Wednesday, November 7, 2012

It’s About Time
November 5, 2012
Thomas Chace Jr.

Yes, it is about time that the Providence Bruins won their first home game of the season.  On a Sunday afternoon at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, while the New England Patriots had their bye week, the P-Bruins came through with a 3-0 victory over a tired St. John’s team.  Nonetheless, this was a much needed victory in front of another big crowd in Providence.

Coach Bruce Cassidy said that “It was good to finally smile” after the teams fourth home game.  In previous home contests the Bruins came out flying but hit posts or missed chances to open up an early lead to get the home crowd going.  Sunday, it happened like it was scripted.

The P-Bruins big line started and tough guy Bobby Robins scored just 22 seconds into the game.  Robins on his line with Christian Hanson and Lane MacDermid had zero points for the season.  The first period was a fast skating, energy charged period for Providence as they outshot the IceCaps 14-5.

Despite the addition of AHL leading scorer, Chris Bourque, and some highly prized rookies like Ryan Spooner, the Bruins have struggled out of the gate.  The last two seasons, goals were few and far between and this year was supposed to be different.  I believe it will be, and perhaps getting goals from the physical line will loosen the boys up a little.

The second period was similar to the first with the Bruins getting a goal from Carter Camper with helpers from Bourque and Spooner.  The 2-0 lead was gained on the power-play, another big problem last year.  The power-play last year was ranked 30th in the 30 team league and now is ranked 7th in this early part of the regular season.  Half of the teams 18 goals have come on the power-play.  Clearly, the team needs to improve their five on five play.

The final goal was scored by MacDermid with assists to line mates, Robins and Hanson.  These three had no points coming in but left with 5 points and a big win.  It was a great day for the big guys.   Coach Cassidy explained, “It’s always a bonus when guys who don’t historically score, do score, and it gives us a big lift.  The guys love Bobby Robins on this team, to see him score it counts a little bit more.”  The game was not too physical, so Robins was not going to find any willing combatants to attempt the Gordie Howe hat trick.

Robins explained that “We wanted to get off to a good start and set the tone and get in early on the fore check.  We were doing the right things on the fore check and the puck found its way into the net.  It felt good to have the whole line contribute today.”

MacDermid was happy and explained “We got off to a good start with the goal and tried to set the tone physically. The whole team played well tonight and we pushed the puck and fore checked well.

Whenever we chip in offensively,  it’s a bonus, and the guys could build off that.”

Rookie goaltender Niklas Svedberg improved his record to 3-1 and got his first professional shutout while lowering his GAA to 2.01.  Expected starter Michael Hutchinson has been supplanted for now but will get his opportunities when Providence starts playing three games in three nights over the weekends.

It felt good to get a home win and maybe now the Providence club can stop holding their sticks so tight and start meeting their expectations.  I believe it is just a matter of time and perhaps the big guys yesterday showed that it’s not as hard as they have been making it for themselves.  Solid goaltending, balanced scoring, some physical play, and good coaching should lead Providence to more goals and wins.  It’s about time.






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