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Boychuk eager to face his hometown team

BOSTON -- The Edmonton Oilers, who are off to a surprising 9-3-2 start and are the talk of the NHL with their young, skilled and speedy forwards such as Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle, will play the Bruins at TD Garden Thursday night and Bruins defenseman and Edmonton native Johnny Boychuk can’t wait. Boychuk was just a young boy for the majority of the Oilers' dynasty years in the mid-'80s to early-'90s, but he was an avid fan growing up and facing the team he grew up cheering for is always special.

“Of course,” Boychuk answered when asked if he gets extra excited for games against the Oilers. “You watch them growing up and playing against them is definitely more special than playing other teams.”

Boychuk said he still keeps tabs on his hometown team and has been impressed with their resurgence.

“They’re definitely better than they have been in the last few years,” Boychuk said. “They’re energetic, a lot of speed, skill and really young forwards.”

Boychuk isn’t ready to anoint this current Oilers core as a future dynasty, though but he is excited for the dedicated fans of Edmonton.

“Definitely they have the skill and potential to get there,” Boychuk said. “It’s nice to see they have a better team especially for the fans back home who have been loyal supporters for so long. It’s great to see them rewarded.”

The goal tomorrow for Boychuk and the Bruins will be to contain that speed and skill.

“We need to have clean breakouts,” Boychuk said. “We also need to keep it in their zone and not turn the puck over at the blue line so their speed doesn’t burn us.”