BOSTON, Mass – If the Bruins were trying to get all of the firsts out of the way in their season opener, they did a pretty good job of it in Thursday night’s win over the Predators.
Both Jake DeBrusk and Charlie McAvoy scored their first NHL goals in their very first regular season games, and Anders Bjork also notched his first career point in Boston’s 3-2 victory at the Garden. Even better both DeBrusk and McAvoy did it in front of their families, including former NHLer Louie DeBrusk wiping away tears in his eyes after watching his boy score in the game’s second period. Particularly for a player like the 20-year-old DeBrusk that wasn’t able to break through for a goal in the preseason, notching one on a nifty little 1-on-1 move at a meaningful moment is something he’ll always remember.
“[It’s] pretty surreal to be honest. It was one that I’ll never forget, that’s for sure. A little bit of a blur at the moment. Was just trying to make a quick move, and it went in, and the crowd went pretty loud. So I’ll never forget that feeling,” said DeBrusk. “[His dad] is known as a tough guy but I heard that there were some tears coming from him. So it’s a very emotional time, but I’ll be chirping him for a couple of years to come. That’s for sure.”
Those specific, individual moments were obviously special for those rookies, and created personal memories that will last a lifetime. But they also brought an enthusiastic energy to a Bruins team looking for any kind of motivation entering a new season, and eased the pressure each young player was feeling to contribute immediately.
“I think [it means] a lot. I mean, even when they try to think, ‘yeah okay, I just want to have a good game.’ They still want to get the first one,” said David Pastrnak, who also scored in Thursday night’s opener and can still remember his first NHL goal in a Bruins uniform. “Once you get the first one, first point they can get the thought in their head, ‘I can play in this league.’
“You know, instead of game by game going [by] with no points and you start thinking more and more [about it]. I’m talking from my own experience, you know. So, it’s good. I’m really happy for the guys and [I’m glad] they scored.”
Now DeBrusk, McAvoy and Bjork should move into their next few NHL games with a different level of confidence, and the growing belief that they truly belong after getting off to a rousing good start on opening night.