Saturday, November 30, 2013
B's offer lots of Olympic intrigue
By Joe McDonald
BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins will likely be well represented at the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi.
General manager Peter Chiarelli is serving as assistant GM for Team Canada, while Bruins coach Claude Julien will serve as assistant coach for Team Canada. Players who could represent their country include Tuukka Rask (Finland), Loui Eriksson (Sweden), Zdeno Chara (Slovakia), Patrice Bergeron (Canada), David Krejci (Czech), Milan Lucic (Canada) and Torey Krug (USA).
Julien has been trying to watch as many games as possible when time permits. He wants to be able to give his evaluation of players who are on the bubble of earning a roster spot when Team Canada's hockey operation's staff is ready to make those decisions.
"That's what I do in my spare time," Julien said. "But like anything else, you learn to, I guess, manage your time in a way where all my focus for today is on our team."
When he gets home after a day on the job in Boston, he'll watch the late games. He also believes it helps scouting those teams for when they face the Bruins.
"I'm scouting for two different reasons," he said.
He doesn't have to look too far to scout one player who is on the bubble for Team Canada's roster.
There's been some thought that the international game does not suit Lucic's style of play, but Julien believes the hulking forward could be a nice fit on Team Canada.
"Milan is a good skater. Once he gets going in a straight line, he gets there," explained Julien. "What Milan does, he can certainly keep defensemen on their heels. He's got decent stats this year so that's what he's got and I think at the end of it, you're going to look at if he fits into your top 22 or 23 players and go from there.
"We have to evaluate everybody and see what they bring. At the same time, it's not always about brining top players, and you've heard that before. It's about bringing the best team you can and it takes a variety of different players. You have to have a good power play, have to have good penalty killers. That's what you're looking for; you have to build the best team possible. When it's all said and done, you know there's going to be opinions of, 'Why isn't he on, why isn't that on?' That's part of the process and you live with it. When you win, it's not an issue; when you lose, you have to face those questions, right?"
Olympic rosters will be set by Jan. 7.