The Bruins will have three days of practice to prepare for the first game of the regular season (October 1 at the TD Garden versus the Washington Capitals) and Bruins captain Zdeno Chara
is chomping at the bit.
“Of course we are excited to start the real thing,” said Chara. “We have a few days to regroup, get the energy again.
Chara said that the Bruins should not just focus on Alex Ovechkin when the Capitals come to call.
“We have to approach it just like any other team,” explained the defenseman. “Every team has some skill players and really it’s not just Ovechkin, Semin or Greene.
“It’s the whole team and we have to play as a team and try to win as a team.”
Speaking of team, there are now just 24 players on the current roster, including Vladimir Sobotka, perhaps the strongest rookie contender throughout training camp.
Sobotka, one of the American Hockey Leagues finest forwards in 2008-09, has made several appearances on the Boston bench during the last two seasons and hopes to make it to the NHL on a full time basis this year and before the game last Saturday night, B’s head coach Claude Julien said he thinks Sobotka has a role to play on the Bruins roster.
“I think he’s got a role here that may be different than the American League role where he was on the top line, but that’s what happens,” said Julien. “He’s got a role to play that we think, and that we probably know, he can play and that’s a good centerman or a good winger that’s gritty. The way he’s played the last two games, I think he’s been a lot better than what we saw early in camp.”
“At the beginning of camp he was putting so much pressure on himself, he looked more like the Vlady of last year that put him back in the American League, but in the last couple of games you start to see him playing his game again.”
“He’s definitely played well enough to stay on this team.”
By all accounts, that same evening, Sobotka played very well and scored the first Bruins thanks to great passes from Milan Lucic
and Michael Ryder.
As of Monday morning, the 24-man roster consists of:Forward
Chuck Kobasew, Marco Sturm, Milan Lucic
, Shawn Thornton
, Blake Wheeler, Mark Recchi, Patrice Bergeron
, Steve Begin, David Krejci
, Zach Hamill
, Vladimir Sobotka, Byron Bitz, Brad Marchand
, Michael Ryder, Marc SavardDefense
Dennis Wideman, Andrew Ference
, Zdeno Chara
, Mark Stuart, Matt Hunwick, Derek Morris, Johnny BoychuckGoalTim Thomas
, Tuukka Rask
As for the players that didn’t make the cut, Julien said, “We’ve run into injuries at times where probably some other teams or organizations would have really started sliding and we haven’t because those guys have stepped in there.”
“So it’s important for those guys to come in tonight and whether they’re with us at the beginning of the year, at least we know we can call them up and feel comfortable with their play.”