Boston Bruins Training Camp is presented by AT&T.
BOSTON - Bruce Cassidy never has to worry about Kevan Miller buying in.
No matter what Cassidy proposes the veteran blueliner puts forth his best effort. Such has been the case over the first few days of camp, during which Miller has been paired with rookie Charlie McAvoy.
Being placed in that position requires Miller to take on added responsibilities, chief among them providing a veteran presence from which McAvoy can draw from. In addition, the right shot has had to switch from his natural side, something he also did at times last season.
"In terms of his offensive game and making plays he's always been very receptive when you pull him aside and show him different things and it shows," Cassidy said Saturday afternoon following the second on-ice day of training camp at Warrior Ice Arena.
"Some will talk about him playing the left side and he's willing to work on it and whatever little nuances [come with it]. It's very impressive. That's just Kevan, he's all in anytime you ask him to do something."
Video: Kevan Miller speaks to media at Training Camp
For Miller, taking on a more veteran role has been a natural progression.
"It's probably not the first time, I did it a little bit last year in training camp," said the 29-year-old, who is embarking on his fifth season with the Bruins. "That's the job of the older guy on the team. I had the same thing when I was first coming in. A lot of guys have done the same and that's kind of the role. We're a team, we're a group here, so whatever we can do to help each other out."
McAvoy, who is 10 years Miller's junior, has appreciated the opportunity to play alongside him.
"He's such a responsible defender," said McAvoy. "When you're out there with him it's really easy for me to piggyback off him…I try to complement him. He's such a smart defenseman as far as defending goes, he makes my life pretty easy."
Bjork Back on Top
For the second straight day, 21-year-old winger Anders Bjork skated on a line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.
"I like it," said Bergeron. "He's a great player, he's got great skill and great speed. He makes plays at a high tempo and seems to find his linemates easily and always get them…pretty good vision. So far it's been great, [got to] keep communicating."
Video: Patrice Bergeron speaks to the media
Cehlarik, Johansson Recovering
Forward Peter Cehlarik, who underwent offseason shoulder surgery, took the ice with a red non-contact jersey, but still could be a couple of weeks away from a return to full action.
"I don't know. I would guess he won't be cleared for another week or two," said Cassidy. "I honestly don't know. He's out there in a red jersey, he's doing non-contact drills and that's all I know moving forward. He'll be in that red jersey until it changes."
Defenseman Emil Johansson suffered a concussion during the Prospects Challenge in Buffalo last weekend and remains in the protocol.
Video: Bruce Cassidy Speaks at Day 3 of Training Camp
"We did see him in rookie camp which was good…obviously we'd like t see it out here with the big guys, but that's the way it goes sometimes," said Cassidy. "Until he's able to get out on the ice and show his stuff, we won't know. The deeper he gets into camp, the tougher it will be to try to work him in.
"That will depend when he gets back on the ice. Obviously we had him penciled in to play early in exhibition. Right now that's all on hold."
In with the New
The Bruins elected not to evaluate the players' conditioning with dry land testing on Friday, instead opting for on-ice tests, which consist of full-length, down-and-back skating.
"We did the run test over the years, the shuttle run," said Cassidy. "We decided to go away from that for a couple reasons - a couple guys got hurt training for it. On-ice tests are obviously more hockey-specific. We're trying to find the best on-ice test.
"Again, this is the first year with it. We'll have to look at it. We just did it so we'll have to look at the results and probably tinker with it moving forward."
GROUP A (afternoon session)
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Anders Bjork
Matt Beleskey - Ryan Spooner - Teddy Purcell
Frank Vatrano - Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson - David Backes
Anton Blidh - Colby Cave - Jordan Szwarz
Jesse Gabrielle - Jack Studnicka - Colton Hargrove
Zdeno Chara - Brandon Carlo
Kevan Miller - Charlie McAvoy
Jakub Zboril/Rob O'Gara - Tommy Cross
GROUP B (morning session)
Tim Schaller - Riley Nash - Noel Acciari
Jake DeBrusk - David Krejci - David Pastrnak
Ryan Fitzgerald - Sean Kuraly - Danton Heinen
Kenny Agostino - Austin Czarnik - Zach Senyshyn
Chris Porter/Cedric Pare - Joona Koppanen - Justin Hickman
Matt Grzelcyk - Adam McQuaid
Torey Krug - Paul Postma
Jeremy Lauzon - Taylor Doherty
Chris Breen - Connor Clifton