The Boston Bruins don’t play again until Wednesday night, however we already know some players won’t be making the trip to Canada when the B’s take on their division rival, the Montreal Canadiens.
Forwards Brad Marchand and David Krejci sat out practice on Monday, however both are most likely game time decisions for the B’s and both are actually expected to play versus the Habs. Marchand was even a participant at B’s practice this morning, which is usually a good sign.
Fellow injured forwards Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton aren’t as fortunate though and won’t be in uniform Wednesday night, or even be present in Montreal as the team informed us today that the injured pair won’t be accompanying the Bruins north of the border.
Thornton suffered a concussion last week against the Sabres and is reportedly symptom free according to Bruins head coach Claude Julien, but after dealing with their fair share of concussions (see: Patrice Bergeron and Marc Savard) the B’s have learned its best to take your time when it comes to head injuries.
That brings us to who is going to fill their roster spots.
Lane MacDermid has filled in admirably for Thornton as the B’s enforcer and he hasn’t done anything as far as I can tell to lose his spot. I’d anticipate seeing him on the fourth line come Wednesday night.
Jaime Tardif was called up over the weekend and was in uniform and on the ice when the B’s played the Maple Leafs in Toronto on Saturday night. Tardif is a career AHL’er and while it was nice to see him finally get his shot after 7 years in the minors, I don’t think he’s the answer or in the plans for the future.
Enter forward Ryan Spooner, who was called up by the B’s last night on an emergency basis once they realized they would be without the services of Paille and Thornton for a while longer.
Spooner was the 2nd round selection (45th overall) of the Bruins in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. He is one of the B’s better offensive prospects and he is showing it this year as a member of the Providence Bruins. In 35 games he has 9 goals to go with 21 assists for a very respectable 30 points and is a +12.
From Hockey’s Future, “Slick, fast and creative, Ryan Spooner is an offensive-minded, puck-possession player. Masterful at carrying the puck, making defenders miss with paralyzing one-on-one moves and then finding the open man. He’s the kind of player who makes his linemates better. Praised profusely by Boston’s head coach Claude Julien for his intelligence. But in junior has shown a tendency to hot dog and lose focus on his defensive assignments… His playing style is reminiscent of Claude Giroux though he may not have quite that high an upside.”
So, its easy to see why Spooner will be given the chance to show just exactly what he can do and I for one am very excited to watch Spooner play with the big boys.
With the Canadiens boasting some unexpected offensive firepower this season in the form of Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher, we’ll get to see exactly how well the Bruins defense matches up against the young guns from bitter rival Montreal and if the B’s just might have some offensively gifted youngsters of their own.