For Bruins fans, last night was supposed to be a special night. Opening night of the 2012-13 NHL season, but instead of Bruins fans gearing up for the Philadelphia Flyers, those fans will turn their attention to Opening night of the Providence Bruins which kicks off tonight at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence.
The Baby B’s will take on the Manchester Monarchs who finished in second place in the Atlantic division with 83 points (39-32-2) last season. The Monarchs were led by Justin Azevedo with 28 goals and 22 assists although he accumulated a minus 12 while on the ice for the Monarchs.
The Monarchs are the minor league affiliate of the defending Stanley Cup Champion, L.A. Kings.
The Baby B’s finished their 2011-2012 campaign in fourth place in the Atlantic division sporting a 35-34-3 record. They were led by Carter Camper with 18 goals and 30 assists while Josh Hennessy added 19 goals and 22 assists.
The real story of the night will be the emergence of young stars Jared Knight and Ryan Spooner. Knight is ready for the 2012-13 AHL season and he knows when his number is called for Boston that he will be ready.
“This is still a good opportunity for me and the other young guys to gain experience and play with the veterans,” said Knight. “I played four years in the OHL so coming here there’s bigger and stronger guys. It’s good to get the feet wet and I’m ready when the time comes in Boston.”
This will be a very big year for the Providence Bruins. The club has missed out on the Calder Cup playoffs the past three seasons and in late January, Providence will host the AHL’s All-Star festivities.
Head Coach Bruce Cassidy enters his second year behind the bench and he knows the team needs to get off on the right foot.
“Our expectations are high, in terms of winning,” said Cassidy. “Last year we were very young and in my first season here we were changing a bit our style of play. I think a little of that worked against our start last year.
We are anticipating a better start for the hockey club in terms of wins and losses because of the people we’ve added to our mix, and because we’re expecting the young group we had last year to build on the successes we had last year.”
The Providence Bruins will face off with the Manchester Monarchs tonight at 7:00 p.m. at the Dunk. There is no lock out here and let hockey commence once again!