Friday, September 13, 2013
Final buzzer: Notes from Day 2 of camp
By Joe McDonald
BOSTON -- Bruins forward Carl Soderberg is competing for a roster spot during training camp and he's hoping the brief contributions he made last spring will help his cause.
He arrived at camp in great shape and wants to prove he can help the Bruins. After he signed with Boston late last season, and transferred to the NHL from the Swedish Elite League, Soderberg played only six regular-season and two playoff games. Now, getting a fresh start at camp, he believes it will help his chances at earning a roster spot.
"Of course it's pretty nice to be here at the beginning of training camp, but the 11 weeks I had here last season meant so much to me," Soderberg said. "I got to know the guys and the staff, the game in the NHL, too. I had a good workout summer and I came back in good shape."
When Bruins forward Gregory Campbell suffered a broken right leg in the Eastern Conference finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Bruins coach Claude Julien was forced to tweak his lineup. At first, he inserted Kaspars Daugavins into the lineup, but in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals against the Chicago Blackhawks, Soderberg made his NHL playoff debut.
"It was a great experience," he said. "I got to play games in the NHL and it means a lot to me. I'm new here but I don't feel that new."
A natural centerman, Soderberg can play the wing, too. Even though he's been working as a center in the first two days of camp, he'll play any position in order to stay in the lineup.
"It depends what [Julien] wants to do," Soderberg said. "I can play winger or I can play center, it doesn't matter."
Bruins newcomer Loui Eriksson played against Soderberg in the SEL.
"He's a pretty strong player. He's pretty big and he can use his size over here. He has a good shot and he's pretty dangerous," Eriksson said.
At the end of last season, Julien admitted he didn't see enough of Soderberg to give an honest evaluation, but he's been impressed in the early going of training camp.
"He's looking good," Julien said. "He's lost weight but he's also gained some muscle. He was already a strong player to start with. I think he's looking good. When you see him in those battle drills, he's pretty strong on the puck and we like that about him. He's got a good skill level, he can shoot the puck well and make plays so he'll get a great opportunity in those preseason games to showcase himself and show the improvement."
* Only two days into camp, newcomer Jarome Iginla already appears comfortable playing with David Krejci and Milan Lucic.
"I've enjoyed it the last couple of days getting to skate with them," Iginla said. "They are great players and have great chemistry together. I'd like to play with them and help them out. As far as building chemistry, it's just time together and getting used to tendencies."
Once the exhibition games begin, it will give the Bruins' top line a chance to showcase its complete skill and there's no reason not to think that trio will have a major impact this season.
* Julien isn't ready to single out any of the young players just yet as to which one has stood out in the first two days of camp. Both he and GM Peter Chiarelli told the group of prospects during rookie camp that there are a few roster spots available for the taking. When asked who has impressed him the most so far, Julien said he's pleased with what he's seeing from all of them.
"There's a lot of them. There's nobody that is kind of on his own but there are a lot of good players who are showing some good things here," Julien said. "I think those kind of answers to me get answered during those preseason games because you've got some players that, going out would look great in practice but get them in a game situation they're really good players. And then you get the opposite, guys that are fine in practice, look great and you think, 'Wow, I can't wait to see them in a game' and the game starts and he becomes invisible or nothing gets accomplished. So you get those kind of players so to me, I'm careful about assessing players before I see them in a real game or a game type situation."
One player who has been really impressive has been forward Reilly Smith. He was one of the three prospects acquired from the Dallas Stars as part of the Tyler Seguin trade.
"Getting traded was obviously mixed emotions," Smith said. "It pretty much came out of left field. I wasn't expecting it at all going into this summer to be traded. I found out on Twitter, actually, so that was kind of funny. But it's a big difference coming from Dallas to Boston. There are higher expectations here."
The first two days Smith has been on the line with Chris Kelly and Jordan Caron.
* Set your DVRs because the second episode of the new all-access "Behind the B" series will air on Oct. 1 at 8 p.m. on NESN.