“It was fun to get out there and play, getting in a game atmosphere, kind of getting my game legs going because you know, obviously, a game is a lot different than practice or skating after practice and stuff like that,” McGrattan commented after returning to practice with the big league club on Monday.
“I was just glad I got the opportunity to go down and play there.”
Despite enjoying the chance to rack up some game minutes over the weekend, the 29-year-old could feel just how long the layoff had been.
“You know, I got to play a regular shift, so that felt good, just the three games in about two and a half days, I wasn’t used to that,” McGrattan explained.
But the Hamilton, Ontario native didn’t find it too difficult to get back out on the ice for game action.
“No, it was alright. My whole career, I’ve kind of had long layoffs between games, so no it was just fun.”
What made the trip easier for McGrattan was feeling right at home.
“I knew a couple of the younger guys...from camp that went away on the team building trip [to Vermont], and then there was a couple guys there that were on the Europe trip, so it was just fun to get down there and be a part [of the game roster], to get a regular shift, and stuff like that.
“The guys were really welcoming...so it was fun,” McGrattan said.
Surprisingly, however, in his three-game stint with Providence, the enforcer did not record a single penalty minute.
“Not really anybody down there to 'go with' anyway," McGrattan. "I wasn’t used to having so much room. I got the puck and the guys just kind of spread.
“I’m no offensive threat,” the 6’4”, 235-pounder joked, cracking just a hint of a smile.
Finding the trip to Providence to be useful in regaining his game-day shape, McGrattan feels he’s ready to be a big bad help for B's Head Coach Claude Julien and the Bruins whenever they decide to call on him.
“74 games left ... Coach sees you working hard, doing your stuff in practice, and might say, ‘well this guy deserves the chance to go out there and play,’ so there’s a lot of possibilities,” McGrattan said.
“That’s why I want to stay as ready as I can and that’s why I was more than willing to go down there on the weekend and do that because the more I can do to get ready to play, the more I can help.
“If they need me, I’m here.”---Ashley Robbins