MONTREAL -- There was no Zdeno Chara in the Boston Bruins lineup in Monday night’s preseason opener against the Montreal Canadiens, but the rest of the B’s kiddie defenseman corps didn’t miss his oversized 6-foot-9 presence.
Rookie blueliner Zach Trotman has worked as Chara’s defensive partner throughout training camp, and he potted his first-career goal wearing a Boston Bruins uniform in the B’s 6-3 win over the Habs at the Bell Centre. But Trotman’s slap shot blast from the blue line was just the beginning salvo for a B’s defensemen group that enjoyed a stellar night against Montreal’s group of preseason skaters.
"It felt really good to get off a good shot there, and score that first goal," said Trotman. "That will be one to remember given where I scored it, and best of all the team won."
Torey Krug finished with a team-high three assists while playing a game-high 22:20 for the Black and Gold, and looked every bit as smooth, energetic and creative on the power play as he did last season during the playoffs. It wasn't only Jarome Iginla helped and some team-wide nifty passing that helped produce four power play goals for the Bruins in the victory; the play of Krug at the point spot also opened up the offensive floodgates.
Matt Bartkowski finished with a pair of assists in 20:36 of ice time, and Adam McQuaid, Tommy Cross and Kevan Miller brought plenty of physicality to the table.
Miller led the Bruins with six registered hits, and McQuaid got the team’s first fight of camp in what amounted to a Greco-Roman wrestling match with Montreal wannabee Stefan Fournier.
“I thought all of our ‘D’ played pretty well," Claude Julien said. "I thought Miller was big and strong, and so was Tommy while being more defensive-minded. They did a good job. Trotman has the big shot, and he can certainly add to the offense. He did a great job there. I’m pretty proud of those guys that were playing in their first game tonight.”
Both Krug and Bartkowski did nothing to dissuade people from thinking they deserve to be in the Boston lineup on opening night, and perhaps Trotman is now entering that fray as a legitimate dark horse candidate as well.