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Saturday, July 9, 2011

2011 Boston Bruins Development Camp: Day 3 recap

It was another day of mostly drills and power skating work. No scrimmages to assess player skills in a competitive setting by.

So, we'll post the link to three new posts on the Boston Bruins development camp happenings for you to look at:

Click here for Day 3 recap, Warsofsky and Cross feature and Brian Ferlin update.

For those not down with a redirect, here's a teaser of the activities from today's camp sessions:

The Boston Bruins prospects continued their on- and off-ice workouts at the Ristuccia Memorial Arena Saturday in front of a large crowd that saw them conduct situational drills practice, followed by a second consecutive day of grueling power skating.

“I’m real sore,” defenseman Ryan Button said just before he headed to the team weight room for an off-ice conditioning session held by strength and conditioning coach John Whitesides. “But that’s a good thing. It means that we’re working hard and hopefully going to see some results.”

Bruins assistant GM Don Sweeney, as has been the case every day since the team came together on Thursday, led the team through its paces along with Providence head coach Bruce Cassidy and goalie coach Bob Essensa. After another productive hour of drills to build individual skills and get the players comfortable with some of the hallmarks of what the Bruins like to employ against the opposition (speed, backside pressure, puck pursuit), skating coach Besa Tsintsadze ran the youngsters through another grueling session of power skating work.

“We’ve been very fortunate to have Paul Vincent, John McLean and Victor [Teleguine], some guys that have certainly helped us and it’s just an opportunity to explore a guy that brings a little different look,” Sweeney said when asked about the move to bring the new skating instructor into the fold. “He’s worked with a lot of NHL players and had, obviously some success and where he has been. It’s kind of a fresh approach. We felt that we could tap into a resource there and obviously primary focus will be here as well as Providence but there’s no reason why guys up here in Boston couldn’t use it too, because he’s got some kind of neat things that take you outside your comfort zone, which is a good thing for us.”

Center Ben Sexton, a seventh-round selection of the Bruins in 2009, echoed Sweeney’s thoughts about the benefit of the skating sessions.

“I thought it was neat,” Sexton told New England Hockey Journal. “Working on different edge and things you don’t really think of while playing in a game, so I thought it was good.”

Button saw the long-term benefit in what the team was doing with the skating work.

“The funny thing about it is that you probably won’t use any of those skills in a game,” he said. “But at the end of the day, they really do make you more of an athlete, which is going to help you skate better. A lot of it’s significantly different than a normal skating stride, but again as I said, it’s going to help us skate a lot better at the end of the day.”

Tsintsadze employs a different, even radical approach to traditional power skating instruction, emphasizing not only the edgework and attention to technique that is the foundation of any skating platform, but by placing a heavy emphasis on integrating pucks into the drills and forcing players to conduct movements that are alien to them. One such drill occurred when he had the players skate backwards while hopping over their sticks from blue line to blue line.

“I think deep down, the next drill coming, you don’t know necessarily what it is and you can be the one struggling,” said Sweeney. “There’s some ribbing going on, I’m not going to tell you, there’s guys that are like, ‘Can I send you a manual for that one?’ Because, I mean it happens. Everybody is feeling that way and one might click for you, but you might be embarrassed in the very next one, so I think that’s the beauty of that and he’ll find something during the course of the time here, I’m sure that you won’t be able to do and you’ll be challenged.

“I love the fact, to be honest with you, I love the fact that guys are falling down, guys are really trying to do the things. There was no one mailing something in out there in the course of the past couple of days from the power skating side of it that weren’t really trying to be like, ‘Wow, this is kind of neat stuff.’”

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