid sent a pass into Wheeler who shot the puck past Courchaine, glove side. But Courchaine made a nice glove save a few seconds later, bouncing right back into the scrimmage.
At the break, black is up 3-0. Time for a shoot out.
|Maxime Sauve |
Knackstedt is denied by Hutch.
Read gets one past Courchaine.
Colbrone stopped by Hutch.
Trying to show of his skills, Wheeler whiffs.
Tremblay gets it past Hutch’s five-hole.
Nelson shoots wide on Courchaine.
Sauve is denied by Hutch.
Hamill, showing off some pretty stick-handling, gets the puck easily past Courchaine.
Marquardt is denied Hutchinson.
Goggin is denied by Courchaine.
Bodnarchuk is denied by Hutch.
Arniel sends it over the top of Courchaine’s net.
Lehtonen denied by Hutch.
Courchaine makes the block on marchand.
Loprieno sneaks one past Hutchinson.
McQuaid is denied by Courchaine.
Goulet is denied by Hutch.
Reul is denied by Courchaine.
Colborne is denied by Hutch.
C. Goggin gets it past Courcahine top shelf.
11:46 -- The boys stretch it out and head into the locker room to change for their last off-ice session with John Whitesides.
An appreciative crowd gave the campers a very nice round of applause.
On Jeff Penner and Kevin Regan’s absence today…
"Kevin had a family thing he’s attending to. It was a positive family event that he wanted to attend, so he had asked. Penner’s a little under the weather – 24-hour bug."
On today’s 4-on-4 drill scrimmage…
"That’s the competitive side of the camp that inevitably comes out in all players. They’re just going out to show what they can do, both skill-set wise, and to be involved. That’s what you hope for. You didn’t have to urge it, didn’t have to tell anybody... that's (when) the natural instincts start to come out in hockey players."
On the success of the camp…
"It’s always going to be a work in progress...and we’ll continue to tweak it and find areas to improve upon. We met guys as a group last night and had a discussion, a forum to get some feedback from them, so you can take some of those things and apply it. Overall, the goal was probably was a little different this year because of the youth of the overall group. Maybe (we're) paying a little more attention to individual things and from a skill standpoint, working on breaking things down rather than thinking about system play or any of those other things. We really just want to plant seeds for what areas these kids need to work on to continue to improve as players."
On the youth of the camp …
"It’ s probably going to be a moving target. Some of these guys will now be first year guys. We’ll kind of look at that each year. I think our numbers, the number of players we bring in, will stay similar. It’s a good working number to be able to give individual attention when needed and still have enough guys in terms of flow if you want to go into a scrimmage or you want to go into line rush drills and things like that. So, I think the numbers will probably stay the same, but I wouldn’t say it’s always going to be a particular age group."
On whether or not the camp gives a chance to teach the “Bruin” way…
"Absolutely. From day one when you walk in the door and join this organization, we want to set what the expectations will be going forward both on and off the ice, and their approach to things. I think we’re doing a good job of that. But we want them to carry that back with them wherever they’re going back with their teams so when they come back and join this organization in a pro capacity, you like at the guys like [Andrew] Bodnarchuk and [Brad] Marchand, Zach [Hamill] and guys who were in the camp the first go-around, generally they were pretty comfortable to be able to march forward this year, and that’s what you’re hoping for."
On how the campers respond to criticism…
"We call it constructive criticism, but I don’t know if anyone really embraces the criticism part, but we also talked about they’re here for a reason. We identify all the things they did well. That’s what got them to this stage. Now to go to the next stage, part of it is breaking back down and building back up and becoming an NHL player. Nobody arrives here, I don’t believe anyone arrives here as a finished product. You look at Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] showing up here to continue to test himself, everybody needs to continue to get better. I think they look at it, so you point out the things they’re doing really well, and then you say we can work on this part of it, and that will make you a more complete player, and hopefully they’ll embrace that. The first go-around no everybody hears everything. Sometimes there’s selective hearing. My wife says I have that all the time! It’s an area I’ve got to improve upon. Like I said, these are young guys and in a lot of ways they’re still pieces of play that you can shape and mold and going in the right direction, hopefully they’ll succeed."
On Bruins interest in players who were invited to camp who were not already in the team’s system…
"The kids that came in, there was a reason why we brought them in here as well. The lines of communication, and hopefully continued viewings and stuff over the course of next year we’ll probably ramp up a little bit and see when they go back to their own environments. If they can continue to improve, then we can identify these guys as hey, these are guys we might want to bring in on a full-time basis. Those kids should be applauded for coming in and working hard and trying to open some eyes."
On whether any of the special invites stood out…
"All three players are identified for their own individual reasons. We’ve spoken to them about that individually and then again, hopefully they’ll take some of this stuff away from here. This has been a benefit for them. I’d like to believe this is a benefit going forward and they can go ahead and continue to improve because they now know we’re watching. It’s not like they just picked up a phonebook and pointed at somebody on a page, and they should be excited about that as well.
About Hutchinson’s performance at camp…
"He had a really good run in the playoffs. Obviously our guys had been watching all along, but I think what might have tipped the skills was how well it went on the playoffs for him. They like his size, especially as he continues to get bigger and stronger. I know they’re going to shrink the equipment a little bit, but he’s still got to cover an awful lot of the net. He handles the puck well. It’s been a good week for him to have one on one with goalie Bob [Essensa] and start to work on some areas he’s going to have to continue to improve upon, but we’re excited to have him and Adam [Courchaine] as a part of our young group."
Dev Camp 2008: Don Sweeney, Day 5
On how camp went…
“It was really good. It went really well. The first day I got used to adjusting to everything and getting ot know the guys. But overall it went really well, the guys were great, all the staff was awesome, and it went well.”
On how it felt to be skating and playing physical…
“It was nice to get back into it. At the beginning it was pretty rusty, but after that I got back into it and it went well.”
On what his favorite part of camp was…
“The Red Sox game was fun. We went and had a great time and got move to the boxes up top. So it was very nice. They had seven runs in the seventh inning so it got crazy.”
On playing with Patrice and Manny…
“It was awesome. They are two great guys and obviously great players. Just watching Bergy handle the puck, it was unbelievable.”
On what he is going to take back to Merrimack with him…
“They definitely helped us figure out what we need to improve on on the ice. So I will bring that information back to school with me and work on it next year.”
[ Day1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Wrap-Up ]