Boston, MA -- Pascal Pelletier’s first NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs may have felt a little bit like more an AHL game than he ever expected as the left winger found himself on a line with two familiar faces – Vladimir Sobotka and David Krejci, former linemates of Pelletier’s while with Providence of the AHL.
“When [head coach] Claude [Julien] told me I was going to play with [Sobotka and Krejci]…it was fun,” Pelletier said in the locker room after the 3-2 loss. “I didn’t know what to expect…whether I’d play or not. But to play with two of my linemates, it was a great experience.”
Despite the familiar linemates, playing with the big boys is different.
“It’s obviously faster. [You’ve] got to think fast…make the same plays you used to make, but just make it quicker and faster.”
The line looked solid throughout the night, sending off a few shots and playing a good defensive game. On his first time out, Pelletier pinned Maple Leaf Hal Gill hard against the boards in a fight for the puck.
“In my first period, I did a couple things, a couple plays that I would hopefully not do again,” Pelletier admitted. “You don’t know what to expect when it’s your first game.
“I was a bit nervous out there,” he continues. “But the more the game went, the more I felt comfortable out there, and the more we felt comfortable [as a line.]”
Pelletier clocked nearly 10 minutes of playing time during the game, with two shots on goal and two hits, including one to Gill that sent a joist from the glass flying to the ice.
As the clocked ticked down the minutes in the third period, the score in a tie, Coach Julien sent Pelletier’s line out.
“I wasn’t expecting that, especially when all the points are really important,” Pelletier said. “[But] it was really fun.”
In a post-game conference, Coach Julien said he had confidence in Pelletier’s line.
“I just had a good feeling that they would bring a lot of energy, and they did just that,” he said. “They worked hard, [and] they worked together.”
Even after success on the ice, the new Bruin was still as thrilled as he was earlier that morning.
“It was a great game to be involved in, and I’m just living the dream right now and enjoying every moment.”