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Bruins Camp Journal: First Cuts Made On ‘Difficult’ Roster To Crack

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The Boston Bruins announced their first wave of cuts Sunday and on Monday night in their first home preseason game against the Philadelphia Flyers, they will ice a roster that looks closer to what can be expected when they drop the puck on the regular season on October 3 in Dallas.

Defensemen Axel Andersson, Wiley Sherman, Chris Breen, and Cooper Zech, as well as forwards Samuel Asselin, Chris Breen, Alexey Solovyev, Brendan Woods,  were all assigned to the Providence Bruins (AHL).

Head coach Bruce Cassidy also announced that goalie Tuukka Rask will get the starts on Monday and Saturday in the Bruins’ final preseason game and Jaroslav Halak will start on Wednesday.

Difficult Camp For Young Hopefuls

Bruins hopefuls like forwards Jack Studnicka, Ryan Fitzgerald Zach Senyshyn, and Trent Frederic or defensemen Urho Vaakanaunen, Jakub Zboril and Jeremy Lauzon are still hanging around but there’s a solid chance by the end of this week, most, if not all of them will cut from the Bruins NHL roster. The Bruins made it well known to their prospects that the NHL roster didn’t have many vacancies and that it would take a knock your socks off like performance in camp to steal a roster spot this preseason and training camp.

“This year is a more difficult camp to find a spot in the lineup,” Cassidy said Monday. ‘We just have more returning players. It doesn’t mean you can’t beat a guy out, but it’s more difficult than maybe last year where we created some competition at different spots hoping that a young guy would take over. This year there are fewer openings just because of the trade for [Charlie] Coyle and the growth of [Karson] Kuhlman. There’s competition for that right wing spot with [David] Krejci, but we like what Kuhlman did.

It makes it tougher for those young guys trying to crack the lineup. So what you’re trying to do is identify yourself as a depth player that can be the first call-up in certain situations. That’s about the best you can do with the hand you’re dealt.”

Cassidy cited the team’s center depth as a perfect example and that despite a solid camp from Studnicka, it was highly unlikely he will be in Boston to start the season.

“It’s going to be tough in the middle for Jack. We’d have to move pieces around, which we said we would do [if he was ready]. But I don’t think he’s there yet and that’s fine. With Jack there is great hockey instincts and great will, but I just think he hasn’t grown into his body yet strength-wise. It is what it is,” said Cassidy. “But we like how he’s playing. Is he ready to unseat anybody? I wouldn’t say so yet.”

Monday’s Roster vs Flyers 

Here’s what the roster will look like Monday night at TD Garden against the Flyers

Marchand-Coyle-Pastrnak
DeBrusk-Krejci-Ritchie
Heinen-Frederic-Wagner
Lauko-Kuraly-Backes

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Chara-Clifton
Vaakanainen-Petrovic
Zboril-Didier

Rask

Vladar

With 20 years of experience (SiriusXM NHL Network Radio, ESPNBoston, NESN, NHL.com, etc.) covering the Bruins, the NHL, NCAA and junior hockey and more, Jimmy Murphy’s hockey black book is full of Hall of Famers, current players, coaches, management, scouts and a wide array of hockey media personalities that have lived in and around this great game. For 17 of his 20 years as a hockey and sports reporter, Murph covered the Bruins on essentially a daily basis covering their victorious 2011 Stanley Cup run and their 2013 run to the Final as well. Murphy has hosted national and local radio shows and podcasts and also has experience in TV as well.

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