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Training Camp Opens with Fast Pace

Competition begins for rookies and vets

by Caryn Switaj @NHLBruins / Boston Bruins

BOSTON - So it begins.

The first day of on-ice sessions for Boston Bruins Training Camp presented by AT&T kicked off on Friday at Warrior Ice Arena, with two groups hitting the ice.

The roughly hour-long skates were high intensity, with a quick pace and a noticeable jump from the captain's skates that had been taking place for the past month.

"There are jobs on the line and everyone's just competing and pushing one another," said Adam McQuaid, who will enter his 10th season with the organization in 2016-17. "And you want to do well, so all of that usually will result in the pace picking up quite a bit."

"Obviously you're working a few kinks out, but I think all in all, guys were feeling pretty good out there," said the defenseman. "It was pretty crisp, all things considered, and it's a good day to build on."

With Head Coach Claude Julien back in Toronto for the World Cup of Hockey (after his quick stop in Boston for the opening of camp on Thursday), the skates were run by assistant coaches Joe Sacco, Jay Pandolfo and Bruce Cassidy, along with Providence Bruins Head Coach Kevin Dean and Goaltending Coach Bob Essensa.

"I thought it was a good Day One," said Sacco. "I thought we went out there with a purpose today, trying to get some good pace to practice. We weren't out there overly long, about 50 minute to an hour, to get done what we needed to get done, which we did, so that was a good sign."

"The pace was high, the guys were working hard out there, so Day One was positive."

Both on-ice sessions mimicked each other, with a clear emphasis on what both Julien and General Manager Don Sweeney spoke about on Thursday when they addressed reporters - playing smart, and playing fast.

"We're trying to increase the pace, and that's something that we talked about as a staff and with Claude before he left," said Sacco. "So we don't need to be out there an hour and a half to accomplish what we need to do. It's going to increase the pace, and hopefully that will carry into our games."
The Bruins' first preseason game will come in a hurry, with Boston hosting the Columbus Blue Jackets at TD Garden on Monday, Sept. 26 at 7:00 p.m. ET.

"We worked on the offensive zone and set plays, and that kind of stuff - we only have three days here until the first game so I think the first day went well, for sure," said Ryan Spooner, who is poised for his second full-time season with the big club.

Nearly 60 players are participating in Boston's camp, with an average age of 25 years and two months. Suffice to say, it's a strong mix of rookies and veterans, even without Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, Tuukka Rask and David Backes in the mix yet.

"Whenever you come into camp, you always have to fight for your spot and that doesn't change now," said Spooner. "It doesn't really matter if you're 30 or you're 21. You have to come here and you have to play well."

Krug, Krejci Don't Miss a Beat

Torey Krug and David Krejci both skated in the first day of camp, after being cleared to participate by the medical staff on Thursday.

"They both looked really good to me," said Sacco. "You know, it's early - obviously, they're coming off some injuries. I'm not sure of the status, when they're going to be back playing, all those things, but certainly think they're off to a good start. Both made it through the practice today. They didn't seem like they missed a beat out there to me. They were involved in everything, so I think their progression's real good."

Pastrnak Returns from World Cup

David Pastrnak made an appearance on Friday afternoon at Warrior Ice Arena, greeting his teammates in the locker room after arriving back into Boston from Toronto, where he played for the Czech Republic in the World Cup of Hockey.

"A great experience obviously for me; a lot of good players there," said Pastrnak. "Obviously, the best players in the world, so I enjoyed it. Proud that I could represent my country there and it's always a pleasure when you can wear the jersey."

Pastrnak did not yet know when he would be getting into training camp action with the group.

"I just got here so I'm going to talk to Sweens and figure out what's going to happen the next couple of days," he said.

Regardless of whether Pastrnak is given some rest or jumps right in, he feels up to speed.

"Obviously, I've been in camp for five weeks already, played six games, so, I'm definitely in a different position. But I can't wait to get on the ice and I'm very happy I'm back here. The tournament is done and now all my focus is on this season and to be ready as much as I can for this season."

Sept. 23 - Group A Lines and Defense Pairings

Matt Beleskey - Ryan Spooner - Peter Mueller
Peter Cehlarik - Dominic Moore - Riley Nash
Jesse Gabrielle - Tim Schaller - Brian Ferlin
Mark Naclerio - Colby Cave - Justin Hickman

Matt Grzelcyk - Adam McQuaid
John-Michael Liles - Brandon Carlo
Joe Morrow - Chris Casto
Alex Roach - Torey Krug

Goalies: Anton Khudobin, Zane McIntyre

Sept. 23 - Group B Lines and Defense Pairings

Danton Heinen - David Krejci - Zach Senyshyn
Jake DeBrusk - Austin Czarnik - Jimmy Hayes
Colton Hargrove - Noel Acciari - Seth Griffith
Anton Blidh /A.J. White - Sean Kuraly - Tyler Randell

Jakub Zboril - Kevan Miller
Tommy Cross - Colin Miller
Jeremy Lauzon - Rob O'Gara
Linus Arnesson - Alex Grant

Goalies: Malcolm Subban, Dan Vladar

Schedule for Saturday, Sept. 24
Warrior Ice Arena (90 Guest Street, Boston, MA 02135)

-Doors open to public, 10:15 a.m.
-Practice, Group B, 10:45 a.m.
-Practice, Group A, 12:45 p.m.

Boston Bruins Training Camp is presented by AT&T.

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