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A view from the seats: Bruins-Habs preseason game 1

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09-20-2003, 11:12 AM
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A view from the seats: Bruins-Habs preseason game 1

Hi everyone. I'm back from my brief 3 day trip to Smurfland and I'm ready to report. I haven't looked to see what the local papers have to say (if anything...their Bruins coverage is really bordering on pathetic lately) about the game and the players, but here's my take:

First off, I've got to say that 1-0 or not, this game was a bit bland. The two teams played pretty evenly overall, the Habs getting the better scoring chances and the Bruins getting the better goaltending (when's the last time you heard that?). There was a whole lot of back-and-forth nothingness going on for stretches at a time...but hey, it's hockey season again and it was very good to see the team in action! The Bruins won, but they really looked sloppy on several occasions, so let's not get too excited just yet. Montreal looked ok...not really good, but not really bad either. I realize that much of this has to do with the fact that it's preseason and half the team wasn't there, but it's still worth noting.

Ok, so on to my player observations. By the way, I did attend two full days of camp last week, so this was not my first look at anyone. I have a pretty good frame of reference to go by.

I'll begin with les Smurfs de Montreal:

Beauchemin - D - Took a pretty stupid penalty, providing the B’s with the wide open ice of a 4-on-3 in overtime.

Damphousse - G - Made a couple good saves, but wasn’t overly tested. On the goal, Bergeron was wide open to receive the pass and was able to shoot the puck into a half empty net. J-F didn’t have much of a chance to make the save the way it played out. He played the shooter all the way for some reason, even though it was obvious Rolston was going to make the pass. Either way, I’m not sure he’d have made the save…it was a great setup by Brian and good positioning & shooting by Patrice.

Garon - G - Made a few good saves, but wasn’t overly tested.

Hainsey - D - Sort of blended in…didn’t really stand out much given the hype and expectations.

Komisarek - D - As much as is pains me to say this, I have to admit he looked good…he uses his size to his advantage and really looked ready to step into the Montreal lineup and make a difference.

Now, on to the Bruins:

Bergeron - C - Impressed me at camp, impressed me in the game (though not as much as in camp). He didn’t stand out as much as he did in camp, but also did not look out of place. He did score the game’s only goal, which is certainly worth something. For an 18/19 year old getting his first NHL experience, he did great.

Donato - LW - Really didn’t look too bad…more of a two-way player than before. I think he realizes that his place on the team is as a 3/4th liner at best. He looked and played like what he is: a veteran fill-in.

Gill - D - Played a pretty good defensive game, though I still wish he’d hit a little more often.

Huml - RW - Despite the penalties (one of which I thought was marginal, so it makes up for the high stick that wasn’t called), he played pretty well on offense. He actually skated well and made some plays. Normally, I don’t think his offensive performance would stick out at all, but since the team as a whole didn’t do much offensively, it did.

Jillson - D - Played the best out of the group of d-men looking for a job with the big club. If he keeps his play up and continues to improve, I see no reason why he shouldn’t make the team.

Jurcina - D - Looked ok at the game and good during camp, but I really think he needs another season or two of seasoning before he makes the Bruins.

Lapointe - RW - Looked better than he played last season. He was moving around and hitting a little more and he looked comfortable doing it. I think he’s finally fully healed and ready to be what he needs to be.

Leahy - RW - Blended in for the most part, but I recall him making a couple bad passes and missing a few hits.

Moran - D - Played like a 7th defenseman…a few good plays and a few iffy plays.

Morrisonn - D - I was hoping he would really stand out and impress…He played an ok game, but I think he could have been better. He made some stupid rookie mistakes and looked like he needs to start the season in Providence and go from there. Now, he did look pretty good in camp, but I think going back and forth a few times this season to gain a little more experience and maturity would be best. I think he’ll have a better shot at making Boston next season.

Raycroft - G - Played very well and looked comfortable. There were a few good opportunities against him and several regular scoring chances, but he was there for all of them. To be honest, just seeing a goalie (two of them) making all the saves they are SUPPOSED to make was a breath of fresh air. Anyway, I see no reason why he shouldn’t make the team. Goodbye, Shieldsy!

Rolston - C - To me, he appeared to be sort of going through the motions at training camp. He looked better at the game, playing like normal.

Toivonen - G - Awesome! I loved what I saw of him in camp and I love him even more after this game. Luck for me, my seat was right behind the net so I had a great view. He looked great! He always seemed to be in position and his reflexes are fantastic. How well did he play? Hannu only played the 3rd period and a minute and a half of OT, making just 6 saves, but was voted the #3 star of the game by the Montreal media. My companion and I got a little Hanuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu chant going after every big save...and when I say little I mean we were the only ones participating...but that's ok...we were loving it.

Vernarsky - C - Didn’t play poorly, but looked a little out of place. He needs to be sent down to Providence…he’s not ready for the big time yet.

So, in closing...

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09-21-2003, 05:02 AM
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Jillson should have a real good shot at making the club.
He can play a little on the PP and is righthanded...at this point the Bruins could use a player like him.
You kinda have to wonder if it's Jillson who the B's brass are looking at hard to know if they can pull any offer out there for Berard they may still have.
If Jillson steps up this season and they get Boynton signed and he continues to grow the Bruins should be set to improve on the blueline.

One can't not believe the Bruins look/hope for a Boynton, Gill, McGillis, Moran, O'Donnell and Jillson core on the blueline...don't also rule out Morissonn and Brennan getting a shot at slipping in as 7th or in the case of Boynton's deal not getting done soon enough.
I kinda see Brennan as the 7th guy this season...he is older and is also a righty...it wouldn't hurt him to sit a few games and be a support type of player early on.

I also keep feeling that Ted Donato will be some part of this team...
"Donato - LW - Really didn’t look too bad…more of a two-way player than before. I think he realizes that his place on the team is as a 3/4th liner at best. He looked and played like what he is: a veteran fill-in."
I think this type of player will be just what Sully will want playng on his 4th line or having scratched but close at hand.
I still believe the 4th line will be made up of guys like Zamuner/Grosek/McCarthy/Stock/ and Donato...these are guys who can do alot of things but at the same time are veterans who can be trusted in limited roles to be used in different ways throughout the lineup.
I can't see any younger guys being used here...not having alot of depth at center will (IMO) place Donato with a few good chances on the team.

I wish I knew why but I can't seem to get overt the fact Huml is going to be hard pressed to beat out guys like Samsonov/Knuble/Murray/Axelsson/Lapointe to play on the top 2 lines and he isn't going to be in anyway effective on 3rd or 4th lines he might just be a guy in prospect purgatory.
I am just having tough tme getting the read on this kid and if he will be a scorer at this level????
He has to score to stay...if not he doesn't seem to be all that effective..in this way he looks like a guy to be placed back on the P-B's and brough up to fill in due to injury to one of those type of guys mentioned.
Not bad place to be but he has some sort of hump to get over...at lest in my eyes.

Good to hear Lapointe seems to be on track early.
I am a fan of his and I still (if I was MOC) would have made that deal to bring him here...it hasn't worked out as they (or I) thought it would but this guy can...and will help this team!
I still say pair Samsonov/Zinovjev/Lapoint and it will produce points and energy...the other nice point is Lapointe did do a little work in the faceoff circle and also is right handed so he could switch a little with Zinovjev if needed with out alot of problems durning a game...say if Zino was havinga tough time or such.

Toivonen is very exciting for all Bruins fans to hear about...he should stay in the AHL for a little bit and with older players in Shields/Potvin and Raycroft there seems to be little reason to not start him down there.
Plus living in Maine it would be cool to see him easily against the Portland Pirates...hehehehe.

"Morrisonn - D - I was hoping he would really stand out and impress..."
That doesn't worry me in the least...he has got me thinking over the last seaason or so that if he does make it to the NHL for a long stay it will be as a solid no frills guy on the blueline...sorta a guy who if you don't notice he is doing a good job!
I thinks the Bruins have to be happy with what they have in him so far...I think he could take a shift at the NHL level now but would it be best for him...maybe not...but he will make mistakes sure...every player does...it's all about the player himself and I think this guys is going to be ready soon for his chance...we just can't expect too much and he will be a good player!

I can't post more about Bergeron because I am starting to think we all might jinx him...hehehe
No really this kid has to be having a blast...the Bruins don't have alot of depth at center and this has gave him longer looks between good wingers...this hasn't hurt him at all.
At the same time you may think it would be tough for a 18 year old to stay calm between guys like Samsonov, Murray and such.
A great story I hope doesn't end anytime too soon!!!!

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09-21-2003, 05:27 AM
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yeah, i'm up here in maine too...i'm planning on going to a bunch of providence games myself this season...not just against the portlant pirates, but against lowell, worcester, and manchester.

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09-21-2003, 07:33 AM
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I was at the game too, mostly to check the habs prospect but i paid attention to the the bruins too, and i was much impressed by Samuelsson, very nice speed and offensive flair. Bergeron is quite the deal too.

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09-21-2003, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Raskolnikov76
I was at the game too, mostly to check the habs prospect but i paid attention to the the bruins too, and i was much impressed by Samuelsson, very nice speed and offensive flair. Bergeron is quite the deal too.
Thanks for the info

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