Bruins notebook: Anders Bjork gets chance on Patrice Bergeron-Brad Marchand line
The first day of training camp confirmed the notion that Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy is serious about this kiddie movement.
On the Patrice Bergeron-Brad Marchand line, he put rookie Anders Bjork, who signed with the B’s last summer following his junior season at Notre Dame. On David Krejci’s line, Jake DeBrusk, the 2015 first-round pick who had a good season for AHL Providence, was placed on the left wing. (Danton Heinen was on the right wing, presumably David Pastrnak’s spot once he arrives. Pastrnak flew in from Europe yesterday and is expected to undergo his physical testing today.)
The units did not spend all that much time together yesterday, but it’ll be interesting to see if they can jell as camp continues.
Krejci, who has been in search of some regular linemates for a few years, has been impressed by DeBrusk.
“He’s a really good player,” Krejci said. “This is not his first camp so I know a little bit of what kind of player he is. He had a strong season in Providence. I like what I see and I like what I hear from other people. Hopefully we can talk more and by the first preseason game we’ll be on the same page and have some chemistry and go from there.
“I know what he can do, even from captain’s practices from this year and last year,” Krejci added. “He’s a really good player. He can skate really well, he can shoot and he thinks the game really well. He can pass the puck and knows what areas to go to in the offensive zone. If it happens that we start the season together, I don’t think there’s any reason why we should not create chemistry.”
Bjork tried to play it as cool as any 21-year-old could.
“It’s crazy to think about who I’m skating next to but you sort of have to not think about that and focus on playing your game and doing the best you can. I just tried to not overthink it out there,” Bjork said.
While it would be a great opportunity to play on Bergeron’s line, Bjork got a taste of the commitment level it takes.
“The biggest thing is competing and winning puck battles. You could see out there, Bergeron and Marchand, every little puck battle they give 100 percent. They do all the little things real and it adds up. I’m just trying to implement myself,” said Bjork, adding that he felt welcomed by the two veterans. “Their chemistry makes it a little bit easier. They talk a lot on the ice and tell me where they want me, which is really helpful. They made practicing very easy.”
New task for Rask
Cassidy said he wants goalie Tuukka Rask to come out and play the puck a little more to challenge teams dumping it in and to jump-start the transition.
“I’m not asking him to be a third defenseman, a la Marty Brodeur in his day, but to be able to get out there and stop some pucks and place them for the (defensemen). That would be one more threat and one more angle the forecheck has to take and that can help us,” the coach said. “Have some confidence to get out there. I think Tuukka makes good decisions with it and handles it just fine, but I’d like to see him be a little more proactive in that regard.”