BostonBruins.com — With the AHL regular season just a few days away, Providence Bruins players like forward Lane MacDermid used the club's exhibition games to get back in game shape and in sync. But throughout the preseason, the entire team as a whole made great strides toward come together as a unit.
|10/04/12: Tyler Randell drops the gloves with Sound Tiger Brett Gallant.
And, as evidenced by the number of scraps on Thursday night, it's clear that the P-Bruins understand that sticking up for your teammates is an important part of creating the proper team cohesion while wearing Black & Gold.
"Well that’s what training camp is all about," said MacDermid after the B's second preseason contest. "You match yourself up with other players and see how the group plays together.
"I thought the hockey was pretty good and we played hard."
Very hard, in fact. Within the first 3:45 of the Thursday night 3-1 loss to Bridgeport, there were three fights on the ice. Players pinpointed these scraps as a form of bonding, showing that they will stand up for each other.
"Before the game guys were talking about sticking up for each other," defenseman Matt Bartkowski said. "We know who the tough guys are. We know everybody is expected to step up when they can.
"It was great to see that at the beginning of the game from [Tyler Randell]...and all those guys."
Defenseman Torey Krug, formerly of Michigan State University, is beginning his first full professional season in the AHL and was excited to see fighting during a game after not seeing it for a while in the NCAA.
"It’s a great thing to see guys come together and get each others' backs," said Krug. "I know that we have a very tight-knit group just watching our interactions at camp and playing on the ice I know that guys are there to stick up for each other.
"So, it’s a fun style of hockey."
Randell, who fought hard-checking prospect Brett Gallant, said he'd dropped the gloves against the Sound Tiger during rookie camp last year.
"We bumped each other," said Randell a-matter-of-factually. "He just looked at me and we just went."
But after taking some time off fighting due to an injury he suffered last season while playing for the Kitchener Rangers, Randell said he's ready to resume his pugilism - particularly because he believes he is playing with a group of guys worth defending.
"We’ve got a great group of guys in there," said the forward. "Right off the bat, we all clicked and we all know as teammates you’ve got to protect each other.
"We’ve got a lot of guys with great toughness in that room and it’s great to know that people have your back."