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‘Lumberjack Zach’ Senyshyn is displaying an uptick in strength and speed for the Bruins this season

Sunday's loss to the Devils marked Zach Senyshyn's third NHL game of the season.Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

The 1-2 punch of injuries and COVID entanglements has played a part in Zach Senyshyn seeing playing time of late in the Bruins’ patchwork quilt of a lineup.

The rookie winger, a candidate to suit up for his 10th NHL game Tuesday night in a Garden rematch with the Devils, buckled down last summer with some extra training at the Ottawa-based Canadian Strength Institute.

Chris Kelly, the Bruins’ player development coordinator and longtime Ottawa Senator, recommended Senyshyn to CSI, where trainers Sean Young and Derek Froats focused on building the 2015 first-round pick’s strength and speed.

The opportunities this season have been limited, but Senyshyn has looked more vibrant and engaged — faster on his feet and more inclined to shoot.


Senyshyn gave credit to Young, Froats … and some backyard trees at his home in Ottawa. The fourth-year pro said he chopped a lot of wood during the pandemic pause last year as a means of building upper-body strength.

“Sure did,” said the smiling Lumberjack Zach, noting, “Through snow, through rain, through a lot of other kinds of stuff … we were kind of using anything and everything possible to get the upper edge on guys.”

Zach Senyshyn has yet to find the net this season.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Senyshyn skated at right wing in Sunday’s 1-0 loss to the Devils, riding with center Charlie Coyle and Anders Bjork. He logged nine minutes in ice time (16 shifts), fired three times, and landed two on net. If he suits up Tuesday night, he’ll be looking for his first point in four games this season. He’s averaging two shots a game, an indication of a shot-ready mentality.

“A younger version of myself might be looking around and waiting for some other guys to do some stuff,” he said, “but for me right now, I’m coming in guns blazing, ready to make an impact. I think I’d only be talking myself out of a job if I started to look at other guys to do stuff.”


Senyshyn showed minimal pop in his first three years at AHL Providence, but this season, perhaps because of improved strength and speed, he posted a more robust 5-4—9 line in 11 games before being summoned to Boston.

Feeding off anger

Trent Frederic, who hasn’t logged so much as a two-minute minor the last six games, still leads the Bruins with 53 penalty minutes, in part because of scraps earlier this month with Brendan Lemieux (ex-Ranger now in LA) and Washington superheavyweight Tom Wilson.

Playing angry, Frederic believes, brings up his all-around level of play.

Trent Frederic fights for position against Philadelphia's Mark Freidman in a game earlier this season.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

“Yeah, I believe so,” he said following Monday’s optional workout. “In the past, when I was in Providence, I think every time I got in a fight I think I might have scored later in the game, or something like that for a little bit there.

“There’s definitely some translation for sure. When you’re playing angry, you’re playing with a little extra fire and a little extra stuff goes a long way.”

In the absence of the COVID-sidelined Brad Marchand, Frederic moved up the last two games to top-line duty with Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak. He also saw some time on the No. 2 power-play unit.

Ever since his matching game misconducts with Lemieux on March 13, Frederic has not been the same gnarly, irascible character we saw earlier this season. When at his nastiest, he looks a tiny bit like long-ago left winger Wayne Cashman, who made surliness his brand, especially along the wall and in the corners.


“I think he’s trying to be physical, get in there and stir the pot whenever possible,” said coach Bruce Cassidy, who feels opponents of late haven’t presented likely matchups for Frederic to fight. “The kind of nastiness is just something that came out of him and developed, and that’s great. You need some of those guys that stir the pot in your lineup.”

Rask is not ready

Tuukka Rask, his injured lower back slow to repair, did not skate and will be sidelined at least the next two games. Jaro Halak and Dan Vladar will split the Tuesday (Devils) and Thursday (Penguins) starts, but Cassidy won’t reveal the rotation until Tuesday morning … Injured blue liners Kevan Miller (knee) and Brandon Carlo (concussion) participated in the optional workout and are inching back toward a return … Assistant coach Kevin Dean, absent from bench duty Saturday and Sunday because of close COVID contact, was on the ice for the late-morning skate … Sean Kuraly, out on COVID protocol since a week ago Thursday, briefly skated on his own at Brighton before the club’s workout … As of Monday morning, the Bruins stood next-to-last in five-on-five goals, scoring 48 times in 31 games. Only the Sabres (41 goals/33 games) are worse ... Tuesday is Senyshyn’s 24th birthday ... The Bruins sent thoughts and prayers to the loved ones of Bobby Schmautz, who passed away in Arizona on Sunday, his 76th birthday. The undersized Schmautz played 13 NHL seasons, and was part of the Cup Final teams in 1974, 1977, and 1978. His overtime winner in Game 4 of the ‘78 Final against Montreal highlighted the parts of seven seasons (1973-80) he spent on Causeway Street.


Kevin Paul Dupont can be reached at kevin.dupont@globe.com.