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Plenty to Like in B's First Performance

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
Vladimir Sobotka

Halifax, NS – Manny Fernandez and Patrice Bergeron both returned from injury on Monday, but they were not the only members of the Black & Gold with smiles on their faces following the Boston Bruins 8-3 exhibition victory over the Montreal Canadiens.

“It was a good start,” said Marco Sturm, who had two goals and two assists. “I think we were really happy to start out (the season) like that.

“Whether it’s preseason or the season, you want to win every game and show everyone that we are for real this year.”

The production came from everywhere and the camaraderie was obvious, from Phil Kessel tackling the Canadiens Sergei Kostitsyn who laid a borderline hit on Sturm, to Shawn Thornton, who went toe to toe with Steve Begin.

“That’s great,” said Sturm of the group’s mentality. “I think that is why we were successful last year – because we stuck together – they brought in some great guys…and it did not matter who it was (that helped the team win).”

But even Sturm would admit that it takes more than great people to win hockey games. Finishing checks and hitting the net count for an awful lot, too.

Vladimir Sobotka had both of those things in mind when he spoke to earlier on Monday, just before the team headed north.

“It's like a normal game, like during the season," said the young forward. "I am going to play at 100% and nothing changes there.

"I'm going to finish my hits, shoot it hard and play for the win."

And how.

Sobotka spoke about his night following the contest and about his own two goals.

“We lost the series against Montreal,” said the young forward. “So, we wanted to get that win tonight.

“And I think the whole team played (well).”

Hitting stats were not kept during the exhibition contest, but there is a good chance that Sobotka had as many hits as the Bruins had goals.

“That is my job here – to finish the hits,” he said. “And then try and shoot and score some goals, like tonight.

“I am so glad that I was able to score a couple of goals tonight and that it was a good game (for the team).”

Boston plays the New York Islanders in Moncton, NB on Tuesday.
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