Despite not being a part of the Bruins Eastern Conference championship squad in 2008-09, defenseman Derek Morris, who made his Bruins debut versus the Capitals on Thursday night, said he knows the history between the ‘Canes and the B’s and is excited to have a key role in the now heated rivalry.
“Well, I would love to be a part of being in that first game against them,” said Morris on Saturday morning. “Obviously, as a hockey player, you want to play important games and this is an important game for us.
“We can go down zero to two or we can start one and one. It’s a good situation because we had a bad game the first one that we didn’t like and there’s no better way to get into a game than against a team that beat [the Bruins] out in the playoffs.
“It will be a fun game to watch, it will be a physical game and we’ll be ready to play,” he said.
As for the home opener on Thursday, Morris, like the rest of his new team, was unsatisfied with the outcome.
“We take a lot of pride in working hard and I think we were a little embarrassed about ourselves the way [the system] worked in the first one,” said Morris.
“We weren’t very sharp in the last game.
“But we’re going to have a lot of guys in here that are going to score over 20 goals, and we know that, everybody in the league knows that, but we’re not going to do it unless we all work hard to our system.”
Morris has watched Carolina play in the past and he knows the game will be physical. In the end the veteran defenseman believes the deciding factor will be who plays better along the wall.
“They play their system really, really well,” he explained. “Everybody in the league is really, really fast, so everybody on that team, they have lots of quick guys, but they play hard. They go to the dirty zones to get pucks, they protect really, really well.
“The stuff that we talk about, they do it too, and it’s just going to be a matter of who does a better job on the walls.”
“I know they’re going to be on us quick,” continued Morris. “So, we either have to make a quick play to our partner and if that player goes to him hard, we have to move it by him to our winger.
“If not, we’re going to have to protect some pucks, take some hits and if we get hit against the boards we’re going to have to find a way to hold that puck until we can get some help and get it out.”
Last game, Morris played with the B’s captain, Zdeno Chara
. The pair seemed to flow well together and it’s possible we will see them on the same pair again tonight.
“Zee is fun to play with. He’s very vocal,” said Morris. “He’s a pretty quiet guy, mild mannered guy, but on the ice he’s very intense and he reads the plays really, really well.
“It makes it easy for us to play. It’s going to get better and better and better.
“It’s getting there…and I guess but we just have to simplify some things and work a little bit harder,” he said.