PHILADELPHIA – If rookie Bobby Brink puts together a couple more performances like he did Friday night in Boston, he just might be ahead of schedule toward his ultimate goal.
The Flyers’ prospect registered a goal and an assist in regulation time, then scored in the shootout as the visitors went home with a 4-3 win, their first victory of the preseason.
On top of that, Brink was back in the lineup for Saturday night’s home game against the New Jersey Devils at the Wells Fargo Center.
Assistant coach Rocky Thompson had a lot of good things to say about Brink, who won an NCAA scoring title with Denver University before coming to the Flyers.
If there are any concerns about the young forward’s defensive prowess, the game in Boston might have put some of that worry to rest.
“Yeah, he was stripping guys of the puck,” Thompson grinned after the Saturday morning skate at the Flyers Training Center in Voorhees, N.J. “He was good on the power play. We’ve kind of known that. But the five-on-five play, there’s been some positives and not-so-positives.
“I thought he was consistently good, he generated so many scoring chances. He was good, he back-checked hard. He has some momentum going right now. The first couple games were hard on all the guys. They were so dead tired from training camp. This will be an opportunity — he played a lot of minutes (Friday) last night. He’s a smaller player, he was battling hard, he was strong on pucks and we expect him to do that tonight.”
>Atkinson making debut
After missing the first three preseason games, all on the road, Cam Atkinson finally made his debut on Saturday night.
He was all smiles after the morning skate. Any lingering soreness from some tough drills appears to have dissipated.
“Just get the first couple shifts out of the way and have some fun,” said Atkinson, who missed all of last season due to back surgery. “I’m just looking forward to getting out there and playing a game.”
Atkinson said he had to be a little more aware of defensive zone coverage.
“I like to pride myself in working hard,” he said. “I plan on playing the last three home games (the Islanders and Bruins will be making appearances next week). Once you get the first game out of the way, the timing will get better. Like I said, I’m just excited to get this one out of the way.”
In addition, Atkinson looks forward to this season because he will be reunited with his former coach in Columbus, that being John Tortorella.
Those two generally got along but there was an occasional clash because both have somewhat fiery personalities.
“You just have to mentally prepare yourself,” Atkinson said. “I think that’s probably the biggest thing. I think I’ve done a pretty good job with that in this camp.”