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Building Toward the Opener

The P-Bruins have a week to tweak their team

Friday, 10.5.2012 / 11:10 AM ET / Features
By John Bishop  - BostonBruins.com
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Building Toward the Opener
MARLBOROUGH, MA — Despite the scoreboard, Providence Bruins Training Camp 2012 hit its stride on Thursday night as the crowd in the New England Sports Center watched the AHL Black & Gold drop a 3-1 preseason decision to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

"Tonight was game one for a lot of us," said Providence captain Trent Whitfield of the AHL Bruins second exhibition contest of 2012. "Some guys played last night [versus Springfield], but it’s getting a feel for yourself. Getting the timing of a real game.

"We had a couple of intraquad games, but they’re scrambled — you’re playing against your buddies — it’s not the intensity you need to be at.

"So to play tonight, it felt good," he said. "It felt good to get out there, and get some real competition, and we can build on that."

With just one more exhibition to play (on Saturday night versus the Falcons in Springfield's MassMutual center) the P-Bruins look to build momentum going into their first regular season game next Friday evening versus Manchester in Providence's Dunkin' Donuts Center.

After two games in two nights, everyone wearing the spoked-P sounded happy with their efforts this week, but also agreed that there remains plenty of work to be done before the puck is dropped in anger versus the Monarchs.

"I like our battle level, it’s been good both nights," said Providence Head Coach Bruce Cassidy. "Today, we had a little more size in the lineup, a little less skill. We had our chances around the net; we just didn’t have a lot of guys finish as well as last night [in a 4-1 preseason win over Springfield].

"But our effort was there," continued Cassidy. "I thought defensively both nights we didn’t give up a lot.

"Guys are competing hard for whatever spots there are, and there are not that many."

With over a week to go in training camp, there's time to make a case for playing time, and on Thursday, Coach Cassidy said everyone needs to earn their sweater for the home opener.

"Well I think they were clear coming in. Guys have contracts. Now, what isn’t clear is who’s going to be in the lineup on opening night, because you’ve got eight or nine NHL contracts on defense, we’ve got probably 12 or 13 forwards with a couple of American League contracts...that did good work for us last year when we needed them," explained Cassidy. "I think what won’t be clear right up until last week is who’s going to be sixth defenseman, and backup goalie, and maybe your 12th forward, and stuff like that.

"It’s a good problem to have when you have this many players that are capable of playing in the league, as opposed to having to find guys. That’s just what I see compared to last year."

But whatever success the P-Bruins find during the 2012-13 campaign will have been sown during the 2011-12 season, as many of the current Providence Bruins got their first of professional hockey.

"It’s coming together," said Whitfield. "We’ve got some really good young players coming in, obviously, and this is going to be an excellent league."

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STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
2 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
3 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
4 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
5 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
6 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
7 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
8 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Bergeron 81 23 32 2 55
L. Eriksson 81 22 25 1 47
M. Lucic 81 18 26 13 44
C. Soderberg 82 13 31 10 44
B. Marchand 77 24 18 5 42
D. Hamilton 72 10 32 -3 42
R. Smith 81 13 27 7 40
T. Krug 78 12 27 13 39
D. Krejci 47 7 24 7 31
C. Kelly 80 7 21 6 28
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Rask 34 21 13 .922 2.30
N. Svedberg 7 5 1 .918 2.33
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