Robins leading way for B's in gritty effort

Robins leading way for B's in gritty effort
September 18, 2013, 1:15 am
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BALTIMORE – Perhaps it was fitting that it was the grinders and scrappers that came to the forefront for the Bruins in Tuesday night’s preseason 3-2 shootout win over the Washington Capitals at the Baltimore Arena.

It wasn’t the most aesthetically pleasing brand of hockey being played by either Boston or Washington in a building that isn’t used for hockey much anymore, but a group of Boston players brought their hard hats and tool belts with them. Chief among those grinders was Providence Bruins enforcer Bobby Robins, who finished with an assist and a fighting major in an energetic first game suiting up as a member of the Boston Bruins.

"He’s an energy guy, he’s a guy that comes in and will bring some life to your hockey club," Claude Julien said. "I thought even watching him last year there was a lot of times that [Providence] came out, not flat, but they weren’t coming out as hard as they could have. All of the sudden [Robins would] put some life into the game and would turn the tide around.

"For a guy who has been around for a long time, he really gets excited about playing and it shows. Nothing bothered him tonight, he was going back and forth with [Alex] Ovechkin. He didn’t care who he was he was going to do his job no matter who the player was."

Robins didn’t waste any time getting into his first fight either. He got tangled up with Dane Meyers in the corner less than 10 minutes into the first period, and both players didn’t need much convincing to drop the gloves. Both got in their shots before Meyers scored the takedown on Boston’s brawler, and Robins was happy to add to his total of 39 fights for the Providence Bruins last season.

"It was a quick one,” said Robins. “Dan Meyers is a worthy competitor and he battles and fights. We’ve battled against each other before. I figured we’d run into each other at some point, and he came in and grabbed me.

“I wish it would have lasted a little longer but everybody came out safe and sound, and nobody’s feelings were hurt. So it was a positive for everybody. It felt really good out there just to be battling with my team and my linemates. We were just doing our thing and buzzing around in the forecheck and finishing the body, getting the puck to the net. Fortunately we were able to poke one in and turn the momentum and got the win in the end.”

Justin Florek ended up getting credit for that second period goal assisted by Robins that got Boston on the board, and allowed them to hang around until the rest of their Bruins teammates got their act together in the final 20 minutes. But the goal was the result of pure work from that line as both Florek and Robins crashed the Washington net, and caused enough chaos and discomfort that they managed to squeeze a puck past Braden Holtby.

It wasn’t a highlight reel goal, by any means, but it was good, solid bottom-six hockey full of emotion and occasional offense from a player in Robins that continues to show he’s got the right stuff for an NHL gig. It won’t be supplanting any incumbent players on the Bruins roster, but he’s proving he’ll be ready to go if his No. 64 is called in a time of need this season.