Alexander Khokhlachev Rolls With The Punches
PROVIDENCE- “I won’t play in Providence all my life.”
With those words, Bruins prospect Alex Khokhlachev made some headlines during training camp. Stating that he felt his time to become a regular with big club had come, Khokhlachev inquired, if not demanded, the Bruins to give him his opportunity.
It didn’t work out that way.
On October 1, Khokhlachev and four others were assigned back to Providence to begin the season. “Every guy in the club wants to stay up”, Khokhlachev said, “(When I was sent down) I wasn’t very happy.”
That’s to be expected from someone who has led the P-Bruins in scoring in each of the last two seasons, but the Bruins’ 2011 2nd-round draft pick understands that it’s part of the business and that he just needs to keep his head up and keep playing. “It’s (the management’s) decision and I just have to keep working. I just have to play my game, play my best and do whatever the coaches tell me to do. Hopefully it works out.”
During last night’s opening-night 2-1 overtime defeat to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, Khokhlachev showed flashes of brilliance late in the third period, something that might be exactly what the Boston Bruins are looking for. Khokhlachev made two nifty passes, a breakout pass to center-ice and a nice set-up in front of the WBS net. The ensuing offensive zone attack eventually led to Frank Vatrano’s game-tying goal, where Khokhlachev was credited with the assist.
However, there were some moments in the game in which Khokhlachev looked lost. More so evident in the overtime period, where a miscommunication with his D-man led to a turnover in Providence’s own zone, leading to Scott Wilson’s game-winning goal just 1:18 into overtime.
Khokhlachev knows that if he wants to get called up to, and ultimately stay with the Bruins, he needs to to improve his play in all three zones. When asked about what he needs to improve on, Khokhlachev said simply “My all-around game. Every player wants to improve, so just my overall game.”
Alexander Khokhlachev picked up an assist and had a team-high five shots on goal in Providence’s 2-1 loss Friday night against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. (Photo credit: Angela Spagna/Bruins Daily)
For some hockey players, it’s the teammates around them that can really help shape one’s game. Starting on a line with Zach Philips and Brandon DeFazio, as well as seeing time with Vatrano, Brian Ferlin and Austin Czarnik, Khokhlachev is confident that his wingers can really help him improve his overall skills.
“We’re all good players. I’m happy to be playing with them…I think we have a good team.”
Despite being handed a tough defeat on opening night, Khokhlachev is still pretty optimistic about this year’s squad, “We had a lot of chances, we just did not score on the power-play” (Providence was 0-for-6 with the man-advantage) “but we have a good team and I’m looking forward to playing this year.”
Some may see Khokhlachev’s comments as arrogant or self-centered. Other may see as a competitor’s attitude. No matter how one may see it, no one can argue that Khokhlachev has brought increased attention to himself. With that, not only will the Bruins management have their eyes on Khokhlachev, but almost almost all of Bruins Nation will be watching him as well