Wednesday, May 14, 2014
In first Game 7, Fraser soaking it all in
By Joe McDonald
BOSTON -- Last Wednesday, Matt Fraser was sitting at a Chipotle restaurant in Providence, R.I., when he received a phone call from Bruins assistant general manager Don Sweeney, who informed the 23-year-old forward he was being promoted to Boston. Fraser quickly put down his double-chicken burrito with guacamole and no cheese, and before packing his things for his flight to Montreal he still had time to grab a frozen yogurt.
The next night, Fraser provided the game-winning goal in overtime to help the Bruins to a 1-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens in Game 4 of this second-round Stanley Cup playoff series. Now, he’s preparing for his first career Game 7.
“You grow up watching games like this, you’re sitting at home on the couch and you’re watching it. Obviously, the difference now is you’re involved in it and it’s definitely exciting,” Fraser said. “It’s something that every kid probably dreams about to play, and this rivalry itself is pretty exciting.”
Fraser has given the Bruins a youthful spark in the last three games, playing on the third line along with Carl Soderberg and Loui Eriksson. Bruins coach Claude Julien has been impressed with the left-winger and believes Fraser will handle this Game 7 situation just fine.
“I mean, there’s players on all teams that can be facing [their first Game 7],” Julien said. “I’m sure [Montreal] have a few as well. If they put in [Nathan] Beaulieu, it will be his first time, too. So that is just the way it goes and you have to handle it the best way you can.”
Fraser has been trying to absorb all he can since his promotion. The thing that has stood out the most, he said, is the professionalism of the team’s veteran players, specifically Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara.
“You see Bergy and you see Zee, you see all these guys that carry themselves on a professional manner, not just at the rink but everywhere they go,” Fraser said. “That’s part of being a professional and that’s part of being a good person. To see them do it, and they’ve got all the accolades and they’ve done it all. Yet, they come to the rink and they’re the hardest-working guys.”