(Photo Credit: Score Boston Hockey)

By: James Swindells / Follow me on Twitter @jimswindells68

We’ve made it! From the Bruins’ elimination at the hands of the Carolina Hurricanes in Game Seven to coronating the Colorado Avalanche as Stanley Cup champions and through the dog days of summer and our reward? The start of training camp and our first glimpse of hockey to fire up the 2022-’23 NHL season.

We know of all the changes that took place; Jim Montgomery was installed as the new head coach, the addition of Pavel Zacha, and the returns of David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron. And we have seen the hype and hope placed on a pair of promising prospects, Fabian Lysell and John Beecher.

The time is upon us, and the Bruins hope to gain answers to some questions that need answering at the onset of camp:

With the Bruins missing Brad Marchand for approximately the first quarter of the season, what will the first-line pairing look like under Montgomery? As camp got underway, Montgomery took an opportunity to put Fabian Lysell and Pavel Zacha out on the first pairing with the incumbent center, Patrice Bergeron. The duo received an up-close look at how things operate under the tutelage of Bergeron and, in Zacha’s case, a master’s course of what will be expected of him as Montgomery has said he plans to pair Zacha with Bergeron and Jake DeBrusk. Zacha will have an opportunity to revive a career that has not lived up to the expectations placed on the sixth overall selection from 2015 and will have an excellent mentor in Bergeron.

Fabian Lysell comes into camp with all eyes on him. He has been at the forefront of Bruins fans’ minds since his performances in the WHL playoffs, the IIHF World Junior Championship, and the Prospects Challenge. Lysell has an opportunity to give Bruins coaches and management a tough decision to make with an excellent showing in training camp and preseason games. Lysell checks off many boxes that make him an intriguing selection to obtain a roster spot coming out of camp. Lysell understands the importance of his chance, and gaining knowledge from the likes of Bergeron is immeasurable.

Former 2019 first-round selection John Beecher also opened eyes with his performance in Buffalo at the Prospects Challenge earlier this month. Following a late-season stint in Providence, where Beecher provided some solid production, he followed it up with a very impressive and productive weekend in upstate New York. This past summer, Beecher got himself into shape by shedding 15 pounds off his 6’3″ 210-pound frame. At the start of camp, Beecher said he had a very simple goal “Make the team.”

Montgomery will be tasked with mixing the lines in camp with prospects and the team’s veteran players. The hope is that Montgomery can get some of the same results that DeBrusk provided after a pairing with Bergeron and Marchand. Training camp and the six preseason games that the Bruins play will give Montgomery and his coaching staff a look at what is available to him inside the organization. Montgomery gave press members his thoughts on what he saw after camp practice on Thursday.


After three training camp practices, Montgomery and his coaches would get an opportunity to get their first live game action look at a roster mostly comprised of young talent in the Bruins’ first preseason game versus the Philadelphia Flyers.

In his first game action since tearing his ACL, Jakub Zboril was the player who stood out the most in Saturday’s game. Decisive puck movement, confident, assertive decision-making in the offensive zone, and a solid overall game. Zboril hardly looked like a player in his first live-action since recovering from ACL surgery.

In an uneven and sloppy game, in which the Flyers defeated the Bruins 2-1, there were few signs of players looking to take advantage of open roster spots. Jakub Lauko netted the Bruins’ only goal of the night, taking advantage of a poor Flyers defensive zone exit; Lauko took a loose puck in the slot and slipped a wrist shot past the blocker side of Flyers’ goalie Troy Grosenick. The Bruins power play managed an 0-for-6 effort, albeit with line combinations having little semblance to what opening night pairings will be. The game was, in every sense, a preseason effort. The team is trying to forge its identity in Montgomery’s system, all while shaking off the rust after only three practices.

Montgomery will continue to give his young prospects opportunities throughout the early preseason games. He will continue to mix up his line pairings in search of chemistry while sprinkling in some veteran talent. The Bruins lineup will likely look a bit more familiar when they return to TD Garden ice on Tuesday versus the New York Rangers in another audition for the young prospects while Montgomery tries to get answers to what his opening night roster will look like.