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Wheels is On a Roll

Tuesday, 09.23.2008 / 7:48 AM ET / Features
By John Bishop  - BostonBruins.com
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Wheels is On a Roll
Blake Wheeler
Halifax, NS – Tuesday morning, Blake Wheeler has every right to wake up feeling pretty good about himself.

Starting with his assist on Vladimir Sobotka’s preseason-opening goal in the first period of Monday night’s 8-3 win over Montreal, Wheeler was on the ice for half of Boston’s scoring plays. And although his current exhibition points total line reads 0-1-0, Wheeler surely deserves a large share of the credit for the Bruins victory.

But by the sounds of it, Wheeler knows not to take anything for granted and will be sure to hit Tuesday’s practice at Cole Harbour Place with his usual gusto.

“It just felt good to be out there,” said Wheeler. “Getting to go out there and put this uniform on for the first time in the midst of some pretty good company was awesome.

“It was a little nerve wracking at first, but once you get the first couple of shifts out of the way, it felt good.”

The man called “Wheels” used them yesterday, particularly on the Sobotka goal when he dished to the streaking sophomore forward. But Blake’s game is acquiring an edge as well, and that had many people in the press box abuzz about the B’s rookie.

Wheeler freely admits, however, that he has lots to learn about the NHL’s style of play.

“Playing in college, I wouldn’t say that I was mucking it up in the corners very often – especially with the big ice (at Minnesota’s Mariucci Arena) and being a center, it just really wasn’t part of my game,” he explained. “But now I am finding success doing that.

“Freeing up pucks for my linemates, creating space out there, screening the goalie, and just doing whatever it takes to help the guys get opportunities, that’s my role,”

“As long as the puck is going in the net, who cares who’s scoring,” said the collegiate sniper.

While he talked about the game, the former Minnesota Golden Gopher alternated between the demeanor of a seasoned veteran and the giddiness of a kid at Christmas, and on this night, it was obvious that the kid won out.

“To be able to play on a line with guys who have played in the NHL before is pretty awesome,” said Wheeler. “I can’t really think of a better word for it.

“They make the game so easy and all you have to do is keep your head on a swivel and work hard; they will take care of the rest.”

But there is a good chance that having Wheels on the line will keep things rolling, too.

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ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
2 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
3 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
4 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
5 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
6 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
7 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
8 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Bergeron 80 32 36 12 68
L. Eriksson 82 30 33 13 63
D. Krejci 72 17 46 4 63
B. Marchand 77 37 24 21 61
R. Spooner 80 13 36 -9 49
T. Krug 81 4 40 9 44
M. Beleskey 80 15 22 6 37
Z. Chara 80 9 28 12 37
J. Hayes 75 13 16 -12 29
D. Pastrnak 51 15 11 3 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Rask 31 22 8 .915 2.56
J. Gustavsson 11 9 1 .908 2.72
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