After Anders Bjork was among the many final huge group of cuts by the Bruins, coach Bruce Cassidy – ever forthright – conceded that the Notre Dame product “pushed again” on the transfer. Bjork thought he had a fairly good camp, which he did, and he let the coach know that.
It was nothing disrespectful, thoughts you, and it was really the type of response for which he coach hoped.
Nonetheless, tales of high prospects who nearly make the large membership solely to sputter as soon as they report back to their AHL locations are fairly frequent, whether or not it’s from disappointment, overconfidence or no matter purpose. It was one thing to keep watch over.
That, nonetheless, doesn’t sound just like the case with Bjork. Not solely did he pitch in with a aim and an help within the P-Bruins opening weekend that produced two street wins, Bjork is specializing in the issues that can get him again to e NHL.
“Everybody desires to play within the NHL,” mentioned Bjork on the Dunkin’ Donuts Heart final week, “however there are positively issues I can work on. I had good conversations with Butchie and administration as properly. I recognize their ideas and the recommendation they gave me, what I have to work on. I agree with it. It’s good we’re on the identical web page there. Clearly, gamers can have a look at it as a adverse, getting despatched down and never enjoying precisely the place you wish to be. However personally I’m enthusiastic about this chance to work on issues and possibly play a bit extra and possibly develop my recreation to get it to the place I would like it to be.”
Whereas expert gamers like Bjork typically get despatched to the farm to work on the much less glamorous particulars of the sport, the B’s are hoping Bjork regains the end he had when he left ND early (21-31-52 totals in 35 video games his junior season) and earlier than his first two professional seasons ended prematurely with shoulder surgical procedure.
“I had a great quantity of probabilities within the preseason and I understand what my strengths are in attending to these space for probabilities,” mentioned Bjork. “Now I feel I simply have to get somewhat little bit of my contact again and discover methods to complete extra of these performs and constantly produce.”
Whereas Bjork performed a lot of his collegiate profession and early in his professional profession on the appropriate wing, the left taking pictures Bjork has performed nearly solely on left facet throughout rookie and coaching camp and final weekend with Windfall this season. Enjoying on the robust facet does have its benefits.
“It’s not that huge of a distinction for me, actually, however I do like being on my forehand a bit and having that chance to make faster gamers and likewise keep away from reducing within the center as a lot as a result of I feel that acquired me int hassle a bit after I was up with Boston the final couple of years,” mentioned Bjork. “I feel I had a bent to do this from faculty. I feel I wish to drive the puck down and to the web extra and being on the my forehand on the left helps with that.”
With the ahead strains in Boston unsettled regardless of the early success, Bjork might nonetheless play an essential function with the varsity. If the assumption that he’s finest fitted to the left facet is cemented in Windfall then he gained’t be that excellent match on David Krejci‘s proper facet – Karson Kuhlman and Brett Ritchie are at present getting seems there – however he might give Cassidy extra choices, reminiscent of bumping up present third line left wing Danton Heinen over to the Krejci’s proper facet and Bjork might transfer into Heinen’s spot.
However in the meantime, Bjork can work on his craft outdoors of the highlight.
“I feel there could be a little much less stress for guys once they come down since you don’t have that worry of being despatched down on a regular basis,” mentioned Bjork. “You possibly can actually concentrate on the issues that you must work on and may I try this with out as a lot stress. However there’s nonetheless that competitors right here, which is sweet. It pushes all of us. That’s one thing I’m making an attempt to make use of to my benefit. We’re all opponents and we attempt to embrace that competitors and there are quite a lot of good gamers with ability right here.”
The work ethic has been there for Bjork, mentioned Windfall coach Jay Leach.
“He’s come down and been glorious,” mentioned Leach. “He’s on the ice after follow, he’s all in. He’s terrific. He performed a bunch each nights. He’s proudly owning the puck, he desires to make a distinction, he desires to make performs. All I’ve seen is a need to get again there, and he’s going to let his play communicate for that.”
Sabres for actual?
So are these Buffalo Sabres for actual? Their finest participant, Jack Eichel, may have an enormous hand in answering that query. Eichel had an attention-grabbing week for the Sabres, who began the season at Three-Zero-1. Eichel was a monster of their 5-Four additional time win towards Montreal on Wednesday, producing two targets and two assists within the back-and-forth contest. It was a efficiency befitting the “C” on his sweater.
However he may need been enjoying responsible. Within the Sabres OT loss in Columbus within the recreation earlier than, Eichel was stripped of the puck within the additional session by Nick Foligno, resulting in the Blue Jackets’ game-winner. No disgrace in that. Foligno’s a great and well-paid participant, too. However the lack of the puck occurred within the nook and there was nonetheless time to atone for the turnover. Eichel solely made a half-hearted try to take action.
The North Chelmsford product continues to be solely 22 and it may well take some time for gamers to find out how essential consistency of effort is. However for Eichel to achieve his potential, he nonetheless has to determine that out.
Leach was additionally very proud of the opening weekend of Urho Vaakanainen, the smooth-skating left shot defenseman who had an up-and-down camp.
“He was one in every of our greatest defensemen. He was up the ice, he made the power-play aim occur on Saturday night time,” mentioned Leach. “He was concerned offensively, energetic off the blue line, his gaps have been actually tight. The most important factor for me was that he simply seemed like he was a 12 months older and he was comfy on this league, which is a troublesome league t be in as a defenseman if you’re 19- or 20-years-old. He simply seemed like he was having a great time on the market.”
Having spent most of a decade patrolling the blue line within the AHL, Leach is aware of how robust mentally it may be for a younger prospect.
“You’re pondering ‘I’m not even dominating on this league.’ And there’s quite a lot of expectation there,” mentioned Leach. “However he’s a 12 months older, he’s extra mature, he realizes he’s going to make some errors typically and that’s OK. We’re high-quality with the errors We simply wish to be sure that he’s making an attempt the identical play once more and doing it proper and making that play. It seemed like he was… I’m unsure if I wish to say fearless, however he was. It wasn’t going to hassle him. He’s was simply going to make performs. And he was pondering ‘if I don’t I’ll get again on it as a result of I can skate properly sufficient.’”
Whereas that is Vaakanainen’s second professional 12 months in North America, he was restricted to only 32 video games final 12 months due to a concussion he suffered with Boston initially of the season after which a shoulder harm later within the season in Windfall.
Consistency and good well being are two priorities.
“It’s irritating and it will get in your head,” mentioned the Finn about being injured, “so I simply attempt to be joyful and have a constructive mindset on a regular basis, go day-to-day, recreation by recreation.”…
On Thursday, the B’s get their first have a look at the Lightning, once more one of many favorites to characterize the East within the Stanley Cup Finals. They’d gotten off to a 1-1-1 begin, which is not any huge deal. However their efficiency in an OT loss in Carolina final Sunday was an eyebrow-raiser. They have been outshot by the Hurricanes, 44-13, and managed simply two pictures on internet within the final two-plus durations.
Sure, the Bolts seemed like their previous selves as soon as Brayden Level was inserted into the lineup in Tampa’s 7-Three win Toronto. However the absence of 1 good participant shouldn’t result in the kind of no-show efficiency the Bolts.gave in Carolina….
Lastly, if it’s too troublesome to institute a 15-second statute of limitation on offsides, can we simply do away with the entire problem? Please?