Pre­sea­son nears end

B’s must be bet­ter

Boston Herald - - BASEBALL SCOREBOARD - By STEPHEN HAR­RIS Twit­ter: @sd­har­ris16

It goes with­out say­ing that the fi­nal score of most NHL ex­hi­bi­tion games has about the same value as the out­come of base­ball spring train­ing games. Zero. It mat­ters not in the slight­est.

So Bru­ins coach Bruce Cas­sidy wasn’t re­ally both­ered by his team’s 5-1 loss in Philadel­phia on Thurs­day night. Nor will he be putting too much mean­ing in tonight’s pre­sea­son fi­nale in Chicago against the Black­hawks.

Yes, there may be one or two fi­nal ros­ter de­ci­sions af­fected by this game, but the most im­por­tant goal is to avoid in­juries.

“Ob­vi­ously I didn’t love our game (Thurs­day),” said Cas­sidy af­ter prac­tice yes­ter­day at War­rior Ice Arena. “Clearly they were the bet­ter team. We put our­selves in a bad spot. I don’t want to be overly crit­i­cal of some of our younger guys be­cause I thought some of our older guys weren’t great, ei­ther. It was just not a good night for some of the guys we rely on.

“I know next week Pasta (David Pas­tr­nak) and Marchie (Brad Marc­hand) are go­ing to be bet­ter play­ers for us. Pe­riod.”

The guess here is the Bru­ins will not dis­patch a vet­eran-filled squad to Chicago. De­fense­man Zdeno Chara, for one, will stay home. No. 2 goalie An­ton Khu­dobin, side­lined briefly this week by a lower body in­jury, will make his sec­ond start of this camp.

Af­ter the game, the Bru­ins will pre­sum­ably get a day off to­mor­row, though it will not ex­actly be fun for the sev­eral guys who’ll be cut in the fi­nal ros­ter re­duc­tion. The B’s then have three days of prac­tice lead­ing to Thurs­day’s sea­son-opener against the Nashville Preda­tors.

Agostino waived

One player who may be on the way out is ex-Yale left winger Kenny Agostino, who was placed on waivers yes­ter­day. If un­claimed, he’d clear at noon today and the team can as­sign him to Prov­i­dence, al­though the 25-year-old has a one-way, $875,000 con­tract and would be a mighty well paid mi­nor lea­guer.

“I think he was as ad­ver­tised,” said Cas­sidy of Agostino, who had a goal, two as­sists and a team-best plus-3 in three games. “He had a lit­tle in­jury there in the mid­dle of camp. We were go­ing to try to move him around with dif­fer­ent peo­ple and it didn’t work out. From what I did see, he’s a smart player (and) he makes plays.

“(But) we’re look­ing to up­grade the speed in the lineup, and in that area we have a few peo­ple in front of him.”

Sick day

One of those speed­i­est hope­fuls, cen­ter Austin Czarnik, had the mis­for­tune of get­ting sick at a bad time. He’s done well and would have played in Chicago.

“Czarnik is un­der the weather and has been for a few days, which is un­for­tu­nate,” said Cas­sidy. “He was a guy I thought had a re­ally good camp (two goals, one as­sist in two games). He was show­ing a lot of en­ergy, bet­ter pop in his stride and he has scored.

“That’s too bad that we didn’t get an­other look at a guy who had a big taste of it last year.”

Czarnik played 49 games with the B’s last sea­son with five goals and 13 points.

It’s a safe bet the 24-yearold will be a quick recall, if needed.

Cehlarik re­turns

It was the first full prac­tice for left winger Peter Cehlarik, who had shoul­der surgery in May.

The 6-foot-2, 203-pound Slo­vak looked pretty good in 11 games with the Bru­ins last year (two as­sists). In 49 games at Prov­i­dence, he had 20 goals and 18 as­sists.

“He looks like he’s im­proved his skat­ing (and) he looks stronger,” said Cas­sidy. “With this in­jury, un­for­tu­nately, we didn’t get a good look at him. We’ve al­ways liked Peter. We won a lot of games with him in the lineup.”

That’s some pretty good recall by Cas­sidy: The B’s went 8-3-0 last year in Cehlarik’s 11 games . . . .

There were some new looks to the lines yes­ter­day in prac­tice, maybe some in­di­ca­tion of who’ll be board­ing the plane to Chicago.

Ryan Spooner’s line in­cluded wingers Matt Be­leskey and Dan­ton Heinen. David Backes was with Frank Va­trano and Sean Ku­raly. And Ri­ley Nash’s three­some in­cluded Tim Schaller and Noel Ac­ciari.

It seems a rea­son­able guess those lines will go against the Hawks.

AP PHOTO

LESS THAN STEL­LAR: Tuukka Rask al­lowed four goals in two pe­ri­ods and just 18 shots on Thurs­day night in Philadel­phia, in­clud­ing this one by Wayne Sim­monds.

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