WILMINGTON, Mass. — Bruins prospects and coaches alike were wowed by the power-skating instruction of new coach Besa Tsintsadze today during the first on-ice session of Boston’s fifth annual development camp at Ristuccia Arena.
Tsintsadze joined the organization late last season and today showed off the energy and skills that made the Bruins want to hire him.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a better skater than that guy,” said defenseman Marc Cantin. “Hats off to him. It was fun watching him out there. It was neat. I’ve never really done anything like that. I’ve done, obviously, the straight-line, on the one foot, the tight turns. But I’ve never seen the explosiveness that he had and I think the guys really benefit from it.”
“It’s amazing watching [Besa]. It’s amazing how quick he is and … he’s like one of those lizards under water and he’s just walking across the water,” said 2010 second-round pick Jared Knight.
Bruce Cassidy, the new head coach for Boston’s Providence (AHL) farm club, first met Tsintsadze last season.
“Besa, certainly his ability to skate, they should sign him the way he zips around out there,” quipped Cassidy. “That’s something that’s motivation for the players.
“I like what he does with the guys. He keeps them moving, he mixes in edge work with pucks skills work while you’re working your edges and balance.”
The presence of pucks, instead of just sticks, was one of the differences between this year’s power-skating session and past ones.
“Last year, I don’t think we even had pucks and it was all about straight lines,” said Cantin. “This guy, he was all about lateral movement and using both feet and quick starts.”