But, unlike most after morning skates prior to a run in with the Habs, the mood in the locker room was downright cheerful.
The players were clearly waiting for tonight, when they begin the season with ta first exhibition game that promises nothing but intensity.
“Even if it’s exhibition- playing there, your emotions are always going to be high,” said B’s defenseman Mark Stuart.
The B’s enjoy tremendous depth along all lines this year (and have even traveled with two teams to their games in Montreal and Rochester, NY). That extra skill carries some added motivation for each player to give it their all.
That's particularly so with new talent like first round pick Tyler Seguin
fighting for jobs.
“Obviously, it’s something pretty huge,” said Seguin of tonight’s game -- his NHL exhibition debut. “It’s still preseason, but I hear it’s already sold out.”
Although he is not suiting up against the Canadiens, Bruins forward, and fellow first round pick, Zach Hamill
agreed with Seguin and Stuart's assessment of this evening's matchup and added that he is jealous of his teammates who are playing at the Bell Centre.
“I remember last year, I couldn’t hear myself yell for the puck," said Hamill. "It was pretty loud in there.
“It was my first experience, and it was definitely a fun one.”Tuukka Rask
, who should start in goal for the B’s, thinks the fans will be a factor in what should be a full-length dress rehearsal.
“I think I’ll go the full sixty,” Rask said, before describing the atmosphere in the Bell Centre.
“[The Montreal fans are] always really into that game," explained Rask. “It’s a great atmosphere…and it should be a fun one today.
"Hopefully I stop some [out] there.”
Some of the Bruins offered polite advice to the rookies who are playing in this intense venue for their first NHL game.
“Enjoy it," said Hamill, who has appeared in several preseason games and who made his NHL debut last season. "It’s just hockey.
"Obviously, we’ve played hockey for our whole lives.
“Just go in there and play your game and show your stuff," he said.
Boston blueliner Johnny Boychuk
summed it up well.
“Don’t screw up, and chip it off the glass,” said Boychuk, with a grin.