The Boston Bruins are headed toward an AHL-style weekend, with three games in three nights to wrap up their preseason schedule starting Thursday night in Montreal.
While the results of the games are just as meaningless as all the other preseason games, players like rookie winger Brad Marchand are going to be treating these contests the way they’d approach a playoff game.
Marchand is one of only a handful of players vying for a spot on the opening night NHL roster as the Bruins wrap up training camp. Today Marchand returned to the ice for practice after a few days off with a leg injury. He hasn’t given up on earning a spot in Boston despite not playing in a preseason game since last Wednesday, and he even joked that he’d play all three games this weekend if the team asked.
Head coach Claude Julien, however, will not be making anyone play three games in three nights. He has a plan to get playing time for his established NHLers and his upstarts. He even stressed after today’s second practice session that even players with NHL experience — namely Vladimir Sobotka and Johnny Boychuk — are still in position battles. The likes of Marchand, Zach Hamill, Andy Wozniewski and Adam McQuaid are the main competition.
Julien said that he hopes to ice a team that closely resembles his regular season roster when Columbus lands at TD Garden for the preseason finale Saturday night. So those that make the biggest impression the next two nights can consider a chance to wear black and gold against the Blue Jackets as their ultimate reward.