Boston, MA –
After watching from the stands on Wednesday night as his teammates nabbed the 5-2 victory against the New York Islanders rookies, 20-year-old Michael Hutchinson
was given the nod for Thursday’s game.
“It’s pretty exciting," said Hutchinson. "As soon as the season ends, this is the next thing you have to look forward to so it’s been a long wait and I can’t wait to start the game.”
Even though he would have loved to have been down on the ice for the first of the two-game series, the Barrie, Ontario native truly embraced the experience as a learning opportunity.
“It was definitely a good tool to sit in the stands for a bit and watch the game, and getting to talk to [Adam] Courchaine and Matt Dalton, who were right down on the ice and in the game,” Hutchinson said. “They helped me out a lot with little tendencies each player has so far.”
With three goalies and just two rookies games, Hutchinson was thrilled that coach Rob Murray was giving him a shot at a complete game.
“It’s definitely huge getting a whole game, but it’s been a while since I’ve played 60 minutes,” he said.
Will the fact that he hasn’t been in a 60-minute game situation for several months inhibit his abilities tonight?
“It’s going to be a little bit of a mental battle," said Hutchinson. "But it’s one of those things, at the start of the season, you’ve always got to battle through it and just stay focused for the full sixty minutes.”
As with many of the other Bruins youngsters, Hutchinson said that Wednesday’s crowd was truly one of the most impressive surprises of camp and he hopes that most will return tonight for Game 2.
“In London we had about 9,000 fans a night, so I’m used to big crowds, but for a rookie game it was an amazing turnout,” said Hutchinson, who spent last season with the OHL’s London Knights.
Despite the crowd and what the outcome of this game will mean for his future this season, Hutchinson isn’t letting any butterflies get the best of him.
“It’s more anticipation that nerves I think, just to get out there and get the first shot,” the Bruins 2008 draft pick explained. “Then after that, everything usually settles down.
“Hopefully tonight I can show the coaching staff that I’m ready to make the step to the next level.”---Ashley Robbins