|Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara laughs with a teammate during NHL hockey training camp in Boston Saturday, Sept. 18, 2010. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson) |
“Our guys are in pretty good shape and that allowed us...to kind of tinker a little bit with what we had put on as a schedule and say 'Let’s do this today and get back to practice tomorrow' to prepare for the next two exhibition games,” said head coach Cluade Julien of putting the five-on-five scrimmage onto the team’s to-do list.
“We really wanted to give those guys an opportunity to be put in as close of a game as possible, so that when we start off in Montreal, it’s not the first time we’re playing the game together.”
Boston captain Zdeno Chara
took advantage of the live game situation to set a good example for the B’s youngsters.
“It’s good because we don’t have that many preseason games over here before we go overseas, so it’s nice to get at least a little bit of a feel playing five-on-five before we play the preseason games,” Chara said.
The big blueliner added that the opportunity to scrimmage at camp, as well as play in the upcoming domestic exhibition games, is especially important for the rookies who may be on the cusp.
“I’m sure we’re not going to take too many extra guys [to Europe], so basically those games we have here, it’s a big chance and opportunity for guys that are on the edge [to] make this team.”
But how is this preseason going to change because of the trip to Europe?
“The closer we get to the preseason games, it’s going to get more serious and guys have to pay attention, obviously, to every detail because we don’t have that many preseason games before we go overseas,” the defenseman said.
Chara, who scored the first goal of the game for the Black squad on a one-timer from the top of the circle, was happy to get the chance to be paired up on defense with some of the Bruins newcomers.
“I mean it’s pretty common that during the training camp, you usually get paired up with somebody else [so things are] kind of even,” Chara explained.
“It’s nice to have the young guys, too. You see that they are very talented and they’re willing to listen, they’re willing to learn, and it’s just good to have that little mix, not always playing with the same partner.”
The 6'9" native of Trencin, Slovakia thought that, while the scrimmage was smooth for the most part, the B’s still have a few kinks to work out of their “systems.”
“System-wise, we’re still not playing exactly the way we’re supposed to, but that’s what happens when you have mixed players from juniors, farm teams, and obviously from this team,” Chara said.
Despite the slight learning curve, Chara was pleased with his team’s performance.
“Overall, I thought it went well. I thought it was good intensity. It was a good skate and we played a good game.”---Ashley Robbins