After plenty of work in training camp to jell with his new teammates, Bruins defenseman Derek Morris is starting to feel more at home on the ice. He is also looking forward to applying in real games what he and his fellow blue-liners have practiced during the preseason.
"It's coming along," Morris said. "Obviously I take great pride in making that first pass out of the zone and utilizing our forwards' speed. They want our D to get up quick into the play, pinch and close more gaps. And that is something I'm working really hard on ? and it will come. [I'm] just looking forward to that first real game."
Morris has been really impressed with the Bruins forward corps and how hard they hustle and get back to help the defense. He also likes their positioning when the puck goes back the other way.
"The best part is how hard our forwards work," Morris said. "When we're doing it right, it's like you can make that outlet pass without even looking because they're always in position. They always come back and help in the D zone too and it makes life a lot easier for us."
Fellow rearguard Andrew Ference played against Morris quite a bit during his days in the Western Conference and is a fan of his game. Ference really likes the player Morris has become and the experience he brings to the Bruins.
"He's been in the league for a long time and that's something that's valuable," Ference said. "He knows the game well, has a feel for the league and the longer you play the more comfortable you become. Your plays are more deliberate, you're careful but not hesitant and you don't panic. I see that in his game. He's obviously very good for our transition game as well. He's a welcome addition for sure."
Off the ice, Morris has acclimated himself and his family to the area quickly. He has been spending quite a bit of time at local rinks with his son, who is playing hockey in Charlestown, Mass.
"I love the city," he exclaimed. "It's been amazing. ? The people are nice everywhere we go. They're excited about the season and passionate about their team. They love their sports and you can tell the Bruins are a part of that again. So I'm just so happy being here and can't wait to get going with the season."