For the first time this season, Coach Mike Sullivan will have the chance to see his players skate against opponents other than themselves. The first two exhibition games will give Coach his first glimpse of where the team is at.
“I think we’re making progress,” said Sullivan. “We obviously have a long way to go, but we’re pleased with the progress we’ve made. I think tonight will be a good opportunity to get a benchmark of where we are at. The first couple of games will give us a good indication of where we need to improve, and what we have to address.
“We’re trying to give players an opportunity to make the hockey team, so evaluation is a critical part of it from a player’s standpoint,” Sullivan continued. “Then as a coaching staff, we will try to evaluate our team strategy and what we’ve tried to work on so far and if we’re making any progress in those areas.”
Early in camp, the story thus far is the play of Petr Kalus. The 18-year old Czech native, who was Boston’s second pick (39th overall) in June’s draft, has impressed the coaching staff and will travel with the team on their two-game road trip.
“He’s had a great camp so far,” said Sullivan. “He skates really well. I’m sure he’s excited to have the opportunity to play in an NHL exhibition game. I think it will be a great opportunity for us to see him in NHL competition. He’s obviously a guy that’s impressed everyone to this point and that’s why he’s earned the opportunity to play in the exhibition games.”
The sight of a young player standing out during training camp is not a new one to the Bruins. Two years ago, Patrice Bergeron
made the team out of camp and has matured into one of the NHL’s most promising stars.Pre-season begins with two-game road trip
The B’s open their pre-season schedule against Mats Sundin and the Maple Leafs in Hamilton, Ontario tonight at 7:30 p.m. (ET).
The road trip continues on Wednesday, September 21 when they face Mario Lemieux and the revamped Pittsburgh Penguins in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania at 7:00 p.m. (ET). The game will feature two of the NHL's premier young talents in Patrice Bergeron
, 20, and rookie phenom, Sidney Crosby, 18.
The Bruins return to Boston on Friday, as they host the New York Islanders at 7:00 p.m. at the Garden. Tickets are available online by clicking here
, in person at the TD Banknorth Garden Box Office, by phone at 617.624.BEAR (2327), and at all Ticketmaster locations.