Boston Bruins Training Camp is presented by AT&T.
BOSTON - Anders Bjork has been trying to take it all in. The winger has slid into a spot beside Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand for much of camp and has carefully taken note of how the veteran duo operates both on and off the ice.
His observations paid off during the B's first preseason game on Monday night against Montreal. The 21-year-old skated with Matt Beleskey and Ryan Spooner - Bergeron and Marchand did not travel to Quebec City for the game - and made an immediate impact, as he notched his first pro goal in the Bruins' 3-2 win over the Habs.
"I've been learning a lot from their example and them talking to us young guys," said Bjork. "One of the biggest things is consistency through every drill and every shift in the game. You see how intense they are and how much they want to win every puck battle. That's the biggest thing."
Bjork was quick to realize the uptick in speed and strength when he took the ice against the Canadiens. And he knows the more experience he gets in game action, the more comfortable he will become.
"It was definitely physical. Definitely fast," said Bjork. "You have to re-focus after every shift and be ready. For me, I'm not a big guy - I have to use my body and my speed a lot. I can't take any shifts off from that.
"It was helpful to play a preseason game and [I] definitely feel a little more settled in after playing against the toughest competition."
Video: Bjork speaks to media at Warrior Ice Arena
Zboril Shows His Skill
Jakub Zboril will suit up for his first professional campaign this fall. Whether the defenseman surges to a roster spot in Boston or furthers his development in Providence, the B's brass will be looking for the 2015 first-round pick to stay active at both ends of the ice.
As he did on Tuesday night against Detroit, when 20-year-old native of the Czech Republic showed flashes of his offensive ability during in the Bruins' 4-2 win over the Red wings.
On Boston's first goal, Zboril took a feed from Ryan Fitzgerald at the point and raced down the wall to the left circle. Zboril then found a seam and fired a cross-ice pass to Fitzgerald at the right faceoff dot, where the winger fired one by Red Wings goalie Jared Coreau.
"In open ice he can see the ice and the offensive zone, make plays," said Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy. "We just want him to be assertive below the goal lines with puck plays in his own end and move his feet because he's a good skater. When he's moving his feet, he's a good player. I think we've gone through this with a lot of young guys - any position.
"Obviously not goaltenders, but when they move their feet, they are better players at this level because people can skate and track better, and they don't give up on pucks. That's going to be a constant demand for him."
Be More Selfish
Playing on a line with David Krejci and David Pastrnak can no doubt be a difficult task for young player. And while Jake DeBrusk certainly acquitted himself well in that spot against the Red Wings, the winger at times found himself trying to appease his linemates.
"It still is preseason and it is your first game, but I think on the first shift I gave it to Krech and Krech gave it back to me and usually I would have shot that but I tried to find Krech again," said DeBrusk. "It's not like it was a bad play - it got through and I think [Torey] Krug might have wacked at it or something. We still made a chance out of it, but I usually shoot those.
"I was kind of laughing at myself after. I was like 'Yeah, those are just some things I'm going to have to learn.' And I thought that I learned as it went on [Tuesday night]."
Video: DeBrusk discusses 4-2 win over Detroit
Cassidy liked what DeBrusk (three shots on goal in 19:09 of ice time) brought to the trio, particularly around the net.
"He was trying to attack the net, did a couple of times, made some plays. He's another guy who is hard on pucks," said Cassidy. "He's really pushing it, understanding that - I mean put yourself in his skates. You show up and you're playing on the left side of [David] Krejci and Pasta [David Pastrnak], I think you'd give it your all too, and I think you want that opportunity.
"Now, we've said we were planning on moving people around in camp - different looks, we put him there to start, and I think he's fit in nicely."
Khudobin Gets the Win
Anton Khudobin played the full 60 minutes against Detroit and appeared to pick up where left off at the end of last season, when he won six of his last seven starts. Despite not having a ton of action with an early three-goal advantage against the Wings, the 31-year-old stopped 20 of the 22 shots he faced.
"I thought he was really good early on," said Cassidy. "The second goal you're always looking at, but it was a hell of a shot. I think those happen once in a great while, and you tip your hat to the shooter. So I was pleased with the way he played."
With competition from Zane McIntyre and Malcolm Subban for the backup spot behind Tuukka Rask, Khudobin knows he must continue to perform as he did down the stretch to earn the job.
"Well, of course. It's really important, and there's no doubt that if I'm going to play the way I played those, whatever, last six weeks, it's really important for the team," said Khudobin. "It's important for me. And it's not a surprise for anybody [that] I need to play like this."
Video: Khudobin discusses 4-2 win over Detroit
One of the largest takeaways from the first two preseason games has been the league's mandate to crack down on face-off violations. With little room for error - or cheating - at the circle, players are finding it challenging to adjust to the new rules thus far.
"It was tough, to be honest. It's something we're definitely going to have to work on, get used to it. Again, not much room for, kind of, cheating," said Krejci. "Before, centermen tried to cheat as much as they could, but now it's pretty much just kind of, not even square up, just kind of put a stick down and I'm not really still sure of the rules exactly.
"A couple times it happened that I thought I was lined up the way I should, but then I got kicked off anyway. Same thing for my wingers, you know, a couple times I got kicked off for my wingers lined up the wrong way, so that's something you kind of have to pay attention to in the regular season because power plays are game-changing, so we kind of have to work on that and pay attention to those details."