BOSTON, MA –
When goaltender Michael Hutchinson
got an e-mail that said he was going to be practicing with the Boston Bruins Monday at TD Garden, the prospect was surprised but eager to get another opportunity to see the game at the NHL speed.
“It’s definitely a huge difference – guys are smarter when shooting the puck,” Hutchinson said. “I was pleasantly surprised to get a chance to come up here and practice and get a taste of what it’s like up here.”
Hutchinson came up to fill in for Tim Thomas
, who had the day off after participating in the All-Star festivities this past weekend in Ottawa.
Unlike having Thomas in net, Hutchinson introduced a look more similar to Rask with his intricately airbrushed helmet and six-foot-three frame.
“It’s awesome, he’s a good guy, a good goalie and it’s nice to see him up here,” forward Zach Hamill
said. “Yeah [he’s a] big goalie [and] he moves good.
"The different [right] hand glove throws me off a bit. Every day here is an experience and a learning process.”
The experience for Hutchinson included learning a few lessons from Rask, who’s .938 save percentage is tied for the best in the NHL.
“It’s amazing when you get to skate with a guy like Tuukka and see what he does on the ice – it just motivates you that much more,” Hutchinson said. “You pick up on so many little things he does in practice and you realize how hard you have to work in practice just to make it up here and when you see a guy like him working so hard, you really learn a lot.”
Even off the ice, Hutchinson, who has a .915 save percentage in Providence, was able to catch up with the B’s butterfly goaltender and trade some tips.
And although he was here just for the day, Hutchinson said the time was well spent and he learned a lot.
“It’s always cool when you get to talk to [Tuukka] and can ask him about certain situations that happened during practice, or do happen during games and how he would play it so it’s certainly beneficial,” Hutchinson said.--- Anthony Gulizia