BostonBruins.com - Bruins fans got their first look at goaltender Zane McIntyre earlier this season, when he was called up due to injuries to Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin in late October.
McIntyre performed admirably in his three appearances with Boston before being sent down to the Atlanta Gladiators of the East Coast Hockey League. After two games with Atlanta, McIntyre rejoined the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League.
McIntyre's play since has been nothing short of spectacular, as he has posted a 9-0-0 record in his first 11 appearances with Providence. Through that span, the netminder has sported a 1.35 goals-against average and a .953 save percentage to lead the league in both categories.
At the young age of 24, McIntyre is excited about his recent run of success, which has helped lead Providence to a 17-7-4-3 record, good for 41 points and a tie for third place in the Eastern Conference. The P-Bruins are 13-1-2-2 in their last 18 games.
"I think our team as a whole is playing really well right now, even the past month and a half," said McIntyre, who credited some of his individual success to P-Bruins coach Kevin Dean and his staff.
"That all starts with our coaching staff doing the things day in and day out to get us prepared."
It's been a long time coming for McIntyre, who was selected in the sixth round (165th overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. McIntyre played two seasons of junior hockey with the Fargo Force, before attending the University of North Dakota for three seasons.
In his first season with Providence in 2015-16, McIntyre posted a 14-8-7 record in 31 appearances with a 2.68 GAA and a .898 save percentage.
Coming into his second year of professional hockey, McIntyre was able to draw on his experience and make adjustments in order to improve his offseason regimen to better prepare for the grueling season.
"I didn't really know the nature of the beast of pro hockey, going into the year and playing that many games and being able to deal with the highs and lows of your body playing different games, traveling, and numerous things," said McIntyre.
"I think it certainly helped out being able to understand and know what to do in the offseason for training purposes and for being able to get my body into shape.
"A year of experience goes a long way. Now, I'm just more comfortable in net, able to read the plays better, and understand the game and the scheme situations better."
Video: BOS@NYR: McIntyre robs Miller with great glove save
There was no greater experience for McIntyre than making his two NHL starts against the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens, in two of hockey's most hostile environments.
"Being in the action is a completely different ballgame than watching on TV or watching from the bench," said McIntyre. "It was definitely a whirlwind experience, but I tried to make sure I was as prepared that I could be going into those games."
If McIntyre keeps up his torrid pace, he'll find himself back in those NHL venues before long.