-- With many players experiencing the big stage for the first time Wednesday night it would be hard to blame them for being nervous. But with those first cautious moments out of the way, the Bruins and Islanders should be ready to go when they face off for their second rookie game Thursday night at TD Garden.
As with Wednesday, the proceeds for tickets will be donated to charity.
The consensus in both locker rooms Thursday morning was that the first 20 minutes Wednesday saw each side skating on egg shells as they felt out being on an NHL rink. But with that anxiety gone, a more cohesive effort looks to be in the offing for round two.
"In the first period [Wednesday] everyone was a little nervous. Not a lot of us are used to it. The biggest crowd I've played in front of was I think 10,000 and last night was almost 12,000. It's a different atmosphere, a different environment. Tonight the jitters should be gone." -- Tyler Seguin
"We didn't have much time to play together," said Bruins forward Jordan Caron
, who tallied a hat trick Wednesday in the Bruins' 5-2 victory. "We had only a couple of practices, but I think today we're going to see more good passing in the first period. We're going to be more used to playing together, so I think it's going to be a good game tonight."
After drawing an impressive crowd of over 11,500 people last night, the Bruins and Islanders will look to build on what was a physical, entertaining game.
New York in particular will be looking to improve on its performance after enduring a hectic day that had the Islander rookies skating in Syosset, NY., Wednesday morning before busing it up to Boston and arriving in the afternoon.
"We put the guys through a lot for the last two days," Islanders coach Scott Gordon
said Wednesday. "They had a lot of rust on them. I think there was an overall lack of jump in our game. We seemed to be going in spurts, but not enough consistency. I think a lot of that is that there is a little bit of thinking going on out there and their heads were in the right place, but their feet didn't do what they wanted them to do."
With many players still looking to impress management as they search for an invite to training camp, it's expected that the play will once again be physical. And given an increased comfort level on both sides with the TD Garden atmosphere, the physicality and the offense should be a part of the festivities from the get-go.
"In the first period [Wednesday] everyone was a little nervous," said Tyler Seguin
, the No. 2 pick in the draft who contributed a pair of assists to the Bruins' efforts. "Not a lot of us are used to it. The biggest crowd I've played in front of was I think 10,000 and last night was almost 12,000. It's a different atmosphere, a different environment. Tonight the jitters should be gone."
While Seguin's crisp passing and two assists were a hint of what kind of centerman he'll one day be, many of the Boston faithful Thursday will be hoping to see him light the lamp for the first time in a Bruins sweater.
Fighting with teammates for the glory of putting the puck in the net doesn't appear to be his modus operandi, however. Seguin only had three shots on goal Wednesday and spent much of his time with the puck on the half boards looking to set up his teammates. Instead, the glory belonged to Caron, who regardless of what the future holds can always say he made hats rain down at the Garden.
Should what may be an even bigger crowd Thursday expect a repeat performance?
"No," Caron said, laughing. "I'm not going to score three goals every night. I just want to go out there and have fun."
Contact David Kalan at firstname.lastname@example.org