As the Boston Bruins continue to wait for the Western Conference Final to wrap up, the organization thinks they’ve found a way to stave off lethargy and stay on routine during this long stretch of inactivity. The team has announced that they will hold a public intra-squad scrimmage on Thursday night, exactly one week since they last took the ice for Game Four of the Eastern Conference Final against the Carolina Hurricanes. After sweeping Carolina, the Bruins faced an eleven-day break before the start of the Stanley Cup Final series on Monday and have opted to break up that span by simulating a game day. The Bruins, including their AHL depth recalls, will split their available players in half and square off in two 25-minute periods. With fans in the stands and officials on the ice, Boston hopes this will as closely as possible resemble a true game day, but head coach Bruce Cassidy also acknowledged that he will fabricate specific game situations during the scrimmage to ensure that his special teams units also get work in. There is no doubt that any team entering the Stanley Cup Final would rather have more rest than less and the Bruins are no different. With Zdeno Chara, David Krejci, Noel Acciari, and John Moore among the players nursing minor injuries, not to mention Chris Wagner hoping he can return to game shape at some point during the series, Boston will gladly take the nearly two weeks off. However, they hope for those trying to stay focused and in game condition that the scrimmage on Thursday will be enough to be ready from the start on Monday night.
- After the report earlier that both the Ottawa Senators and Edmonton Oilers were close to naming their new head coaches, The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch reports that Senators GM Pierre Dorion was spotted in Montreal with Patrick Roy today. Roy interviewed for Ottawa’s head coach position on Monday, only to again meet with Dorion and Assistant GM Peter MacTavish today. According to witnesses, the trio left a hotel together in Montreal this afternoon after what can only be assumed is a follow-up meeting about the vacancy. This new obviously vaults Roy, who is the seventh known person to interview for the head coach position, as the clubhouse leader. Roy, who last coached in the NHL with the Colorado Avalanche in 2016, left the post due to his lack of input in player personnel decisions. With the Senators known to also be looking for a President of Hockey Operations, it could be that Dorion also spoke to Roy today about taking on some front office responsibilities as well as coaching duties if hired.
- Although passed up in the NHL Draft prior, 19-year-old Russian goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov was ranked as the top European goalie in this draft class by NHL Central Scouting in their final rankings. Kochetkov was lights out for Russia at the World Juniors earlier this year, named the tournament’s Best Goaltender behind a .953 save percentage and 1.45 GAA. He also performed extremely well in the VHL, the KHL’s minor league, and looked comfortable in two KHL games with HK Sochi. As impressive a season as he had this year, Kochetkov has a chance to accomplish even more next season. KHL powerhouse SKA St. Petersburg announced today that they have acquired Kochetkov and the teen keeper is expected to serve as the primary backup to NHL veteran Magnus Hellberg next season. Even though he is an over-ager, Kochetkov was always likely to stick around in Europe for a few years before making the jump to North America, so his commitment to SKA next season and beyond won’t deter interested NHL teams. To the contrary, Kochetkov has a great opportunity to grow and learn in St. Petersburg with one of the top teams in the KHL and when he does arrive in the NHL could be a very promising and polished prospect.