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Cohen is Ready to Play

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
MONTREAL -- Colby Cohen has been in big games.

As a collegian, the defenseman was named to the Frozen Four's All-Tournament team and selected as the tournament's Most Outstanding Player after he scored the game-winner to give the Boston University Terriers a 4-3 victory over Miami and deliver the 2009 NCAA title to Commonwealth Avenue.

But tonight, Cohen (acquired by the B's from Colorado for defenseman Matt Hunwick last November) is happy to get back into an exhibition action for the Black & Gold.

"I mean I’m excited," said Cohen after this Monday's morning skate. "I did a lot of watching...during the playoff run and saw a lot of games.

"I’m just excited to play here for the first time."

Here, of course, is the Montreal Canadiens' Bell Centre, widely regarded as one of the NHL's toughest and most exciting venues.

Cohen, drafted by the Avalanche at the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, 45th overall, has been in plenty of rinks around North America. From 2007-2010, the big defenseman had 25-53-78 totals in 118 collegiate games for BU and compilled a 2-12-14 line in 63 AHL games over two seasons.

But the blueliner would love to augment his NHL stat line, which currently stands at three games played (all with the Colorado) at a minus-1.

"Well, I mean I played a bunch of preseason games last year and a couple of regular season [contests] and practiced quite a bit in the playoffs, so the speed is kind of normalized to me at this point," said Cohen. "But you’ve still got to be quick and be mentally sharp and make quick decisions out there."

Asked about the broader differences between his experiences in college and the minors and the NHL, Cohen said, simply, "Guys are better."

"It’s a totally different game," he said.  "It’s hard to explain, but guys who have gone through the levels, I’m sure it’s the same thing when you jump from juniors to the pros, there’s just differences in the styles of the game.

"But mainly it’s faster, it’s more controlled and guys are just better players," he said.

Cohen wants to be counted in that number, too, but understands that he has to make every shift of every exhibition and practice count if he wants a chance to break camp with Boston.

His goal, he said this morning, was "just to be good every time I play."

"You’re only given so many opportunities to show what you can do and you just have to make the most of all of those opportunities," said Cohen. "At the end of the day you worry about the way you play and that’s really all you can worry about, trying to help the team win.

"[Management has] to make those other decisions," he added. "You just go out there and play when your number is called."
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