BOSTON - Jake DeBrusk is ready to see how he stacks up. After five days of battling against his teammates, the 20-year-old is eager to get things going in competition.
And he'll have plenty of opportunity to see where he stands as he skates alongside David Krejci and David Pastrnak during the Bruins preseason home opener against the Detroit Red Wings Tuesday night at TD Garden.
"Practicing against the same players every day, it's good competition, don't get me wrong, but there's nothing like playing against another team," said DeBrusk. "Seeing how you stack up against the league and other respective clubs, it's going to be lots of fun…I think we've got a pretty good one in there and we're expecting to win."
DeBrusk is also trying to win a spot on the Bruins roster. To do so, he knows he must display that he can keep up with the rigors of a National Hockey League contest.
"I just want to show that I can stay there and I can play on that line…and just play my game, use my speed," said DeBrusk, who tallied 19 goals and 30 assists in 74 games for Providence last season. "Don't force too many plays, don't force too many things, there's going to be mistakes out there and plays I might want to have back, but I'm going to give my all and that's all I can really do."
Tonight's game can be seen live on BostonBruins.com and heard live on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Pastrnak, who has been impressed by what he has seen so far from DeBrusk, is also excited to see how the winger's game translates into game action.
"I think Jake did a really good job the last couple days in practice and we got a little bit more chemistry," said Pastrnak. "We talked to each other a little bit before and [I'm] pretty sure he's going to be getting better and better every day.
"Practice is different than a game, but Jake is a great player and he's very strong and works really hard. I think he's going to be just fine."
Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy would like to see DeBrusk be a strong complement to his more experienced linemates.
"Get pucks off the wall to Krech. Krech is great coming out of our own end with speed and leading the attack, that's one of his strengths," said Cassidy. "We're looking for him to be on top of pucks, create turnovers, much like Pasta does on the forecheck and in the neutral zone.
"Obviously he's got to do it on a consistent basis. But we're just starting with him, he'll get his look tonight. He's been on that line for four or five days, we'll see what he's got."
Not For Long?
With Charlie McAvoy and Torey Krug paired together against the Red Wings, there will be plenty of offensive ability on the B's top defense pairing. Just don't expect to see the duo together once the games begin for real.
"We're going to see them at some point, there's going to be games where we're going to need offense, and we're down. Those two guys can bring it, those are probably their strongest qualities are their vision and their puck-moving ability," said Cassidy.
"Certainly not a pair we're going to use every day, but I'm curious to see how it looks. Figured we'd tinker with it at the start here…but it probably won't last, to be honest with you. But it is something we want to see."
Video: Krug Speaks Before Preseason Home Opener
For McAvoy, it's an opportunity to learn from a veteran player who shares a similar skill set.
"Playing with Torey is awesome," said McAvoy. "He's obviously a veteran guy and a great teammate, great player, so he's good to be out there with, to communicate with, take some things away from, a phenomenal defenseman and he really helps me out out there.
"Guys who can move the puck, we hope that we won't be in our zone very long with guys like that. He likes to jump into the play, so do I. We'll see how it goes tonight."
DeBrusk was pleased to see some of his fellow youngsters get on the scoresheet last night during the B's 3-2 preseason win over Montreal. Rookies Jesse Gabrielle and Anders Bjork - who was playing in his first pro contest - each scored to help Boston overcome a two-goal deficit.
"We see each other every single day and we know how good we all are here," said DeBrusk. "Got to see a couple guys get on the board and get a big comeback win last night. They set the tone. We're expecting a better start…but we're expecting the same result."
Back to Boston
The preseason tilt against the Red Wings marks the first time the Bruins have played at TD Garden since April. It's safe to say the players are looking forward to getting back in front of the home crowd - if even for an exhibition.
"You miss everything about it - it's been four or five months since you played here," said Pastrnak. "I'm excited to see the fans and just step into the Garden again. The first one's always not easy…excited to get that one under the belt and try to get a feel."
Cassidy said Matt Beleskey was hit with a puck during the B's win over Montreal on Monday night and did not skate on Tuesday. He is considered day-to-day.
Jake DeBrusk - David Krejci - David Pastrnak
Frank Vatrano - Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson - David Backes
Danton Heinen - Austin Czarnik - Teddy Purcell
Ryan Fitzgerald - Sean Kuraly - Jordan Szwarz
Torey Krug - Charlie McAvoy
Jakub Zboril - Adam McQuaid
Rob O'Gara - Brandon Carlo