The Boston Bruins held their first on-ice sessions of Training Camp Friday. The 52 players on the camp roster were broken into Group A and Group B. Each Group did two sessions within one.
Bruins captain Zdeno Chara – who only a week ago wasn’t sure if he’d be ready for the October 3 Regular Season opener in Dallas – skated both sessions with Group B and also helped mentor young 19-year-old prospect Axel Andersson who head coach Bruce Cassidy paired him with. Chara was quite optimistic following a hard skate and Big Z is suddenly looking better for Big D and the season opener October 3.
The bigger scare Friday though was whether Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy would miss the opener. Fresh of a knee replacement, Cassidy was upended by defenseman Alex Petrovic – here on a professional tryout – at mid-ice during the Group A session Friday. Thankfully, the recent beneficiary of a contract extension was OK.
Here’s a look back at Day 2 of Bruins Training Camp:
Cassidy Avoids IR –
The Bruins lone Professional Tryout in training camp, Alex Petrovic, had a rough introduction to who he hopes will be his head coach for the 2019-20 season. Early in the Group A session of camp Friday, Petrovic lost an edge and took Cassidy down with him at mid-ice.
“That was unfortunate to run into Bruce there, but lost an edge, just kind of not the best spot to lose your edge,” Petrovic said. “I actually got up and said I was sorry but I was trying to get back into the drill. I wanted to see if he was all right, but I think he’s fine. He’s a pretty tough guy.”
Cassidy acknowledged that the mishap could’ve been worse than it was and yes, he can still handle some physicality.
“Yeah, I took a wipeout,” Cassidy said. “It actually hit the tendon in the side, so I couldn’t put any weight on it at first, I couldn’t get up. I told Pando that, I said ‘I don’t think I’m getting up right now.’ Anyway, feels good now. I know it can take a hit.”
— Goon Squad (@carpenterr33) September 13, 2019
Obviously Chara is a true leader on and off the ice but could that leadership ever find it’s way behind a bench? As he has in recent trusts, Chara has become the Reggie Dunlap of the Bruins.
Cassidy, as he has in the past, had the Bruins 42-year-old captain paired up with Andersson because Chara isn’t shy to give a tip or two.
“We’ve done that here because ‘Z’ has been receptive to it,” Cassidy said. “It’s worked for [Brandon]Carlo and [Charlie] McAvoy, so obviously Axel, a good puck mover similar to Charlie in that regard. He likes to have the puck so we figured that could be a good mix.
‘Z’ likes to talk to the younger guys and we figure it makes them more comfortable you hope in practice. I think that’s the reason we do it. If a player’s not receptive to it then we go a different avenue but Z’s a big brother to everybody and I think it will only help a guy feel more comfortable.”
Bergeron, Nordstrom Frederic Absent – Patrice Bergeron, Joakim Nordstrom, and Trent Frederic all skated before the official on-ice sessions started Friday but did not participate with Group A or B. The plan is to ease them in as camp and the preseason goes on.
Here were the lineups for Group A and B:
Group A lines:
Group B lines: