WILMINGTON ‘ Brian McGrattan returned to the Ristuccia Arena ice on Monday after taking the weekend to do something he hadn’t done in a while: play in games.
The B’s sent McGrattan, a healthy scratch in five contests since signing with the team on Oct. 11, to Providence for conditioning, where the veteran enforcer played in three games.
“It was good,” McGrattan said of the three-day trip on Monday. “It was fun to get out there and get in a game atmosphere and kind of get my game legs going, because obviously a game is a lot different than practicing and skating after practice, so I was just glad that I got the opportunity to go down and play there.”
McGrattan, who has practiced with the fourth line, has yet to see ice time with the NHL  club due to the solid play of fourth-line wingers Brad Marchand  and Shawn Thornton . Asked if he felt rusty after going so long since skating in a game, McGrattan provided a reminder that he doesn’t generally expect to see 82 games a year.
“My whole career I’ve kind of had long layoffs between games,” McGrattan said with a smile. “It was fun. It was good to get out there. To be able to play a regular shift felt good. Three games in about two and a half days, I wasn’t used to that.”
McGrattan, who famously holds the record for penalty minutes in an AHL season with 551 back in 2004-05, ironically did not spend a second in the box this weekend. He chalked that up to a lack of worthy adversaries, saying “there’s not really anybody down there to go with.”
McGrattan figures to eventually see some ice time with the Bruins, though the second and third line tinkering seems to be the extent of the roster tweaks the 6-2 club is making for the time being, wisely taking the if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it approach.