Seguin at Home in the Middle
By Fluto Shinzawa
For the second straight season, Tyler Seguin could be a right wing, with either Patrice Bergeron or Chris Kelly serving as his setup man.
But Seguin’s natural position is center, which is where he’s been skating for the opening days of Bruins training camp. Seguin has not looked like he’s forgotten how to play the position.
“He’s been very good. I’ve noticed him,’’ said coach Claude Julien. “He seems a lot stronger. He seems a lot more confident. From what I’ve seen these first three days, his skill level has really shown because of the way he’s competing with that confidence.
“I see a guy who’s got a year under his belt. He’s coming in this year and wants to make a difference. We knew all along that he’s got it. Now it’s up to him to show it. His first three days, I think he’s done that.’’
Seguin has been centering Kyle MacKinnon and Nathan Horton. Like he did his rookie season, Seguin has skated dynamically and shot pucks with purpose.
What’s made Seguin among the more explosive forwards in camp has been his competitiveness and his battle level in the danger areas. As a rookie, Seguin wasn’t always willing to use his muscle in the corners, along the walls, and in front of the net.
Robertson Named Spits Captain
By Jim Parker
The Windsor Spitfires knew they were getting more than a solid, veteran defenceman when the club acquired Adrian Robertson from the Peterborough Petes prior to last year’s trade deadline.
“We had heard good things about Robby,” Spitfires head coach Bob Boughner said.
He steadied the defence and helped lead Windsor to the Western Conference final.
Now, the Spitfires are hoping he can help shape the future of a youthful club.
Tuesday, Boughner named the 20-year-old Robertson the team’s captain for the 2011-12 season.
“I wore an A in Peterborough for two years and in minor hockey, but I’ve never been a captain,” the six-foot-three, 207-pound Robertson said.
“It’s a challenge, but I’ve been around young teams in Peterborough and I can draw from that.”
Robertson is the third straight defenceman to be named captain of the club.
Windsor Spitfires new captain Adrian Robertson talks to The Windsor Star’s Jim Parker
UPEI Panther gets opportunity with NHL club
For three seasons, forward Matt Carter has been a dominant force for the UPEI Panthers in the Atlantic University men’s hockey conference.
His offensive numbers were good enough to get him an invitation this month to the NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Mich. with the Dallas Stars. The NHL?team just wrapped up its training camp in Charlottetown.
Carter has enjoyed steady improvement over those three years and posted career highs with 20 goals, 24 assists for 44 points in 28 games last season, which brings his career totals to 51 goals, 55 assist for 106 points in 83 games.
Those numbers and his play earned the 24-year-old Mississauga, Ont. native a closer look by Dallas.
Carter, who is entering his fourth and final year in the bachelor of business program at the university, said he got a lot out of the tournament and looks forward to putting the experience to use in the upcoming AUS season.
“It was a great experience. It got me a little bit more ready for the year and it was a lot of fun,” Carter said.
“I expect to have the same kind of year I did last year and hopefully better. Hopefully, as a team, we can end up in Fredericton in the nationals.”
Carter had a good showing at the prospects tournament, notching a pair of goals to go with a plus-1 rating and four penalty minutes in three games.
Carter said the advice he received from the organization was valuable.
“(Things to work on include) just sort of working away from the puck and just the finer things, like becoming a professional and carrying yourself outside of the rink, little things like that,” he said.
“(I plan to) just keep doing what I’m doing and things will hopefully work out in the future. They preached about getting an education and how important it is so that was good.”
Murphy still hanging tough at Hurricanes training camp
Raleigh Sports Examiner
Although it should not be surprising for the team’s top draft pick to still be around after less than a week into camp, Murphy’s situation raises interesting questions.
The Hurricanes announced that they had signed Murphy to an entry-level contract on the opening day of training camp and managerial and coaching staff members could not say enough good things about him.
“Ryan is a gifted offensive defenseman. He skates extremely well and is dynamic with the puck. He put up very impressive numbers as a 17 year old in the OHL, and he’s put himself in a position to push for a spot on the NHL level.” – Jim Rutherford, President and General Manger, Carolina Hurricanes
After the first day of on-ice sessions, coach Paul Maurice referred to Murphy as a ‘special’ player.
“He is going to be a very good defenseman for the Carolina Hurricanes. When that is, I’m not sure. There’s some very special talent and skill there. Above saying that he is a skilled guy, there’s more than that there,” Maurice stated.
Maurice also indicated that Murphy would get his chance to show what he can do during the teams’ preseason games.
Scott Gomez Practice Video
Renney Compares Sam Gagner to Doug Gilmour
By David Staples
This tweet just in from TV reporter Gene Principe: “Tom Renney saying he sees nothing but big things to come for Sam Gagner. Even saying his work ethic and talent remind him of Doug Gilmour.”
MacDermid opening eyes in Bruins’ camp
OTTAWA — Lane MacDermid has inspired little fanfare or breathless discussions about his bright future when he’s mentioned in terms of a career with the Bruins.
MacDermid is a B’s fourth round draft pick from the Windsor Spitfires back in the 2008 draft, and a player that spent the entirety of last season in Providence. He’s a 6-foot-3, 200-pound winger capable of scoring a little and fighting a lot — but sometimes it takes that little extra something to get noticed during an NHL camp.
MacDermid has had that little extra going so far in this year’s training camp as a 22-year-old looking to bust into the NHL. He’s beginning to earn some of that notoriety around camp with a carryover from his capable junior hockey career, and it all comes down to the willingness to work hard.
Fittingly MacDermid put on his helmet and work boots both Tuesday night in the Black and White scrimmage and Wednesday night in the Bruins’ 2-1 overtime loss in Ottawa, and got things done with goals in each game. MacDermid played with Shawn Thornton and Chris Kelly on a line that stood out in Wednesday night’s game, and enjoyed the most pressure they were able to put on the Ottawa defense while scoring only a single goal.
“Those guys play pretty hard and they’re good in the corners and whatnot, so I thought we played pretty well together,” said MacDermid. “It’s been a tough camp and I think everyone is feeling that a little bit, but it’s been a good start.”??In each instance MacDermid was rewarded when he spotted the breakdown in the defense and crashed the net while keeping his head upward looking for the puck. The goal in Providence arrived when Matt Bartkowski found him going to the net without the puck and targeted him for a cross-ice pass, and Wednesday night’s strike against Ottawa was simple crashing the net with speed and flicking home a long rebound of a Thornton shot.
Galchenyuk to Miss Opener (Larionov)
By Dave Paul
SARNIA – Sting star Alex Galchenyuk Jr. was back on the RBC Centre ice Wednesday, but he’s not expected to be in the lineup for the regular season-opening game Friday against Erie.
Galchenyuk, one of the top-rated players for the 2012 NHL draft, was injured during Friday’s preseason game against Windsor. While preparing to cut around the Windsor goal on an innocent-looking play, Galchenyuk suddenly went down in a heap.
Sting coach/GM Jacques Beaulieu said his star centre had “caught a rut in the ice” and was suffering from a “sore MCL (medial collateral knee ligament).”
On Wednesday, Beaulieu said Galchenyuk was still sore, but that he “was able to skate, on his own, today.
“He probably won’t play this weekend . . . but I’d be surprised if he’s not in the lineup for us next weekend.”
Wolves welcome top forwards back to lineup
Sudbury Nothern Life Staff
Josh Leivo, 18, was also returned to Sudbury by the Toronto Maple Leafs after the Innisfil native enjoyed a successful rookie NHL camp. The big 6-1, right-winger was advanced to the Leafs main camp before being returned to Sudbury.
Leivo was the first Wolves’ player to be drafted in the NHL’s third round in June. The skilled forward will look to build on his 13 goal rookie season in the OHL, the release stated. ??
The two Sudbury forwards are expected to arrive in Sudbury in time for the Wolves’ home opener on Friday night when they host the defending Eastern Conference champion Mississauga Majors at 7:30 p.m.
Varone’s influence will be tough for Otters to replace
Mark Gazdic assumed Phil Varone was another highly skilled, high-scoring forward with an ego.
Gazdic was almost right. Varone had immense skill in his final OHL season. He certainly produced offense.
But he had no ego — far from it.
“He ended up being the nicest guy you can meet,” Gazdic said of his former roommate in Erie. “He’d do anything for you. Definitely one of the best teammates I’ve ever had.”
On Oct. 26, 2010, the day Varone joined the Otters, the team dramatically changed for the better — as much in winning attitude and confidence as in their record and position in the OHL standings. From the moment he arrived after a trade with London, the Otters seemed like a vastly different team.
Varone was a mentor and teacher to Otters young and old. He taught them how to win immediately and lead in the future. He praised teammates when the Otters won. He accepted blame when the Otters lost.
He controlled games with his vision, playmaking ability and scoring touch. However, he put defense first.
He showed true emotion on and off the ice. Still, he kept the highs and lows of the season in perspective.
Varone is the best, most influential leader the Otters have enjoyed since Brad Boyes led the team to division championships, conference titles and, ultimately, the 2001-02 OHL crown.
That’s high praise, given the leadership past players like Michael Blunden, Chris Campoli and Brian Lee provided. But high praise is warranted.
Varone’s impact turned the 2010-11 season around.
The Otters were 3-9-1-0 when Varone arrived. He had two assists and was a plus-1 in his debut, a 4-1 win over Plymouth at Tullio Arena the day after the trade. The Otters won 36 more times during the regular season. He finished tied for first on the team in assists (48), fourth in goals (33), third in points (81) and tied for third in plus-minus (+22), even though he joined the team a month into the season.
Then he led the Otters within a late goal in Game 7 of beating Windsor, then the two-time defending league and Memorial Cup champion.
“He was always positive. He came ready to play every single game,” Gazdic said. “He was always thinking about the game, thinking about how he can be better.”
Lane MacDermid Post-Game Interview
Matt Irwin scores pre-season goal (via Daylife)
Lane MacDermid scores pre-sesaon goal (via KNOX News)
Gomez Trying to Bounce Back
By Pat Hickey
The Scott Gomez redemption project will be in the spotlight Friday as the Canadiens look for their first exhibition win when they face the Ottawa Senators.
Gomez, who is hoping to rebound from his least productive season in the National Hockey League, has been nursing a lower-body injury but he said he was raring to go after taking part in a full practice Thursday in Brossard.
Gomez has admitted that he was embarrassed by his play last season but he took a lighthearted approach Thursday when asked if he had stepped up his offseason training regimen.
“I don’t think you get to play in the NHL for very long if you don’t work out. It wasn’t like I just found out what a weight was and decided to lift it. I might have changed some things up a little bit when it comes to my training this year, but at this level, keeping in shape is a year-round job.
“I didn’t spend that much time at home (in Alaska) this summer and just took the time to kind of focus and regroup and I’m ready to go,” Gomez added. “I’m ready to change things up with my approach, clear my mind and I just want to get out there and have fun again.”
Gomez had some fun with reporters who tried to get an insight into his injury.
“It was my pinky and it threw my balance off.”
Bruins Cup Rewind: Tyler Seguin Steps into Lineup for Conference Finals, Torches Lightning in Game 2
By NESN Video
Tyler Seguin started his first career playoffs up in the press box. However, he knew he needed to be ready at a moment’s notice to come down to the ice and make an impact.
When Patrice Bergeron suffered a concussion prior to the Eastern Conference final, the rookie forward got that chance and he responded.
Seguin made his playoff debut against the Lightning in Game 1, and in Game 2, the youngster stole the show. Seguin notched four points on two goals and two assists to allow the B’s to even the series.
Attitude the best asset for IceDogs rookie centre
By Rod Mawhood
St Catherine Standard
The Niagara IceDogs knew Carter Verhaeghe had the skill to compete at the OHL level. Now, they’re finding out he also has the attitude and personality to help him succeed long term in the league.
Verhaeghe scored his first goal in an IceDogs uniform, albeit in exhibition action, as Niagara battled back from a pair of two-goal deficits to tie the Oshawa Generals 3-3 Saturday night at Jack Gatecliff Arena.
The just-turned 16-year-old Verhaeghe scored 34 goals and had 64 points in just 45 games with the Hamilton Bulldogs minor midget AAA team last season. The numbers were good enough for the IceDogs to take the Waterdown native in the second round (38th) overall in 2011 Ontario Hockey League draft.
“He’s got real nice hands, he can make plays, and for a young kid that’s really tough in this league, but that’s what I like about him,” IceDogs head coach/general manager Marty Williamson said. “He shows great composure out there and he doesn’t seem to be overwhelmed by anything.
“I’ve been awfully impressed with him.”
Verhaeghe centered a line with IceDogs captain and fifth-year forward Andrew Agozzino and second-year winger Joel Wigle Saturday night. Verhaeghe, a six-foot, 165-pounder, cut the Generals lead to 3-2 on a power play midway through the third period, re-directing an Agozzino centering pass.
“It’s awesome playing with those guys,” Verhaeghe said. “Agozzino has been giving me a lot of tips and Wigle is good too.
“I mean all of them, look how many guys (from this team) are at NHL camps.”
MacDermid excelling during camp grind
Lane MacDermid knows better than anyone that the helmet and skates he wears might as well be a hard hat and work boots. As long as he keeps that in mind, the young grinder will continue to please his bosses.
In Wednesday’s 2-1 exhibition loss to Ottawa, MacDermid scored the Bruins’ goal. He did so by fulfilling one of the duties required of a grunt: going hard to the net.
“I thought MacDermid played well,’’ said coach Claude Julien. “I’m talking about players, their roles, and what you expect of them. He was a good, solid player for us.’’
MacDermid, skating on a sandpaper line with Chris Kelly and Shawn Thornton, gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead at 7:01 of the second period. Thornton handled the puck on the right side and spotted MacDermid approaching the top of the left circle.
With a rebound in mind, Thornton flung the puck on goal. As Thornton expected, Senators goalie Craig Anderson kicked out his shot, and the rebound bounced MacDermid’s way. The left wing buried the puck.
MacDermid, 22, the son of former Whaler Paul MacDermid, was the Bruins’ fourth-round pick in 2009. Last season, as a second-year pro, MacDermid had 7 goals and 12 assists in 78 games with Providence.
He also has shown that he can throw down with the big boys. Over his first two AHL seasons, MacDermid recorded 313 penalty minutes. During the 2010 preseason, he battled former NHL brawler Andrew Peters and held his own against the towering tough guy.
“I’m trying my best to fit in,’’ MacDermid said. “I’m trying to show that I can play at this level and play with these guys.’’
Yakupov tops TSN pre-season draft rankings (Larionov)
After four straight years of Canadians going first overall, the 2012 NHL Entry Draft may turn out to be revenge of the Euros.
Russian winger Nail Yakupov of the Sarnia Sting is No. 1 on TSN’s Pre-Season Top 10 Ranking for the 2012 Draft.
Seven of 10 scouts pegged Yakupov as the leader coming out of the gate. He had 49 goals and 101 points as a 16 year old OHL rookie. He’s a dynamic goal-scorer but who isn’t afraid to get his nose dirty to score goals and make plays.
Dale Mitchell Training Camp Video
Peter LeBlanc in pre-season game for Chicago (via Zimbio.com)
Newly Retired Lalime gets second taste of Hockeyville
By Brian Compton
NHL.com Staff Writer
CONCEPTION BAY SOUTH, Nfld. — Patrick Lalime knows all about the Kraft Hockeyville experience. That’s why when he was invited to participate at this year’s event, he jumped at the opportunity.
Lalime, 37, was the Buffalo Sabres’ goaltender when the club faced the Montreal Canadiens in the 2008 Kraft Hockeyville game in Roberval, Que. This year, he is in Newfoundland as part of the Ottawa Senators’ alumni group, just two months removed from announcing his retirement.
“Just the ambience was unbelievable,” Lalime said, recalling his experience in the small Quebec town three years ago. “I remember when we were there, it was just non-stop. They were screaming. You could feel the excitement from the people from the city. Even when we came in last night, and then you look at this today … there’s not too many places where you open the door and you see the ocean right next door. This is something I had never seen before. It’s a lot of fun.”
After playing just seven games for the Sabres last season, Laime decided to retire this summer. He will remain in the game, however, as an analyst for RDS.
“Time flies by,” said Lalime, who went 200-174-48 with a 2.58 goals-against average in a 12-year career that had stops in Pittsburgh, Ottawa, St. Louis, Chicago and Buffalo. “I totally enjoyed every minute of it when I played. Now I’m on the other side and I’ll try to make the best of it and give back as much as I can. We’re very fortunate as players to have the time to travel and do the things we love. When we can give back and help, I think it’s awesome.
But that doesn’t mean the decision to retire wasn’t difficult.
“It’s not an easy day, that’s for sure,” Lalime said. “I’ve been doing that since I’m 5 years old. But you know, it comes to a point where it’s time to move on and I think I’m ready for that. Obviously, I’m sure as the season is going on, I’ll be like, ‘Uh,’ and I’ll miss the game a little bit. But that’s part of it and that’s why I’m staying in it right now and doing stuff like this. I think it helps. You see guys and you see people around and you just keep talking about the game you love.”
Hockey Clinic with Patrick Lalime
Goalies Bachman & Beskorowany pushing forward in their development
Beskorowany, 21, started last season with Idaho of the ECHL, where he posted a shutout in his first professional start and put together a 10-5-4 record, 2.35 goals against average and .928 save percentage during his stay there. The injury to Krahn pushed him to the AHL sooner than expected and he played well, posting a 7-8-1 mark, 2.58 goals against average and a .921 save percentage as a backup to Bachman.
“Just getting to know the area, the guys, being in the locker room and getting used to that mentality and that level of speed, I think it helped my development and my progress that much more,” said Beskorowany, a second round pick in 2008.
Like Bachman, he’s looking to make a case that he is ready to take a step forward in his career.
“We’ve got a strong core of goalies here with Kari Lehtonen, Andrew Raycroft, Bachs, me and Jack Campbell, but every year it’s a push, the next step. This year I am pushing for that No.1 job in Austin and some time up here if needed,” Beskorowany said. “Last year I got jumped up one step in my progress but right now I am back on track. I am starting as a backup. Richard has really earned his spot, so I have to really come and push for that spot.”
Beskorowany has had a solid training camp so far. He looked very sharp in the team’s scrimmage at the Charlottetown Civic Centre last Sunday and he was solid in the preseason opener against Montreal, stopping all eight shots he faced in 29:46 of playing time.
“It was quite the way to start off the season. In front of that crowd and quite a few family and friends up there,” said Beskorowany. “It was quite the experience and something I am never going to forget and hopefully there is going to be a lot more of those.”
Gagner limps off with ankle injury
Edmonton Oilers centre Sam Gagner had a slight limp as he left Rexall Place Saturday night after crashing into the end boards in the second period.
The mishap, after he took a shot on his left ankle, doesn’t appear to be serious.
Gagner injured his ankle when Calgary Flames defenceman Brendan Mikkelson rode the forward into the wall on Gagner’s seventh shift of the night.
At the time, it looked like Gagner may have also hit his head on the boards because he was down for a couple of minutes as trainer T.D. Forss came out to see him, but the Oilers dismissed that.
He’s out day-to-day. “Just precautionary,” said Oilers head coach Tom Renney, when asked if Gagner, who played 2-1/2 minutes in the second period, could have returned as the Oilers beat the Flames 2-1. He wasn’t scheduled to play Sunday in Calgary anyway.
Loktionov Clears the Air (Larionov)
“I’ll be mad about me, about myself,” said Loktionov. “But I don’t want to talk about Manchester. I want to stay here, just focus on here.”
The 21-year-old native of Voskresensk, Russia was one of the Kings’ best players in their split-squad pre-season game against the Coyotes at Staples Center on September 21.
“I played good, actually, maybe, in the first period,” he said. “But then I slowed down. Then, I started playing good again in the third period. I think it was a good [first game].”
But Loktionov did not think he was one of the Kings’ best players in the game.
“I don’t think so,” said Loktionov. “I played my first game in a long time. I think I played, last time, February 28 [due to injury]. I think I played not too bad.”
“I think I played good offensively,” added Loktionov. “We had a lot of good chances to score, we had a lot of shots. I think we played good in the defensive zone, too.”
Loktionov is expected to get another long look tonight against Anaheim.
“We’ll see how things go,” said Murray. “I liked his game [against Phoenix]. He’s a very good hockey player, and a very good person who has shown great growth in a couple of years.”
“There’s a lot of hockey here in front of us,” added Murray. “There’s a lot of games to play, and he’s going to be a part of that. We’ll see how it all unfolds later on.”
Montreal Canadiens’ Scott Gomez off to promising start
Only those quick enough to flip to RIS would see Gomez’s goalmouth pass deflect behind Senators goalie Craig Anderson with 36.5 seconds left on the clock, banked in off the skate of Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson.
(The next night, a much larger RDS viewership saw Ottawa’s Chris Neil carom the third-period equalizer off the skate of Canadiens’ Jeff Woywitka, then add the winner with 27.3 seconds left to play.) The highlight of Gomez’s Friday, then, was edited from the view of the vast majority, the Rogers feed restored for the shootout and the end of the Canadiens’ 4-3 come-from-behind win, their first of the preseason.
After hockey’s version of the erased Watergate tapes, how could a guy with Gomez’s cell number resist?
“TV feed died just before you scored, so your goal is just a rumour,” I texted him Friday night. “Need proof. Bring me the broomstick of the wicked witch!”
The reply came Saturday afternoon in a light-hearted text which neither produced nor promised the broomstick as evidence. NHL game summaries don’t lie, dropped television feeds notwithstanding.
Yet TV lightning almost struck again on Sunday in Halifax. RDS’s golf coverage wedged into the Habs-Bruins game by nearly four minutes, almost missing the pretty Gomez breakaway goal at 6:54 that gave Montreal its only lead in Boston’s 7-3 rout.
It’s a little early to say that Gomez is reborn, but his effort thus far is encouraging.