BOSTON -- He’s known as ‘Dogman’ or ‘Doggie,’ but on Thursday following his first skate with the Bruins, Kaspars Daugavins -- who was picked up by the Bruins on waivers from the Senators last week -- made it clear he is not here to be a dog on the ice. He is here to work hard and fit in with what he views as one of the hardest-working teams in the NHL.
“It’s a good group and hard-working guys so I think it’s going to be fine,” Daugavins said after the Bruins’ game-day skate in advance of their tilt with the Devils at TD garden tonight. “I’m going to try and help this team as much as I can.”
The Bruins have pretty much owned the Senators for the last four seasons, and while he was around for only the six games against Boston last season and three this season, he acknowledged that the Bruins are one of the most frustrating teams to play against.
“Definitely was really hard to play against these guys,” Daugavins said. “Big size; all the D-men are big and all the forwards work hard. So it was always a 60-minute game. They never get tired and they never stop playing. It’s like a good team effort. They never quit and no matter what the score is they all keep going and going.”
It was hard and we knew it was going to be 60-minute game," he added. "It was like two minutes where we kind of fell apart and then they scored and punished us. Every game seemed like it was a shootout or they score in the last few minutes and it was frustrating. But that’s why these guys are so good, because they never quit.”
On Thursday, Bruins head coach Claude Julien had Daugavins on a line with Rich Peverley and Jay Pandolfo. Daugavins likes to play both ends of the ice and can be successful in the offensive zone, as witnessed when the Bruins beat the Senators 2-1 in a shootout on March 21. Daugavins had a goal and four shots on net in that game, which turned out to be his last as a Senator. But the winger knows that on his new team and on his new line, he will be depended on mainly for defense.
“I’m going to play with Rich and ‘Pando’ [Pandolfo], so obviously we’ll try to get some energy going and try to score some goals too,” said Daugavins, who has one goal and two assists in 19 games this season. “Mainly a defensive role probably.”
But in his morning press briefing, Julien also pointed toward Daugavin’s grit and penalty-killing skills that will help the Bruins.
“I think he’s a big, solid individual. He’s strong on his skates, he’s an above-average skater, one of those guys that will give us some grit,” Julien said. “You know, I don’t know if we’re going to see him penalty killing tonight, but he’s a guy that can penalty kill. Right now, our penalty kill is going well, I think we need to allow him an opportunity to look at it and see what guys do. But you may see him there down the road. He can shoot the puck, certainly, like I said, he’s a solid individual, so he’s going to give us the grit that we need.”
Fans might recall that Daugavins made league-wide headlines in that March 21 game when he tried to send the shootout to another round with a unique and fancy shootout attempt but was denied by Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask. Daugavins joked on Thursday that he is still going to try and beat Rask in practice.
“Maybe. Maybe I have some other crazy moves,” he said.