– Behind the team-high 15 goals from forward Josh Hennessy
, the Providence Bruins are making a push for the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference, tied with two other teams with 52 points.
|Hennessy (photo courtesy Providence Bruins) |
But for the time being, the P-Bruins will have to make their playoff push without Hennessy, who was called up to the Boston Bruins yesterday and joined the team for this morning’s skate at TD Garden.
Hennessy last played in the NHL in 2009 with the Ottawa Senators (2006-10, 20 games played), and he said he’s excited to be here and his nerves are at ease.
“The last time I was up I wasn’t in a Bruins uniform so it wasn’t quite as special, but I’d say there’s a lot less nerves this time,” Hennessy said. “Should I get the opportunity to play, I’ll just move my feet, work hard, be responsible defensively and leave an impression in any way possible.
“I’m still trying to take it all in – I’m pretty excited.”
Hennessy, who was second on Providence with 30 points (15-15-30), enjoyed his first year as an “older guy” on the team and the 27-year old forward said he’s learning some leadership qualities.
But with the Bruins, the Rockland native looks to contribute on the defensive end – an area of his game where he feels he improved.
“I think I’m more mature and a bit more responsible,” he said. “Defensively, I think I can fit into a couple different roles – I might have been one dimensional back then.”
Hennessy will be with the team for their 11-day, six-game road trip but it’s still unclear whether he will play or not.
“We’ll see,” Head Coach Claude Julien said when asked if he’d play Hennessy. “Again, that would depend on the play of some of our players, obviously injury status and everything else. I think there’s a lot of reasons for him to get a chance to play and I don’t think we’d bother bringing him [if there wasn’t].”
Nonetheless, Julien is aware of the skill set Hennessy possesses and he’s happy to have him on the team.
“I thought he did a pretty good job in Providence as far as scoring is concerned,” Julien said. “He’s one of the top guys on that team and he’s got some experience at the NHL level so with this big road trip coming up, [it’s] probably a good thing to bring some extra guys along.”
Bruins forward Chris Kelly
was Hennessy’s teammate in Ottawa, and he also spent some time playing with him in Binghamton, New York during the lockout.
“I know Josh well, so it’s good to see him here,” Kelly said. “A lot of times in order to make that jump, it’s the right place at the right time. You want to see people succeed – you want to see people do well, especially good people like Josh.”
Forward Milan Lucic
never played with Hennessy, but he was also happy to see him around the locker room.
For Lucic, it brought him back to memories of his first experiences in the B's locker room.
“It’s great to have a new face around here. Most of the guys don’t know him that well and it’s great to see a smile on his face, it almost puts a smile on yours,” Lucic said. “I can remember when I first started here there was nothing that can go wrong, you were just happy you were living the dream.
“For myself, I still try to bring that positive feeling and emotion into the room and when you see that in another guy that’s happy to be here, it gives you that extra incentive.”
With the trade deadline approaching February 27, Hennessy was asked if it made him nervous knowing that the scouts would be watching when he gets off the ice.
But for Hennessy, this is the goal he’s been working towards his entire life and he’s not going to let that bother him.
“This is why I played forever,” Hennessy said. “I’m going to try and make an impression any way possible and help this organization to any capacity. Like I said, being more mature and having less nerve, I have a lot less things to focus on this time.
“I’m just going to play hockey and hope people can appreciate my game.”--- Anthony Gulizia