Boston Bruins show rust in scrimmage against Providence Bruins
Final Score: Boston Bruins 5, Providence Bruins 7
The Boston Bruins faced its AHL affiliate team, the Providence Bruins, in a scrimmage Tuesday night at the TD Garden. This is the only game action the Bruins will see before the 48-game NHL season begins on Saturday. Despite the Bruins’ 7-5 loss, the result will serve as a learning experience for Bruins coach Claude Julien and his players.
The B’s showed a bit of rust right out of the gate, but the pace and tempo of the game as a whole wasn’t bad. However, the team needs to work on its execution in the coming days. The scrimmage overall was a success as its purpose was to get a better understanding of how ready the players were and what needs to be worked on before the official season begins.
- The Bruins distributed 17,565 complimentary tickets for the scrimmage and played in front of a “sold-out” crowd. Once the Bruins hit the ice, the fans gave them a standing ovation.
- The teams both put on a good show as the game was tied at two heading into the final period before Providence scored three unanswered goals, taking a 5-2 lead. Boston came roaring back and scored three goals to tie up the game, but it was not enough as Providence scored two more goals, one of which was an empty-netter.
- The Providence Bruins did a great job as they used their superior sharpness to their advantage, and playing in front of a good crowd and the Bruins’ front office and coaching staff clearly motivated them.
Players of the Game
- Dougie Hamilton, the rookie defenseman, “is more poised with the puck than he was [Tuesday night],” according to Julien. “We kind of expected that in his first game. Guys put a lot of pressure on themselves, and the biggest thing for us will be to calm him down.” Hamilton showed more than enough skating ability to play in the NHL, and his occasional puck bobbles were forgivable.
- Nathan Horton made his debut playing for the first time since sustaining a season-ending concussion last Jan. 22. He did not have the puck much, but had no problem with the pace and was not bothered by contact.
- Chris Bourque has impressed Julien and is a favorite for the third-line winger position. Although occasionally too cute with the puck, he had a three-point night on Boston’s most productive even-strength line, and contributed to a power-play goal by Dennis Seidenberg.
Quote of the Game
“You can take a lot out of this and work with it,” Julien said. “Certainly, there are some areas tonight that weren’t very good and we’ll certainly work on. Our puck movement, sometimes you try to be too cute, and we have to be more effective than cute. Those are things we have to get out of our game early because we’re going to be playing a team on Saturday that comes at you hard and has a lot of jam and grit. We have to be ready for that.”
The Bruins will host the New York Rangers on Saturday at the TD Garden. The puck is set to drop at 7 p.m. The two teams met last season on April 1 when Boston defeated New York 2-1 and kept them from securing the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.