WILMINGTON, Mass. — The Boston Bruins hit the ice for the first time in training camp Friday at Ristuccia Arena.
The B’s have just two days until the intrasquad “Black and Gold Scrimmage” in Providence on Sunday and four days before their preseason opener Tuesday against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre.
“I thought the pace was good, passing was pretty sharp and everything went sharp,” Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask said. “Pretty good Day 1, everybody looked ready to go.”
“I’m really excited. You’re happy the testing is over, you kinda stress about that. Once that’s over, you focus on skating. It’s good to get it going, and there’s only a few days until we start playing.”
The team split into two groups for a pair of two-hour sessions.
Forwards: Patrice Bergeron, Anthony Camara, Alexander Fallstrom, Brian Ferlin, Rob Flick, Simon Gagne, Seth Griffith, Cory Kane, Chris Kelly, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, Daniel Paille, Bobby Robins, Ben Sexton, Ryan Spooner.
Defensemen: Linus Arnesson, Johnny Boychuk, Tommy Cross, Steve Eminger, Kevan Miller, Dennis Seidenberg, David Warsofsky, Ben Youds.
Goaltenders: Tuukka Rask, Jeremy Smith.
Forwards: Jordan Caron, Loui Eriksson, Justin Florek, Matt Fraser, Bracken Kearns, Alexander Khokhlachev, Jared Knight, David Krejci, Ville Leino, Matt Lindblad, David Pastrnak, Tyler Randell, Carl Söderberg, Ethan Werek.
Defensemen: Matt Bartkowski, Chris Breen, Chris Casto, Zdeno Chara, Dougie Hamilton, Adam McQuaid, Joe Morrow, Zach Trotman.
Goaltenders: Malcolm Subban, Niklas Svedberg.
Group A lines and pairings
Brad Marchand–Patrice Bergeron–Seth Griffith
Milan Lucic–Chris Kelly–Brian Ferlin
Daniel Paille-Ryan Spooner–Simon Gagne
Anthony Camara–Rob Flick–Alexander Fallstrom
Steve Eminger–Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg–Frankie Simonelli
David Warsofsky–Kevan Miller
Tommy Cross–Ben Youds
Group B lines and pairings
Matt Fraser/Tyler Randell–David Krejci–David Pastrnak
Matt Lindblad–Alex Khokhlachev–Loui Eriksson
Jordan Caron–Carl Soderberg–Jared Knight
Justin Florek–Bracken Kearns/Ethan Werek–Ville Leino
Zdeno Chara–Dougie Hamilton
Matt Bartkowski–Zach Trotman
Joe Morrow–Adam McQuaid
Chris Breen–Chris Casto
— Miller and Youds engaged in a major collision during the first session. Miller’s helmet flew off, but he appeared to be OK and finished the rest of the Group A skate.
— Rask called Leino a “skilled player” and also revealed the two are neighbors in Finland.
“We’re from the same hometown, about 30,000 people in our hometown,” Rask said. “It’s a pretty fun thing to have him around here. We haven’t had a Finn (in Boston), and then we get one and it’s my neighbor. … He’s here now, and I hope he makes the team.”
Leino is at Bruins camp on a tryout basis.
— Rask also was asked about the new overtime rules, specifically if he’d rather see games end there instead of in a shootout.
“Just play overtime and then call it a tie,” he said. “But then again, I know as a spectator you want to see the shootout.”
— Despite coming off a Vezina Trophy-winning season, Rask still is motivated to raise his game in all areas.
“There’s always room to improve,” he said. “I’m not focusing on anything specifically — I just like to get better all-around in every area of my game.”
“There’s a saying goalies are at their best when they’ve over 30. I’m hoping that’s true.”
— Rask doesn’t know how many preseason games he’ll play, especially since the B’s have a lot of goaltenders in camp.
“I don’t like to set a goal,” he said. “I just play whatever they tell me to play. I’m sure I’ll get a couple games, but there’s four goalies, and it’d be nice for everybody to have a game.”
— With Reilly Smith unsigned and not in camp, forward prospect Seth Griffith took Smith’s spot at right wing alongside top-six forwards Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron.
“He’s a good player. Very smart with the puck, very skilled,” Marchand said of Griffith. “We didn’t get a lot of drills together out there, but you can tell he’s a talented player.”
— Aside from Carl Soderberg centering the third line, most of the bottom-six forward spots are undecided. Veteran center Chris Kelly has no clue where he will play once the regular season begins, but he noted that the uncertainty is not unusual for this time of the year.
“I have no idea,” Kelly said. “It’s like every other year. … I really have no idea (where I’ll play). That’s the great thing about training camp. You come in, work hard and prove yourself.”
— David Krejci will have a new right winger this season following the free-agent departure of Jarome Iginla. The one constant on Krejci’s wing for the last five or six years has been power-forward left winger Milan Lucic.
“To be able to play with Lucic for so many years, and many years to come, I’m one of the luckiest guys in the NHL,” Krejci said.
— Krejci had 2014 first-round draft pick David Pastrnak on his right wing for most of Friday’s practice.
“To play with (Pastrnak), he’s got great hands, he’s got really good speed,” Krejci said. “It was all right today. We didn’t too much line drills today, We’ll just take it day by day.”
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