Brian Rolston Happy With Warm Reception From Bruins Fans, But Already Looking to Improve Going Forward


Brian Rolston Happy With Warm Reception From Bruins Fans, But Already Looking to Improve Going ForwardBOSTON — It had been 2,871 days since Brian Rolston last suited up for the Bruins.

And while expectations for the aging forward are much tamer this time around, Rolston is already focusing on improving in the wake of Boston's 1-0 loss to the Senators on Tuesday.

"I felt okay. It's good to get that one behind me, for sure," Rolston said of his first game since being re-aquired by the Bruins on Monday. "You get a little nervous, especially coming in, but I think Mots [Mike Mottau] and I both got that one behind us, and we'll move on and be better next game."

Although Rolston's return didn't go as pleasant as he'd hoped, with the B's getting shutout by rookie netminder Robin Lehner, it still didn't sting quite as bad as Rolston's last game with the B's in 2004, when the Canadiens upset the Bruins in their own building in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

Nearly eight years later, though, the Bruins Faithful are happy to have the quick-shooting forward back in their corner. And they showed that appreciation when Rolston first stepped on the ice with a spoked-B across his chest on Tuesday night.

"It was great. I'm very happy to be here, you know obviously I got a warm reception from the crowd, which means a lot to me. It was a lot of fun," Rolston said. "And like I said, got my legs under me a little bit. I hadn't skated in a couple days, so that'll be good to get another practice in and start feeling more comfortable."

Rolston logged 8:21 of ice time during the defeat, playing as a center on Boston's fourth line between Jordan Caron and Benoit Pouliot. It's a position that's not completely unfamiliar to Rolston, especially during his previous stint in Boston, but the 39-year-old has spent most of his time in recent years playing on the wing.

While such a change could pose a risk to some, Rolston doesn't see it being problamatic should head coach Claude Julien elect to use him in that capacity.

"I played center tonight, which I haven't played in a while, so that's another little bit of adjustment there that I have to make," Rolston said. "But I've played long enough where I've played center for a lot of years, and it'll just take me a game or two to feel a little more sharp here."

The newcomer called Tuesday's game a "feeling-out process," saying that the biggest challenge will be adapting to the "little things" that the Bruins do, particularly defensively. Rolston's excited, however, because he understands that those "little things" are what make the Bruins so successful, even if the results weren't there on Tuesday.

But just as Rolston's first game was a feeling-out process for him, it was just as much so for Julien, as the coach tries to figure out how to implement his new weapons. It's a process that will prove even more difficult when defenseman Greg Zanon, acquired from the Minnesota Wild on Monday, makes his debut — presumably on Thursday.

Julien's decision-making and the new guys' ability to adapt will be made easier, though, when the guys that have been with the B's all season provide full, 60-minute efforts, which the coach admitted wasn't there on Tuesday night.

"Both [Rolston and Mottau] their first game –- they showed up this morning and [I] certainly didn't expect miracles out of those guys, but again, it's always hard to judge those guys because the guys around them didn't do very well," Julien said after the loss. "And they probably didn't look bad, but they probably would've looked even better if we were better around them."

As for whether Rolston will remain at center or move back to his natural position on the wing, Julien is going to wait and see. He plans to utilize the veteran wherever he's needed on a given night, which is perfectly fine with Rolston.

It might be eight years later, but it's clear Rolston is the same guy Bruins fans fell in love with the first time around: a consummate pro.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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