The Bruins' young guns were impressive in the season opener, accounting for a couple of the goals and a handful of points in the 4-3 win over Nashville.
The challenge now will be for players like Jake DeBrusk, Anders Bjork and Charlie McAvoy, among others, to maintain that performance through an 82-game regular season, and that will be apparent when those players suit up for a Monday afternoon matinee against the Colorado Avalanche at TD Garden.
The Bruins haven’t beaten the Avs at home in their last nine meetings dating back to 2001, and many of them have been sleepy, low-emotion affairs that you sometimes see in non-conference match-ups. With the Bruins' youngsters not used to participating in the afternoon matinees that pop on an NHL schedule, they need to find a way to manufacture readiness in a potentially challenging setting.
“We have to guard against [low energy] because we have got some young players that might be used to playing at night all the time,” said coach Bruce Cassidy. “We have to make sure with our group that we’re up and at them and on-time. Colorado has been out East for a while and going through New York, so they should be adjusted.
“We just need to play our game. [The Avs are] probably not coming in here in the greatest of moods after losing to New Jersey, but we need to concern ourselves with being ready. I don’t say that facetiously because some of our young guys just aren’t used to it, and we have to get them going . . . because we have a lot of them in the lineup.”
Everything will be a “first-time” experience for the Bruins rookies, who are so crucial to the success of this year’s team, and Monday represents another one of those challenging experiences. The good news is that Boston’s group of youngsters have good heads on their shoulders and seem ready for these moments.
“The tempo, the style of play, it’s NHL it’s the real deal. No slouches out there,” said DeBrusk. “There are usually one or two guys on each team [in juniors or the AHL] that you can try to circle and expose but there wasn’t one [in his NHL debut], that’s for sure.”