For the game, the 5-foot-8, 174-pounder finished with one hit (on the Rangers’ Derek Stepan in front of the Boston bench) and missed wide on two shot attempts, including one that sailed high over the crossbar with the New York net vacated and just 85 seconds to play.
“I don’t want my first goal to be an empty netter,” he said with a chuckle. “I want the goalie to be in there; that’s my excuse why.
One of the defenseman’s sticks was right in the (shooting) lane, so I tried to get it over and it kind of sailed on me there. Obviously, I got a little too excited.”
By suiting up Saturday night, Bourque and his father became the fifth father-son duo to lace ‘em up for the Bruins, joining Ken and Kenny Hodge, Ron and John Grahame, Albert G. and Albert T. DeMarcos, and Harvey and Bill Bennett.
If Bourque was excited, nervous or felt pressure, it certainly didn’t show to his teammates. Before a large crowd of family and friends including his wife, infant son, parents and even family from Montreal, Bourque looked like he belonged.
“You can see Chris has that confidence in him from playing during the lockout,” said fellow Bruins left winger Daniel Paille. “He brings that element playing with Kel and Pevs. They find ways to create scoring chances, and Chris adds to that.”
“He played well, and we expect him to play well,” added defenseman Johnny Boychuk, who had a goal in the opener on his 29th birthday. “I like seeing him on that line; those are three good players. With Chris up there, he’s a fast, skilled player who adds to an already great line.”
While they would certainly welcome an infusion of offense at any time, the Bruins didn’t keep Bourque with the big club because they want him to light up the scoreboard each night. Rather, they want — make that need — him to be solid in all three zones, particularly in his defensive end, if he wants to ultimately stick with them.