It will mark Subban’s second game of the preseason. He stopped all 17 shots he faced playing half of the Bruins’ game on Sept. 22 against the Washington Capitals at TD Garden — an eventual 2-1 win in overtime. He split the game with Zane McIntyre.
On Saturday, Subban will get his chance to play an entire game. Jeremy Smith, who got his shot at a full game on Thursday night (Sept. 24), will serve as the backup.
“Really looking forward to it. It will be pretty cool — last time I played in Detroit was a few years ago, didn’t go too well, so I’m hoping to have a better outcome this time,” Subban said following the Bruins’ morning skate at Ristuccia Arena on Saturday, before flying to Detroit.
Subban was pleased with how he felt between the pipes in his first preseason game against the Capitals, but was more focused postgame on what he needs to improve going forward in training camp.
“The first game, especially in exhibition, you want to focus on things you can improve, versus things going well,” said Subban. “So that when the puck drops and the season starts, you’re feeling good about your game, so that’s what I’m trying to do right now and hopefully I can improve on last game.”
“It was a good game — I felt pretty good, to be honest, the whole time — maybe a little nervous at the start, just being the first game and how I felt in camp, but I felt pretty good after the game,and the few practices we had after,” said the netminder. “So I feel pretty good right now.”
Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien was complimentary of Subban’s play in his first preseason game, and expects him to keep contending for the backup role behind Tuukka Rask.
Julien has seen the young goalie make his way through the ranks since he was drafted 24th overall by Boston in 2012, coming up through juniors and then the American Hockey League with Providence.
“Right now, he’s fighting for a job here for a job with some other goaltenders and we’ve said that all along,” Julien recently told reporters. “We’ve got to grab the best goaltender that’s available to us, so he’s got an opportunity to gain that spot right now this year, and if it doesn’t happen, then he’s got to go back there and force our hand again and make sure that happens.”
“So, a lot of it will happen in this next week or so and those decisions will be made then.”
Along with Subban, Smith and Jonas Gustavsson — attending camp on a Professional Tryout Agreement — are still in the mix, making the goaltending battle one to keep watching as camp continues on.
“It’s gone pretty well — we’re all supporting each other,” said Subban. “You know, we’re all here for the same goal, but at the same time, pushing each other’s going to help us do better and healthy competition’s always good for us, so just try to bring out the best in us.”
Carlo Excited for Future in Black & Gold
Defenseman Brandon Carlo will be suiting up in his third preseason game on Saturday night in Detroit, fresh off signing his first NHL contract with Boston.
“I’m thrilled, obviously — it’s a big deal,” said Carlo. “Growing up, that’s something that was just the next step making it towards the NHL so it’s always been a dream of mine and I’m really excited for the opportunity to do it this fast especially.”
“It’s really nice knowing that they have the confidence in me to be able to let me sign that contract right now.”
The 6-foot-5 defenseman was drafted 37th overall by Boston in June (their first second-round pick). Immediately after being selected, it was hard for him to put the unbelievable experience into words.
“It resembles [the draft] quite a bit — it’s a big deal in this hockey world, so I’m really excited that I’m taking another step towards my dream,” said Carlo, thinking back to June. “Really excited to just be a part of the Bruins organization officially.”
Julien has been impressed with the young blueliner.
“Absolutely, it’s got to be exciting for him to sign this deal right away,” said the bench boss. “Again, for a player aspiring to play in the NHL, nothing better than knowing you’ve got an NHL contract in your pocket, so I think he’s earned it in a way where he’s showed us enough that we see lots of potential in this young player and he’s a guy that we foresee being a part of this team down the road, so it was important to get him signed early.”
“I came into this camp just wanting to make the biggest impression that I could on everybody here,” said Carlo. “Showing that I’m willing and able to maybe play at this next level sooner than later, so I just wanted to come to camp and make my best impression before I had to leave, so that’s kind of just what pushed me to get this far.”
Acciari Making NHL Preseason Debut
Center Noel Acciari will be making his NHL preseason debut on Saturday night in Detroit. Signed as a free agent out of Providence College, Julien has liked what he’s seen from the forward in training camp, especially on the draw.
“I look at a guy like Noel Acciari, just practicing the last few days against some experienced guys and he’s done well, he’s got a heavy stick,” said Julien. “I chatted with him about that - I said the biggest thing in the NHL is that you’ve got have a real heavy and strong stick on draws and he’s been doing pretty well so it will be interesting to watch him tonight.”
“So it will be interesting to see Noel take some draws tonight because he looks good in practice working on those.”
Chara Still Day-to-Day
Zdeno Chara did not join the Bruins for either of their practice sessions on Saturday. On Friday, he was termed day-to-day, after leaving Thursday night’s preseason game against the Rangers with an upper-body injury.
“We’ve given him the weekend off, so he’s going to have the weekend off,” said Julien. “He’ll be re-evaluated again on Monday, so things continue to at least stay positive in our minds.”
Here’s the rundown of who was on the ice with the second group, which will not be traveling:
FORWARDS: Patrice Bergeron, Austin Czarnik, Loui Eriksson, Brandon DeFazio, Jimmy Hayes, Joonas Kemppainen, Brad Marchand, Tyler Randell, Zac Rinaldo, Ben Sexton, Ryan Spooner, Max Talbot, Frank Vatrano
DEFENSEMEN: Chris Breen, Chris Casto, Matt Irwin, Adam McQuaid, Colin Miller, Joe Morrow, Jakub Zboril
GOALTENDERS: Tuukka Rask, Zane McIntyre
Projected Lineup vs. Detroit 9/25
Matt Beleskey — David Krejci — David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk — Chris Kelly — Justin Hickman
Anton Blidh — Alex Khokhlachev — Brian Ferlin
Anthony Camara — Noel Acciari — Brett Connolly
Torey Krug — Zach Trotman
Linus Arnesson — Kevan Miller
Tommy Cross — Brandon Carlo
Extra defenseman: Ben Youds
Starting Goalie: Malcolm Subban // Backeup: Jeremy Smith