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Transcript: 07.01 Bruce Cassidy Development Camp Presser - Day 4

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
Quotes - 2012 Development Camp

July 1

PROVIDENCE BRUINS HEAD COACH BRUCE CASSIDY

On what he thought of the scrimmage…
Well I thought it was okay, I mean the guys were a little bit flat at times. I think some of that has to do with their work-week. You know, they did some testing this morning and, physically I think that doesn’t drain you but mentally, you know, you’re focused on it for probably the last two months to make sure you test well. So, once you get through that, it takes a while to get ramped up again. But, you know, the ice conditions at this time of the year after about 15 minutes get a little choppy so, you know, the guys whose skill level isn’t as high as maybe the next guy, it shows more in their game. You’re playing against guys that you’re familiar with so you’re probably not going to be as physical for those guys, so they always have a tougher time. That showed, you know, there’s a couple of guys that finished their checks – [Anthony] Camara, and [Justin] Courtnall, and [Cody] Payne I thought were trying to do it, but again, you’re playing against your own teammates so it gets - there’s a limit there that you can go. But they made a few good plays. The goaltenders are obviously good, so it was okay. I mean obviously you’d like to see more scoring, you always do - you want to see lots of offense.

On the number of players in the scrimmage…
Well you’ve got two lines with an extra because [Alexander] Khokhlachev can’t participate in the scrimmage, and then you’ve got four defensemen on each team so you’re basically two blocks on each side and then we lost a defenseman early. So that’s why we don’t scrimmage longer and that’s why we blow the whistle at times to try to slow it down so there’s a fair recovery, because if we were to just scrimmage the whole time, you know, diminishing returns after a while, the guys, they just can’t give you anything and then it looks worse. So that’s why, you know, we try to spread it out, have a flood between to give them a little breather, but again with the numbers, if they want to go full out it’s going to be 20 minutes maybe 25 and then I think that’s the end of it.

On the defenseman who was lost…
[Matt] Benning, I think he’s had a groin issue if I’m not mistaken – I didn’t go in there but I think that’s what it was.

On when Benning left the ice…
Yeah, I think he made it through a couple and then left. So he didn’t do any of the scrimmage.

On if it is tough to rotate six goalies…
Well, for the scrimmage it would be for sure, even some drills in practice, you know, you’re trying to do gap drills for the defensemen or some one-on-one compete and there’s not a lot of pucks going to the net, but it’s hard to keep everybody happy. You know, you do a lot of shooting that keeps everybody happy, but then you’re not seeing, you know, you’re not evaluating some other things in the players you want to get out of. But Goalie-Bob [Essensa] took them out early yesterday and today so they got technical work, they got shots with him so that’s where they should be doing their best work and then maybe the shooting drills at the start of practice.

On Justin Florek
What I saw last year, he had a terrific – his first pro game he scored four points, two and two, and we didn’t figure he’d keep that pace up - nobody does - and he did. He has the ability to score because he’s got a good stick. Big body, so he’ll get some tips and deflections, get some stuff in front. He’ll shoot it certainly willing to shoot off the wing. He’s a straight-line player. He was good getting pucks off the wall to a center-iceman on our end. For him it’s his foot speed to create separation to get that shot off, a little upper body strength for the battles in front, he’ll find that, you know, he’s going to have to improve a little there. And after that, you know, if he can get those two physical things maybe a certain percentage higher I think he’s got a chance, because he’s a pro-style player. You know, he’s up and down and he’s not east west he’s north and south. Hopefully adds a physical element to his game because of his size, but that’s not in his makeup. What we saw last year, he was more a big skill guy, and certainly got his chances every night. So that’s what I project, but he’s certainly not ready now- I don’t believe he is. I mean, I shouldn’t say that until I guess the training camp, but I think he’s a guy that’s going to need a little bit of time to grow into that body, figure out how he can best protect the puck, and like I said, create his open ice and then in a year from now we’ll have a better discussion about him.

On Robbie O’Gara…
I was thinking of him – last year he walked in and I think I had seen bigger legs on these chairs, you know, and then he comes in this year he’s talkative he’s, again kind of like we discussed about [Ryan] Spooner last year, he looks more like a man than a boy. With his style of play he’s a defender, big guy so when he grows into his frame and recognizes how to use his stick well, I mean, he’s one of those guys – not flashy at all but could be, you know, a very serviceable guy for you down the road. But I definitely see improvement physically in him and just his sort of demeanor around the locker room. Like a lot of guys that come in here, they’re intimidated let’s face it, but then they go through it a year and they get a little more comfortable and learn a couple things about, you know, the pro side of it and hopefully takes that forward with him off to Yale and has a good year there.

On the camaraderie developing over the week…
Well, it’s designed that way and it’s part of the reason, to go back to the first question, maybe why the scrimmage isn’t as spirited sometimes because they do the first day something with a company called “The Program” and it was geared toward that team-building, but it was long and it was physically exhausting and you’re going to feel a bit of the effects of that no matter how good of shape you’re in. And that’s good to see, because they are a good group of guys, they listen well, I think they work hard – I know they work hard. It’s a quick thing to be thrown together and – what was it – 10 days ago you knew there’s five or six or seven of them in there had no idea what professional team they’d be going to. So it’s a quick turnaround for them and same with the invited guys. Some of them are starting to show a little. Like [Daniel] Carr today was a good player out there, I think he’s a Union [College] guy. But yes, to answer your question they seem to be – the chemistry is good.

On Anthony Camara being a more complete offensive player…
Yeah, he’s better. Today, he wanted to be physical, that’s his game, he wants to get noticed finishing checks. But he also prides himself on wanting to be able to play with the puck, he doesn’t want to be type-cast so to speak and he wants to have an all-around game. And again in the scrimmages he’s looked – like today I thought he had lots of energy, but you really don’t tell that until you’re playing against someone from another team and you see them in the games. And that’s usually September Rookie Camp where you get a better idea of where the guys are. Here it’s evaluation – he looks good here, he’s put on some weight, his feet are better, etcetera – but get him playing against another, like a lot of the guys are, you know, guys that you’re competing against from another organization - I think that’s the best evaluator.

On physical testing today as opposed to having it at the start of camp…
I haven’t gone through all of them but I was told they did well. Because they did “The Program” the first day I think it was, or they came in the night that’s why they pushed it back. They thought it would be too stressful to do those two things back to back. And the testing is important, and you want the guys to feel good about it while they’re doing it, so I think that’s why they spaced it out.

On his outlook for the last day of camp and if he expects the players will be tired, or if it will be the opposite since it’s the final day…
I think it’s a bit of both. There are guys that are tired, it’s been a tough five days - a lot of this is new to a lot of the guys. By the same token the guys that maybe think, well they didn’t like their scrimmage today, maybe they’ll push a little harder tomorrow. So I think you’ll see both sides of it.

On Cody Payne…
I liked him. I thought earlier in the week his puck skills, he was struggling, but today he grabbed it. You know, it’s funny that [Alexnder] Khokhlachev is a center or he can play the wing so we’re a little short with center-ice-man, Griffith moved into the middle too. So Payne all of a sudden is in the middle of the ice as this bigger, I don’t want to say gangly, but he’s you know got length, and I thought he looked good. You know, he’s going through the middle of the ice with speed with his head up with the puck, so I liked his game today. He’s a guy that I thought was better in the scrimmages than he had been during the week in some of the practice drills.

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