BOSTON – A little of this and a little of that from today at Bruins training camp.
Another year, another step closer to an NHL job?
We’ll see how it plays out for the 2015 first rounder in his fifth Boston training camp, but it certainly appears that he’s going to get his best opportunity yet to graduate from Providence to the NHL.
One factor in Senyshyn’s favor is that he is more comfortable this time around. He doesn’t hesitate to say he was star-struck in his first couple of camps. “You see Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, it’s like, ‘I’m in a video game,’” he said.
“I definitely feel like my game’s matured a lot. I got a taste of it at the end of last year. I’ve got that confidence. It definitely lit that fire under me, black acing for the playoffs. It was awesome, being a part of the team,’’ he said.
“The whole summer my goal was to make sure I set myself up as best as possible to make that final roster. I was really focused and came here early and ready to work. It’s given me a lot less stress and anxiety this year in camp. I’m really just focusing on what I do well.’’
In the first two days on the ice, Senyshyn has skated at right wing on a line with Jack Studnicka and Brad Marchand.
“When they put you with a guy like (Marchand), it’s an opportunity to learn in practice and be a part of it. It’s awesome to be able to talk to him about what I need to do to make the team,’’ he said.
In Boston’s training camp 12 months ago, the notion that Connor Clifton would finish the year as an NHL regular and be a postseason contributor on a Stanley Cup finalist was far-fetched, to say the least.
And yet that’s exactly how it played out as the young defenseman vaulted over more highly touted prospects to earn a place in Boston’s lineup.
Heading into what he hopes will be his first full NHL season, Clifton is quick to credit the coaching he received while spending the better part of two seasons in Providence under head coach Jay Leach and assistants Spencer Carbery (in 2017-18) and Ryan Mougenel (’18-19), both of whom handled the P-Bruins D-men.
Before that, the staff at Quinnipiac University played a critical role.
“College hockey was great for me. I needed four years to develop and round out my game. Working with (head coach) Rand (Pecknold), Cash (Reid Cashman) and Joe Dumais for my four years there was huge, instrumental in my development,’’ Clifton said.
His former teammate, Chase Priskie, is the latest Bobcat to step up to the pro game, signing a free-agent deal with Carolina last month. He won’t be the last, according to Clifton.
“It’s just the beginning. There will be more in the near future,’’ he said.
After playing 19 games with Boston three seasons ago, Blidh played just one in each of the last two years.
Now in his fifth camp with the Bruins, he’s aiming to convince management that he is capable of being a full-time NHL player.
One of Blidh’s best attributes, according to Leach, is that he brings the same energy every night. Opponents know they won’t get a night off when he’s in the lineup.
In camp, he said, his goal is “to show up every day and show them what kind of player I am, a hard forechecking guy, never give up. Backcheck. Show them.’’
Bruce Cassidy tossed some compliments Paul Carey’s way after Saturday’s skate.
“Paul Carey looks real good to me. He’s a good player,’’ Cassidy said of the veteran left winger whose 22 goals in 30 games down the stretch last season played a pivotal role in Providence making the Calder Cup playoffs.
In 2015, Carey played for Cassidy in Providence for 17 regular-season games and four playoff games.
“You could see it. Had good speed, shoots the puck well,’’ Cassidy said. “He’s a great depth player for us.’’