Providence Bruins goaltender Michael Hutchinson
hadn’t played back-to-back games all season – so when he got the opportunity to do so last weekend, he embraced it.
|Hutchinson. For the full prospect report click here. |
Hutchinson made 26 saves March 9 as the P-Bruins fell to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in a 3-2 shootout, and then he bounced back with a 34-save effort in a 2-0 win over the Worcester Sharks the following evening.
“It was just nice to get an opportunity to play some games and it’s always nice to play a Friday night game, knowing that no matter what there’s a pretty good chance I’m going back to play Saturday as well,” Hutchinson said. “It just takes that off your mind and takes a little bit of pressure off.
"It was just good to be able to get in the game. It’s just a little bit easier when you get playing time to start getting into a groove and start seeing the game more clearly on the ice.”
The back-to-back starts came just two days after Hutchinson was returned to Providence after a call up to Boston, prior to the Bruins signing veteran goaltender Marty Turco
to cope with the injury of Tuukka Rask
However, before Hutchinson returned to Rhode Island, he got to spend the day with Thomas and Turco - a special moment for the 22-year old goaltender.
“My last day up, I got to meet Marty and he’s such a nice guy,” said Hutchinson. “It’s kind of weird, he was one of the goalies that growing up, I always looked up to, so it was really cool getting to skate.
“He’s the best in the world at playing the puck," added Hutchinson. "That’s something I really looked up to and always admired. It’s something I tried to put in my game – to be able to handle the puck and help the team out and...being like a third defenseman back there.”
Now that he’s back with Providence, Hutchinson (7-12-1, .919 SV% and a 2.57 GAA) is working to get his team back to the playoffs.
At 27-29-3, Providence is 13th in the Eastern Conference, but just three points behind the eighth place Albany Devils (64 points).
Although he was called up to Boston in the middle of the AHL playoff race, it wasn’t a distraction for Hutchinson.
“Getting sent up and down all the time is part of the hockey,” he said. “And it’s always an amazing experience to get called up, and when you get sent back down you’re still on a little bit of a high.
"You have all your adrenaline going – it just makes me work that much harder and I think it’s really beneficial to your game.”
Now, with his call-up in the books, Hutchinson is focused on helping his P-Bruins make a late-season surge.
“The mentality our team’s taking right now is just take it one game at a time,” he said. “We just worry about that game, and when that’s over just think about the next game after it.” ---Anthony Gulizia