The Bruins kick off their second preseason game tonight when they take on the New York Rangers at home.
The Bruins dropped their first preseason game last Saturday, falling 2-1 to the Philadelphia Flyers on the road. Wins and losses during the preseason do not determine a team’s regular season trajectory, so there is no need to read into the final score.
Most important is seeing which players step up as roster battles continue and players push one another for that coveted roster spot. Once again, the Bruins stars will sit this game out as Jim Montgomery will roll out the prospects and players looking to prove themselves. Fans will get to see some regular season staples tonight as Hampus Lindholm, Brandon Carlo, Mike Reilly, Charlie Coyle, Craig Smith, Trent Frederic, and Jeremy Swayman all make their preseason debut.
Which Players to Keep an Eye On
Fans will get their first look at Anton Stralman, who recently signed a PTO with the Bruins. The veteran defensemen could be key for this Bruins team early on as they will be down two defensemen to start the season. While he is past his prime, Stralman still has enough in the tank to help this team be solid on the blue line in a third pairing role.
While Brandon Carlo is a lock to make the roster, fans should be excited to see if Carlo is ready to take the next step. Head coach Jim Montgomery has recently talked about getting Carlo going offensively and in transition. It will be interesting to see if we will see a preview of that tonight.
Jack Studnicka will get another chance to prove himself tonight after playing in the first preseason game but not looking impressive. The young center needs to make a name for himself during these games if he wants any chance at making the NHL roster and knocking a veteran off the fourth line. Studnicka has the talent; he needs to find a way to translate it to the NHL level, or another year of playing in the AHL awaits him.
Marc McLaughlin came on late in the season last year and impressed right off the back, scoring three goals in 11 games for the Bruins. A strong camp and impressive preseason performance can go a long way in determining where the former Boston College Eagle will start the season. McLaughlin will likely begin the season in Providence but will be one of the first names called up if injuries begin to pile up.