BRIGHTON, MA — The Boston Bruins held their first on-ice session of the team’s 2023 Training Camp on Thursday, and it was clear that physicality and familiarity were the two primary focuses for both groups and sessions.
There will be double sessions at Boston Bruins Training Camp again on Friday and Saturday before the Bruins host the New York Rangers at TD Garden in the first preseason game for both squads. Until then, here are some observations from Thursday:
Let’s Get Physical
While most players were finding their stride, and the newbies were finding their way through some unfamiliar drills, some Bruins veterans were wasting no time getting physical. Group A veterans and Boston Bruins alternate captain Charlie McAvoy and captain Brad Marchand got entangled in a battle for the puck in the early session, with Marchand winning the battle, and McAvoy winding up on the ice.
Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery was asked about the physical tone being set from the get-go and revealed that will be the case throughout camp, the preseason, and the 2023-24 regular season.
“We want physical,” Montgomery replied bluntly. “We need to be a more physical team this year than last year, in our opinion. So we like the physicality, and guys are fighting for jobs. So, there should be physicality out there when the drill requires it.
I think we’re a little bit of a bigger and heavier team. But also, we just think that we need to be more physical at net fronts, offensively and defensively. We saw that as an area to improve from what we learned from the playoffs last year.”
Poitras Enjoys ‘Pasta’
Since having a monster 2022-23 season in which he scored 16 goals and had 79 assists in 63 games for the Guelph Storm (OHL), Bruins rookie center Matthew Poitras continued to turn heads in Bruins Development Camp in July and again last weekend in the Buffalo Sabres Prospects Challenge. Poitras had an assist and played with poise in three games and Buffalo, and that earned him a spot centering the top line for Group B in the second session with Jesper Bovqvist on his left and superstar winger David Pastrnak on his right.
An admittedly in awe Poitras talked about what it was like to play with Pastrnak, who is coming off a 61-goal and 113-point season.
“He is. …he’s so good,” a smiling Poitras said of Pastrnak. “You can just tell, and just being on the same ice is crazy. Just a super-nice guy. He came up to me and made me feel comfortable. Skating with a guy like that, as a young guy I felt a little nervous, and he said, ‘Don’t be nervous. Just play and have a good practice'”
Here are the forward lines, defensive pairings and goalies from Thursday:
Brad Marchand-Charlie Coyle-Fabian Lysell
Danton Heinen-Georgii Merkulov-Jake DeBrusk
Anthony Richard-Morgan Geekie-Trent Frederic
Brett Harrison-Jayson Megna-Oskar Steen
Parker Wotherspoon-Charlie McAvoy
Hampus Lindholm-Reilly Walsh
Jakub Zboril-Kevin Shattenkirk
Michael Callahan-Ryan Mast
Jesper Boqvist-Matthew Poitras-David Pastrnak
James van Riemsdyk-Pavel Zacha-Marc McLaughlin
Milan Lucic-Johnny Beecher-Jakub Lauko
A.J. Greer-Patrick Brown-Alex Chiasson
Mason Lohrei-Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk-Alec Regula
Derek Forbort-Ian Mitchell
Frederic Brunet-Dan Renouf