While the rookie games are a great opportunity to play together as a team, tomorrow marks the first chance these athletes really have to showcase their individual skills in live play.
“Sometimes practice drills don’t show what you bring to the game, what little nuances of your game that you’re better off showing in a game situation,” explained Providence Bruins head coach Rob Murray.
Defenseman Ryan Button
, the Bruins second overall pick in the 2009 entry draft, is just one of the rookies jockeying for a spot in the organization.
“Hopefully I can come out, play my best Wednesday and Thursday, make the main camp roster and I guess go from there.”
The pressure is immense, however, as none of the rookies want to take the opportunity for granted.
“It’s kind of do or die, it happens pretty quick. You get two games,” Button said.
“I’ve got to make it as hard as I can on the GM and the coaches to cut me. The better I play, the harder I work in practice, the longer I’m going to stay.”
So what are the Bruins decision makers looking for out of Button?
Murray and General Manager Peter Chiarelli both agreed that they are taking a hard look at whether Button’s on-ice, decision-making skills have improved.
“You’re looking for everybody to progress and get better, so here’s an opportunity for him on the big stage to show what he brings to the game and hopefully he does well,” Murray said.
Button thinks he can do just that, feeling better able to make decisions in game play, as opposed to practice.
“In practice there is a lot of skating, but it’s mostly just two-on-ones, attacks, just simple stuff like that, whereas in a game, it kind of comes down to thinking, and reading, and seeing if the defensemen can jump up and that’s where I’m best suited.”
But what affect does playing in the Garden have on all the newcomers?
“Last year we had the game in [Shelton, CT] which is not really an NHL rink and just a little bit downplayed, as compared to an NHL arena,” Button explained. “I think the fans are going to play a big part in the nerves so hopefully it can be a lot of fun.
“My dad texted me the day [the games] were moved to Boston and I’m just so thrilled.”
And even though each of the Bruins rookies is looking for something different out of these upcoming games, Button was able to sum up his goals for the team very concisely.
“Hopefully there can be a lot of people, hopefully we can put on a good show, and hopefully we can come up with two points.”---Ashley Robbins