Boston Bruins forward Trent Frederic will get another chance to prove he can be the ornery and yet responsible player he was at the beginning of last season. After not moving the needle in the ornery sense failing to play solid, two-way hockey in his and the team’s last two preseason games, Frederic knows he needs to translate better practices into his gameplay and emulate Brad Marchand more against the Philadelphia Flyers in Philadelphia Monday evening.
“I think at the start of camp, came in and did well on all the testing and stuff,” Frederic told the media Monday. “I had a good jump and improved my skating and everything but the games really haven’t gone exactly how I want to, but I got tonight to prove another one and play hard and play physical, and put my presence out there.”
🎥 Trent Frederic meets with the media to break down his preseason to this point and look ahead to tonight's preseason contest in Philly: "I've got tonight to play hard, play physical, and try to put my presence out there."#NHLBruins | @PlymouthRock pic.twitter.com/auOJmosNYS
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) October 4, 2021
After a lackluster performance from Frederic in a 4-2 win over the Flyers in Boston this past Thursday night, in which the rugged winger took an undisciplined hooking call in the third period, Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy called out Frederic for not paying attention to details and waiting for the game to come to him.
“Not strong enough on the puck (on Thursday),” said Cassidy when asked about Frederic on Friday. “On the first shift [on Thursday], he makes a real nice play to (Chris) Wagner off the wing coming through the neutral zone, which he’s done for us. He’s shot the puck well. But he gets it below the goal line and [throws a] backhand pass that comes back at us. Backhand pass behind our net, it comes back at us, it gets intercepted. Things like that that he takes for granted, those little plays, he just needs to have more urgency and be stronger and hang on to it. That’s just a capsule of (what we’re looking for).”
Frederic lost a semi-regular spot in the Boston Bruins lineup last season because he became puzzled as to what his role was exactly and seemingly complacent after becoming an instant fan favorite for going toe-to-toe with Tom Wilson, arguably the toughest player in the league. While he still seems to be searching for that niche in the lineup and how to achieve it, it appears his work ethic isn’t the issue and on Monday, Frederic credited arguably the best agitator in the NHL for the last decade, who also morphed into a superstar.
“He comes in every day, he’s always early and he’s probably one of the hardest working guys every day and I think it rubs off on everyone,” Frederic said of the Bruins veteran winger Brad Marchand. “When you see him doing extra, you want to do extra, and he just kind of pushes everyone through that way. Obviously, on the ice, it’s good to see that stuff.”
Ironically, on Friday, Cassidy explained what he and the Bruins want and need from him, and it sounded a lot like the path Marchand took to stardom.
“He was annoying them and then the attention gets brought on to him,” Cassidy recalled of how Frederic instantly became another agitator for the Bruins. “That part of his game will fuel him and brings out the better of him. Now he’s involved. But we’ve got to get him to that point, where he’s a little more annoying to some people. And if he protects the puck a lot, all of a sudden, the D is on him and there’s an exchange in the corner, a physical confrontation that could happen. We want him to do it on the forecheck. That’s why he’s been on the wing a little more than center, you’ve got a little more freedom. Maybe you take the puck to the net, drag some people with you and bump into somebody to annoy them. There are different things he can do in that regard.”
Message sent and received off the ice; now will it be received on it in Philly and beyond?