Sunday, September 10, 2006

NHL Bruins Update: Family Affair

Wilmington, MA

Yesterday, the Bruins opened camp —free and open to the public—for their rookies, so this morning my wife and I drove to Ristuccia Memorial Arena to see who would stand out during the hour-long scrimmage, which was sandwiched between practice sessions for Team A and Team B. Team A stole the show, as you’ll see…

Forward: From left to right across your mind’s eye, picture this: Phil “the Thrill” Kessel, wearing number 81 for Team A, skated down the wing along the far boards, broke beyond the defense, and then beat the goalie low. In the shootout session, the B’s most recent first-round draft pick drove down the middle and released a rocket that popped the green Gatorade bottle up into the air and then onto the ice, wowing the 200-some fans in the stands.

Defense: Last year’s first round pick, Matt Lashoff, threw an open-ice hip-check—in a skating drilll—upending his target…The men with the hardest slap shots were not on the ice, though. The AMHL’s own Allen Canning (ten points this past Wednesday morning for the AMHL Sharks) watched the scrimmage with his kids as Bruins’ Director of Player Development Don Sweeney sat alone, scribbling on his yellow note pad. (Donny: thanks for taking time out to talk with me. There are still a few openings in the Wednesday division.)

Goaltending: Kevin Druce, the lone Canadian to appear on NESN’s reality-based “Be a Bruin,” competition, which will air in early November, looked solid “Between the Pipes.”

Miscellaneous: With about 8:30 remaining in the scrimmage, two second-generation skaters were on the ice: Forward Ben Walter (son of ex-Capital Ryan) and forward Yan Stastny (son of ex-Nordique Peter)…In case you were wondering, Bruins’ rookie defenseman Jonathan Paiement is not related to Wilf Paiement, who played for seven NHL clubs, including the Rockies and Nordiques. (Wilf’s son Adam was at the B’s rookie camp last year, however.)
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