BOSTON - The Bruins will close out the road portion of the 2019 preseason on Saturday night with a trip to Chicago to take on the Blackhawks. The game will also be the preseason debuts for the pair of recently signed blueliners, Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo.
"Excited to get in a game scenario," said Carlo. "Obviously in the summer time it's different in the aspect of more one-on-one skill stuff. It's a good opportunity to get back out on the ice and play in a game situation."
After a summer away from Warrior Ice Arena, the duo is happy to be back establishing a familiar routine.
"I think it really doesn't take long to get back into it," said McAvoy. "Just into that flow, into that routine of coming to the rink every day. Just going about your business, doing the things you need to do and it's good. Once you get back into it, it comes back quick and you start just feeling comfortable again and getting back. It's fun, I've had a fun time this week."
Video: McAvoy readies for first preseason action
The fun will continue throughout the preseason, where McAvoy noted the opportunity to forge chemistry with some new faces.
"Excited to finally get out on the road with the guys," said the 21-year-old blueliner. "Couple new faces, so you get to meet new guys - play with new guys. It's always fun. I'm excited. Excited to play and see if I can get some chemistry with some guys tonight."
The tilt against Chicago will also provide an opportunity to hone in on the offensive side of the game.
"Shooting pucks and having a net focus," said McAvoy when asked about ways to boost 5-on-5 scoring. "Getting to the net for rebounds, stuff like that. No one is really re-inventing the wheel when you say that. I think it's just kind of a mindset and a focus. Doing that, I think from the back end, getting the D involved. For us, that's obviously all digressions so you have to do that responsibly…We've been working on it in practice a little bit and it's been good. Excited to get out and play tonight."\
Coyle On The Wing: Charlie Coyle lined up alongside David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk for Saturday's practice. Coyle has played parts of center and wing throughout his career, while primarily playing the middle in his time with the Bruins.
"I played both positions and I think I got a little taste of [David Krejci] and Jake [DeBrusk] a little last year," said Coyle. "You watch them, you know how they play. Maybe a little different being out there with them. They're both really great players and I think if that's the case and things happen and that's where I'm moved, we'll see how it plays out. I think that's why he wants me to get some reps in practice, get some familiarity with those guys just in case it ever does arise."
Bruce Cassidy said he believes Coyle will "start at third-line center", but Coyle will be ready for whatever role he is asked to fill.
"Things happen during the year," said Coyle. "Injuries during games, whatever the case. I'm a guy who can be versatile and can move and I take pride in doing that. That's what I've done my whole career. But perfect world, everyone plays with the same linemates, everyone creates that chemistry. That's never the case, you know, things happen. We'll be ready for it, have some options and work on those options just in case."
Video: Cassidy speaks ahead of the Chicago preseason game
Senyshyn Update: Zach Senyshyn was back on the ice after missing Friday's practice with what Bruce Cassidy described as a lower-body injury suffered against New Jersey. The forward was back on the ice Saturday in a red non-contact jersey.
Forwards: Anders Bjork, Par Lindholm, Brett Ritchie, Jakub Lauko, Trent Frederic, Karson Kuhlman, Paul Carey, Oskar Steen, Ryan Fitzgerald, Brendan Gaunce, Pavel Shen, Peter Cehlarik, Samuel Asselin
Defensemen: Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo, Matt Grzelcyk, Steven Kampfer, Jakub Zboril, Wiley Sherman, Cooper Zech
Goaltenders: Maxime Lagace, Kyle Keyser, Dan Vladar