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Dream Come True for Hamilton, Bourque

Bourque, Hamilton will have dreams come true tonight

Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 2:07 PM / Features
By Eric Russo  - BostonBruins.com

BOSTON, MA – When the Bruins take the ice tonight at TD Garden for the first time this season, 18 of the 20 skaters will look familiar in Black & Gold. Two, however, are expected to be donning the spoked-B for the very first time.

Rookie defenseman Dougie Hamilton and forward Chris Bourque are both looking forward to their first official NHL games on Causeway Street as members of the Bruins.

For Bourque, things are coming full circle.

“It’s pretty surreal right now,” said Bourque of his emotions. “I grew up in this locker room and the [Boston Garden] right next door that’s not here anymore. Me and my litter brother kind of thought we owned the place but, you know, it’s a lot different now coming in here and playing for the team so it’s exciting.

“I feel like I’ve been waiting for this moment all my life, to play for the Bruins and today’s finally the day it’s going to happen. Trying to soak it all in and have fun with it and I’m really excited for tonight.”

Bourque, whose father - Hall of Famer Ray Bourque - will be in attendance tonight, was asked how many other family members will be on hand for the game.

“Too many to count,” Bourque joked. “We’ve got a crew up from Montreal and friends and family from around here. I know my dad has a box and we’ve got a couple tickets to give out to a couple buddies of mine, so probably close to 30 or so...maybe 40.”

The left winger is trying to focus on hockey, though, and block out all of the emotions and fanfare that have surrounded Opening Night.

“I actually slept a lot better last night than I thought I was going to and hopefully that continues today with the pre-game nap,” said the former Boston University Terrier. “But, honestly, it just feels like another game, that might sound a little bit crazy, but it really does.

“I’m really looking forward to it, but I’m trying to treat it as normal as possible because you don’t want to get too high or too low. Just trying to stay focused and worry about the things that I control out there and just play my game. If I do that I think I’ll be successful.”

With the New York Rangers - who some predict as being a serious contender for the Stanley Cup - in town for the opener, it’s a pretty big night to be making a debut with a new team.

“I think any time an Original Six team plays each other it’s always a big rivalry,” Bourque said. “There’s been some pretty good games with the Bruins and Rangers the past couple years so that will probably continue over this year.

“They’ve got a really good team, they’ve added some good players. We have a really good team too, with pretty much the same exact team as last year, minus a couple guys. A lot of the same faces, so it’s probably going to be the same kind of headlines, I think.”

Hamilton has been under the spotlight since he was drafted ninth overall by the Bruins in the 2011 NHL Draft. The 6-foot-5, 19-year-old said he has gotten a few texts over the last few days from friends wishing him luck ahead of his first game and, like Bourque, is ready to get the debut he calls a life-long dream out of the way.

“It’s a dream come true for me,” said Hamilton. “Just my first game, I just want to enjoy it as much as I can, just have it as a memory that I’ll always look back on and remember.

“I think a lot of guys are happy to be back here, playing again. I’m sure it’ll be fun and exciting to get the games going. We’ll just try to work as hard as we can and start up the season right.

“I’m just excited to get out there.”

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ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
3 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
4 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
5 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
6 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
7 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
8 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Krejci 80 19 50 39 69
P. Bergeron 80 30 32 38 62
J. Iginla 78 30 31 34 61
M. Lucic 80 24 35 30 59
B. Marchand 82 25 28 36 53
R. Smith 82 20 31 28 51
C. Soderberg 73 16 32 4 48
Z. Chara 77 17 23 25 40
T. Krug 79 14 26 18 40
L. Eriksson 61 10 27 14 37
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Rask 36 15 6 .930 2.04
C. Johnson 17 4 3 .925 2.10
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