A.J. Greer Makes Case For Bruins Roster Spot Out Of Camp

'Every time I hit someone, it was like, 'Oh, let's go!'

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September 28

An NHL fourth-liner must bring energy, physicality and tough-mindedness to the rink every night, and A.J. Greer did just that for the Bruins on Tuesday night.

The sixth-year veteran potted two goals —including the game-winner— in Boston’s 3-2 overtime win over the New York Rangers at TD Garden. Head coach Jim Montgomery praised Greer after the game, telling reporters that if the season began tomorrow, he’d be in the lineup.

It’s no guarantee Greer will make the Bruins roster out of training camp, but he sure is putting up one heck of a fight between his strong camp and two preseason games. And with the bottom-six not solidified by any means, with Nick Foligno, Trent Frederic and Marc McLaughlin all fighting for spots, Greer has a chance to break out over the next week or two.

A lot of energy Greer brought was showcased during his overtime celebration when he scored the game-winning goal. He dropped to his knees, pumped his fist and celebrated with his teammates. Sure, it’s just preseason, but this is the kind of energy you want to see from players — especially ones whose spot in the lineup isn’t a sure thing.

“When I scored that OT goal, maybe I shouldn’t have (celebrated) that hard. I love scoring goals,” Greer told reporters after the game. “And scoring an OT in Boston, what do you want more? I have fun playing the game. That’s the thing. I’m focused, I’m intense, I’m an intense person. But I enjoy what I do. I’m not gonna apologize. But that was definitely a sick reaction from the crowd, and I look forward to doing that again, hopefully.”

Greer isn’t afraid to throw his weight around, which the Bruins were missing last season, and amassed three hits and 17 penalty minutes Saturday. Modeling his game after Milan Lucic will be music to B’s fans’ ears, after all, the Bruins could benefit from someone like that, and he heard all their cheers while he was sitting in the penalty box Tuesday night at TD Garden.

“Every time I hit someone, it was like, ‘Oh, let’s go!’ I got in the penalty box, people hollering at me, ‘Nice goal, nice hits, keep going!’ Boston is such a great city,” Greer told reporters. “Boston people are awesome. They have such an intense energy. I’ve been to Bruins games before when I was at BU, and it’s the same type of thing. To be that energetic at a preseason game, it definitely excites you for what’s to come.”

The fact Montogomery and Greer’s teammates already are impressed is a good sign and it’s likely we’ll continue to see this kind of grit from Greer until cuts begin to come around, so it’s probably fair to assume he’ll continue to make it harder on Montgomery to not have him on the roster come Opening Night.

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Thumbnail photo via Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports Images
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