NORTH SMITHFIELD, R.I. Those hoping to get a glimpse of the Bs future during a pair of Providence Bruins preseason games this week in Marlborough will get exactly what theyre looking for.
The P-Bruins will square off against the Springfield Falcons tonight at the New England Sports Center in Marlborough, and Providence coach Bruce Cassidy indicated that young prospects like Jared Knight, Ryan Spooner, Torey Krug, Justin Florek and Tommy Cross should be getting ample ice time.
Seasoned veterans like Chris Bourque, Christian Hanson and Trent Whitfield probably wont play until Saturdays preseason finale against Springfield in Western Mass, but youth will be served after Spooner opened eyes during intra-squad scrimmages over the weekend.
All our tryout guys will play in the first two games, said Cassidy. Our young guys like Florek, Krug, Spooner and Knight will play at least one and maybe both games in Marlborough. The odd guy might play in all three preseason games, and then it will be our probably lineup playing Saturday.
I liked our defense moving the puck during the scrimmages. They did a pretty good job in the defensive zone and breaking things out. Zach Trotman scored a hat trick in the first scrimmage and Tommy Cross has great pedigree. Krug is ready to step in. Spooner was one of the better players and his speed through the neutral zone is something that will be fun to watch. Hes got a second gear there. We just need to get the right wingers with him and I imagine Bourque would be one of them. Hes a very good finisher. Knight, Tyler Randell and Florek are guys I want to see more of.
Should be interesting from an observer perspective as the P-Bruins have a glut of defensemen (nine in total) that are all signed to contracts this season and not all of them will make the squad.
That means established players that dont have very good training camps might be headed for the ECHL with young defenseman like Cross and Krug pushing for jobs along with former NHL blueliner Garnet Exelby.
We all think theyre capable of playing, said Cassidy. In the American Hockey League there are always injuries and it seems like you need eight or nine guys every year. But normally you have the NHL big club also calling guys up and we dont have that this year.
Obviously we want the young guys to play, so theres going to be some tough decisions if we do stay healthy. Either they dont get in the lineup or we get a rotation going. Well deal with that next week.
It wont be the Boston Bruins and its still only preseason, but those NHL hockey fans thirsting for a little puck action will get their first chance tonight by heading to Marlborough for the P-Bruins preseason game.