LING BRINGS VETERAN PRESENCE TO REBOUNDING P-BRUINS
By Alex Kronberger
Coming off of his first weekend with the Providence Bruins, David Ling has wasted no time in building a place for himself among the P-Bruins' veteran corps. After a frustrating wait to clear waivers that was extended until last Friday morning by the Veterans' Day holiday, the 16-year pro was thrilled to be back in North America for the first time since the 2007-08 AHL season. Ling's debut in Providence was a classic trial by fire during which he played in three games in three days.
"The transition was fast, but I know a couple of players here and that's made it a lot easier," said Ling.
Despite the fact that he still had yet to practice with his new team, there was no question that Ling had found chemistry with his new linemates by the third game of the weekend against Abbotsford on Sunday afternoon. Late in the third period, Ling tallied two assists when Jeremy Reich scored twice in just under two and a half minutes, an effort that propelled the P-Bruins to their second home win of the season. The second of the two goals not only marked Reich's 100th professional goal, but also Ling's 300th American Hockey League assist.
"I went into the three in three without any practices, but it was good," said Ling who spent his last two seasons with the Khabarovsk Amur in the KHL. "The team's starting to win some games and starting to score some goals."
While playing in Europe for four of the last five seasons, the native of Halifax, Nova Scotia welcomed the challenges of skating in the Russian, Swiss and Finish professional leagues, where he played in 213 games, totaling 46 goals, 90 assists and 136 points.
"I was in Europe for four years and it's a tough place to play. It's not ideal hockey for a North American, but it's also a learning experience. [KHL hockey] is a fast game with really skilled players, but it's not very physical."
With his experience in both the European and North American leagues, the veteran right-winger, who played his 1000th professional game last year, feels right at home in a Providence locker room that includes players from both continents.
Ling has also welcomed the opportunity to join a Providence Bruins squad that is rebounding from a disappointing month of October during which they went winless on home ice with an overall record of 2-5-1-1. Since, the club has won five of six to begin November.
"There are lots of good young players here, and it's a team that's moving up. Good things are starting to come."
With his 300th AHL assist and his first points as a P-Bruin under his belt, Ling looks to continue to settle into coach Rob Murray's locker room as the height of the 2010-11 hockey season approaches.
"I'm just trying to come in and play the system. I'm an offensive player that can bring energy and hopefully I can bring leadership to a younger team."
The P-Bruins will be back at The Dunk on Friday for Dunkin' Donuts Mug Night when they host the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.