April 1, 2011

Former Thrasher Peverley looking forward to tomorrow's matinee

by Jesse Connolly

Bruins forward Rich Peverley spent parts of three seasons with the Thrashers. (Getty)

BOSTON-- With just a handful games left until the playoffs get under way, Bruins forward Rich Peverley is infinitely grateful to have the opportunity that lies ahead of him.

He'll be receiving a reminder of what life might have been like had he remained in Atlanta, as the Thrashers will visit TD Garden on Saturday afternoon.

"They've been playing pretty well," Peverley said of his former club. "They beat Philly last night, so they're coming into this building with a lot of confidence and we're looking forward to playing them."

Peverley inked a two-year deal last summer after blossoming with the Thrashers, a contract he saw himself fulfilling before hearing the news that he was on his way to Boston.

"I was a little surprised," he said of the trade. "I had signed a two-year deal and I didn't expect to leave in the first year of it. But things happen, things change and I've been happy so far. I found a role and I'm pretty happy with it. We've got a really good team and we've played really well so far."

Saturday's matinee won't be the first time the 28-year-old pivot has had to play a former club.

"Well I've been through it before," he said. "When I was picked up on waivers from Nashville, I played them again in my second game. You just go out and try to play your best game."

With the Thrashers on the verge of being mathematically eliminated from postseason contention, as they find themselves nine points back of the eighth and final spot with just five games left to play, Peverley is happy to be in Black and Gold while his old team will begin yet another early offseason shortly.

"It's nice to be in the playoffs, just knowing we've clinched," he said. "I haven't been in the playoffs for two years, so I'm looking forward to getting back there."

As far as giving his new teammates pointers on what to look for, Peverley has certainly picked up on a few things he might be able to share, but he also realizes that coach Craig Ramsay -- a former associate coach in Boston -- utilizes a strikingly-similar system with the Thrashers.

"You practice with guys for two years, you know some tendencies," Peverley said. "But they've improved really well and they're getting better. I'm just looking to be able to play my game and hopefully we come out with a win."

While tomorrow's game is serious business, ignoring the bond he's formed with many of the Thrashers throughout his time in Atlanta isn't on Peverley's agenda.

"I think I'll probably go out with some of the guys tonight," he said, as the Thrashers are already in town for the tilt. "You develop pretty good relationships when you spend so much time with people. We're good friends."