Colborne, who attended University of Denver for two seasons, has been wearing a full cage in this week’s training camp.
“Thank goodness I went to college and had to do two years with the cage," said Joe of the stainless steel wire mask that now protects his injured face. "It took a little bit of getting used to.”
Still, Joe says he is getting better every day. He has been participating in the drill with the rest of the team, albeit with a little less contact.
“The swelling is going down, and today was really the first day that I could breathe at all through either nostril, but to even have one working out there today was a big help," said Colborne.
After a few days in training camp, Colborne is getting the hang of NHL camp.
“They just want to get as many systems into us as they can before we start playing games here," said the young forward. “There were a lot of mistakes out there, but that’s to be expected this early in the season.”
The first round draft pick from Calgary is vying for a spot at center, already a depth position for Boston. And even with Marc Savard
still out on injury, there are plenty of pivots in the B's orgainzation.
When asked if this intense competition causes problems for the team, Colborne, all smiles, said that at the end of the day, the teammates support each other.
“Everyone is giving it [his] all, but after it’s done, there’s not too much bad blood out there," said Colborne. "We’re happy for the other guys.
“When you’re battling, you’re batting to win, and you’re battling to get that puck and score. It’s intense out there, but we also know that we’re going to be on the same team here pretty soon.
“You want the healthy competition.”
While Colborne said he misses the guys back in Colorado, being in the NHL locker room at the TD Garden in Boston makes it easier to not miss being at school.
“Don’t miss class at all," said Joe with big smile. "I haven’t even thought of class lately. I’ve kind of been making fun of the guys for all restarting back at DU.”
The B’s preseason starts Wednesday, September 22, in Montreal when the Black & Gold take on the Canadiens in Montreal's Bell Centre.
But will Colborne be able to play this week?
“From what I’ve heard, yeah," said Colborne. "I went out there and did pretty much every drill today, took a few bumps and everything has felt great. I haven’t had a single headache."
When asked how he felt about taking the ice against the B's archrival Canadiens, he says he has been looking forward to it.
“Oh yeah. That day has been circled on my calendar for a while," said Colborne. "It will really depend on how the face heals and whether I get the okay to do it.
“I’m taking it day-by-day and going out there and trying to show well in these practices.”---Taylor Walker