The Boston Bruins hosted and lost 7-5 to their AHL affiliate Providence Bruins last night. It was a game setup to get the team back into the swing of things and drum up excitement for the fans. “It was fun being out there again, the crowd was great, they gave a lot of energy,” said fan favorite Brad Marchand. “I’m sure it was fun for them, it was definitely exciting for us.”
The largest predicament on the evening for most fans was who to cheer for, “I heard people booing the Bruins,” said Melissa Keen, a life long Bruins fan who made the drive to Boston from Warwick, Rhode Island. “It was more confusing than anything, since everyone on the ice is a big happy family.”
Family or not, when roster spots are involved it’s every man out to prove he’s worth a chance come opening night. Chris Bourque has played exceedingly well for Providence this season with 8 goals and 20 assists and thus far has transitioned that play into success during camp in Boston. “It’s something that I’ve always dreamed of, putting on a Bruins sweater and skating on the Garden ice,” said Bourque. “It felt great to finally do that and hopefully I’ll get a chance come Saturday night.”
The game proved a larger opportunity for some players who didn’t get an invite to training camp; allowing coaches to see them in action. One player that showcased his abilities last night was Maxime Sauve, with 4 goals and 9 assists in Providence so far this season, he was able to net 2 goals and an assist during last nights match up. Not receiving an invite to camp wasn’t disappointing for the Providence forward, “I gave my impression during the game, I’ll see what happens after,” continued Sauve. “We play it like a normal game, just have fun and play hard.”
With opening night just a few days away, the abbreviated training camp has forced players to get back into fighting shape. With time not on their side, players will be forced to quickly find the rhythm that’s brought success during past seasons. Losing 7-5 isn’t an ideal situation, but the scenario allows Boston a few days to examine strengths and weaknesses. “It was good to get a 60-minute game under our belts before we start a real game,” said goaltender Tuukka Rask. “It was sloppy for all of us, but rather take it now than Saturday.”
Fans will hope that sentiment rings true, as the New York Rangers, a notably successful team while playing in Boston take to the ice to finally start the 2013 season Saturday evening at the Garden.