Bruins 2018-19 Preseason Recap
Photo Credit: Brian Babineau/Boston Bruins
The temperature in New England is beginning to dip into the low 70s and high 60s. It is becoming cooler, which means only one thing—the professional hockey season is almost here.
Saturday evening, the Boston Bruins wrapped up their preseason with a 4-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers—finishing the preseason 5-1-2. Now the attention turns to Wednesday night, when the Bruins will open their season against the Stanley Cup champions, the Washington Capitals in Washington D.C. While the preseason was successful, head coach Bruce Cassidy said there is much to improve on.
“Our respect for the game. That means puck management, details, stopping and starting on pucks,” said Cassidy. “Some of that you allow your veteran guys to play through in hope that their habits will come back to them quickly, but we have some guys that are second-year players that are struggling with that right now. They need to be reminded that 80-100 games under your belt is good, a good building block, but as [Zdeno Chara] pointed out you want to continue to establish yourself as a true NHLer.”
Bruins go 2-0-0 in China
The beginning of the preseason for the Bruins consisted of two games in China as a part of the second 2018 O.R.G. NHL China Games against the Calgary Flames. Both teams spent more than a week in China—traveling to the Great Wall of China, Hong Kong, and the Forbidden City all between games in Shenzhen and Beijing.
A 16-hour flight means there is plenty of time to get comfy with the other guys on the trip —plenty of time to form new relationships. For some, this chemistry was the highlight of the trip, and hopefully, those bonds will transfer and progress in the regular season.
“I think probably the biggest thing you try to get is chemistry in training camp,” Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk said. “Obviously with the number of experiences we’ve had on this trip, I think it brings that out naturally, especially for the younger guys mingling with the older guys. I think it helps them a lot. Hopefully, that translates on the ice as well.”
The Bruins went 2-0-0 overseas—defeating the Flames 4-3 in overtime in Shenzhen on Saturday and 3-1 in Beijing on Wednesday.
Lauko signs with Bruins
General manager Don Sweeney confirmed Friday that Jakub Lauko signed an entry-level contract and will report to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Lauko made it clear he wanted to stay in America, and while it won’t be Providence, the 18-year-old is proud to be staying in North America.
— Jakub Lauko (@jakub_lauko) September 28, 2018
The Bruins drafted Lauko in the third round—77th overall—of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.
Bjork returns, Krug injured
After undergoing shoulder surgery back in January, Anders Bjork made his preseason debut during Saturday night’s 4-1 loss to the Flyers.
“It felt all right, a little rusty,” Bjork said. “It’s hard to prepare for, even with our practices. I think I was lucky enough that our camp is really high-paced and pretty physical. I think I was as ready as I could be … but when you don’t play a game in seven or eight months you’re going to be a little rusty. Definitely felt it a little bit.”
Bjork skated 16 minutes in place of David Backes on the third-line right wing and hopes his performance earns him a spot on the roster for Wednesday night.
“Obviously I was in a weird situation [coming back from injury], so who knows what will happen, but that’s obviously the goal,” Bjork said.
However, a roster spot might be opening up on defense, as defenseman Torey Krug is out for three weeks with an ankle injury. Krug missed the majority of the preseason as he recovered from a fractured ankle.