Apparently a WEEI.com report prior to the Boston Bruins’ soldout intrasquad scrimmage that claimed “Several Bruins players bristled at the idea that having an intra-squad scrimmage” was a sad clickbait attempt. WEEI is struggling and has never been the biggest supporter of the local NHL team. Their Bruins reporters are rumored to be paid peanuts and it’s ‘Debbie Downer’ reports like this, that once again show just how desperate the sports talk station that once upon a time was a monster in the biz both locally and nationally, is these days.
“We never had issues with the scrimmage and it ended up being just what we needed,” Bruins forward Charlie Coyle told BostonHockeyNow after 17,565 fans packed TD Garden for what amounted to a practice scrimmage. “We needed to get back to all our routines as I said before and this helped us do that.”
Winger David Pastrnak had no problem with the scrimmage either.
“It was fun,” the affable Czech winger said. “Get the pre-game rituals going and make sure you don’t forget them. It was good to get out there and obviously appreciate the fans and the support.”
Gameday routines were one of the main reasons the Bruins brass and coaching staff thought this scrimmage would be a great idea and throughout the day and night Thursday. That’s precisely what the Bruins tried to simulate with scouting video sessions, a game-day skate, the traditional gameday naps, pasta, and protein meals and then as close to a game as they could get to during this eleven-day layoff before the Stanley Cup Final. Yes, it was still just a practice scrimmage, but the soldout crowd was much more beneficial than a quiet Warrior Arena again.
Goalie Tuukka Rask may have seemed as if he was “bristling” but that was more the Conn Smythe Trophy favorite simply remaining in his playoff zone where nothing is phasing him right now, not him knocking the idea of a scrimmage.
“It’s practice. That’s how I treat it, it’s practice,” Rask said. “You scrimmage in practice a lot, power play, I didn’t really want to accomplish anything, I just got out there and got the sweat out. That’s the biggest thing I guess.”
As for the fan support?
“It just shows how great the fans are in this city,” Rask said. “They support the team and it’s great to see that.”
Head coach Bruce Cassidy seemed satisfied with a day that finally felt a bit like a game day too, calling it a “win-win” for the players, his staff and the fans.
“Well, I thought it was great to be back in front of our home crowd,” Cassidy said. “They had good energy. I think the guys fed off that a little bit. It’s nice to be appreciated I guess or cheered on in these circumstances, but we’re trying to get our work done. That was the message. We can’t get out there and have it like a summer hockey league game. You’re going to make some plays but try to stay detailed as best you can. Sometimes in these environments, you want to do a little more, so we got a little bit of both, but we got our work done. Thanks to the fans for coming out. Supports a good cause and got to see some decent players playing, getting ready to go into the Final, so it’s a win-win.”
Not much bristling going on there, eh? Maybe the aforementioned local radio station should try and enjoy this Stanley Cup Final run like they do when they drool all over a Red Sox World Series or Patriots Super Bowl run! There is nothing like the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the Bruins are showing the city of Boston that for the third time in eight years!