BOSTON — Recently-acquired winger Nick Ritchie arrived in Boston on Monday night. On Tuesday, he debuted for his new team at TD Garden.
The result wasn’t ideal, with the Bruins dropping a 5-2 result to the Calgary Flames for their second straight loss, but head coach Bruce Cassidy wasn’t about to blame the new guy.
“I thought he was fine, I’m not going to judge him on a — he flew in here yesterday,” Cassidy said when asked about his impressions of Ritchie postgame.
“He’s trying to get acclimated. There has to be a decent amount of period before we see what we got, and then go from there … I’d rather watch some tape and see if, did he finish checks, did he get inside? Some of the details he’s going to bring to us. Rather look at the whole group, and we just did not have our — the guys we rely on to play, play well, had a tougher time tonight. And it kind of showed up in the end.”
Ritchie was traded from the Anaheim Ducks on Monday in exchange for Danton Heinen.
His excitement to show out for a first-place team was evident, laying a big hit on Milan Lucic early on and finishing with six more before the game’s conclusion. Aside from that, Ritchie was quiet in each of the lines Cassidy played around with.
Based on his first postgame interview with Boston media after his debut, Ritchie is taking the same patient approach to his new environment despite the performance.
“Playing with the new guys, I think it’s a little more challenging than it looks,” Ritchie admitted. “From playing with the same guys for years and you come right over in one day and start playing with different guys, it is challenging. Change is good but it also takes a bit longer.
“I think the game the best time to improve and get to know every body so obviously I’ll watch some film probably on Thursday morning and then get right back at it Thursday night.”
The team is off Wednesday, but Ritchie soon will be thrown into another game to get better acclimated.
The Bruins host the Dallas Stars on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images