It will be a battleground kind of preseason game on Monday night as the Boston Bruins will ice a group for their road game vs. New Jersey that’s heavy on the large group of qualified forwards vying for bottom-6 roster spots in the lineup.
Nine of those forwards will be suiting up for the game against the Devils at the Prudential Center including Johnny Beecher, Charlie Coyle, Trent Frederic, AJ Greer, Marc McLaughlin, Tomas Nosek, Craig Smith, Oskar Steen and Jack Studnicka will all be playing with some tough decisions to make in the next 10 days. With only six NHL spots, or perhaps seven if there’s an extra forward to start, there should be a spirited, competitive vibe with National Hockey League employment on the line.
“Obviously you take in the [NHL] resume a bit, but that’s maybe 10 percent. It’s ‘what are you doing right now?’ and you obviously see players get better throughout camp,” said Montgomery when asked last week about evaluating vets vs. rookies during training camp. “The NHL vets tend to grow throughout camp. The younger guys don’t have as much leash, and they really need to impress and then keep building throughout camp. So you’re looking for players that continue to grow and make an impression until the end of camp and veterans that continue to rise to the top.”
Marc McLaughlin, in particular, has played well and scored a pair of goals in Saturday afternoon’s win over the Flyers at TD Garden, but has facing a slightly uphill battle given that he doesn’t need waivers to be sent down to the AHL.
On the back end it will be a largely young group with Connor Clifton and Mike Reilly as the only NHL regulars from last season suiting up for the Black and Gold, and it’s expected that Keith Kinkaid will be in net against his old Devils squad.
Here’s the Boston Bruins group traveling to New Jersey for Monday night’s preseason game with just a couple left before the regular season gets going on Oct. 12:
#NHLBruins morning rushes:
Frederic – Coyle – Smith
Greer – Studnicka – McLaughlin
Lauko – Beecher – Lettieri
Nosek – Koppanen – Steen
Reilly – Clifton
Renouf – Carrick
Wolff – Ahcan
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) October 3, 2022