BOSTON — After practice Monday, Bruins head coach Claude Julien mentioned that Blake Wheeler’s balance has been better this camp because the winger changed his skates from last season.
Today at TD Garden, Wheeler explained his move from Bauer skates back to CCM after he went through an on-ice practice.
“I wore CCM skates my entire life and gave Bauer a shot last year. I don’t know. It didn’t really work out as well as I’d like,” said the third-year forward, whose goal total dropped from 21 to 18 from his rookie to sophomore year. “It’s a great product, a great skate, but for me I guess the best fit was these and I feel different. I feel a lot better, a lot quicker and a lot more like myself. I’m able to make a little more 1-on-1 moves and be a little bit more effective like that.”
Wheeler explained that with skates, it’s all about feel out on the ice. And he had a difficult time with stopping on a dime and making quick turns. Now his skating should be much better with better tools at his toes.
“Nothing felt wrong. The skate felt great. It felt good [when I put it on]. For whatever reason, in crucial spots when I’m trying to go quicker to a puck or get a turnover, just kind of get that initial burst of speed that I need, I’d skid out or go down or any number of things,” said Wheeler. “It was really frustrating for me because I couldn’t really pin point it. But once I threw these on this summer, I felt it right away. It was good to get that behind me.”