So the verdict is in, Chris Kelly’s injury is a broken tibia bone and will remain out indefinitely. This opens up a whole mess of problems for the Boston Bruins, with their Third Line Centre out and with the only two competent third lines being Jay Pandolfo and Rich Peverly, what can the Bruins do?
Making a trade would probably be the first option many people would think of, and as good as an idea that is.. there is cavalry on it’s way. Okay, waiting around for Carl Soderberg might not the best option for the Bruins right now but tacking on unnecessary salary while still having to sign Soderberg to a contract is probably not the best way to go. What this does, is open up more possibilities for Providence Bruins to get their chance with the big club, and there are three faces in particular we will probably be seeing rotating around until Soderberg shows up.
1. Jordan Caron
AHL Stats (G:10/ A:5 / GP: 44), NHL Stats (G: 0 / A: 1 / GP: 2)
Jordan Caron just recently came back from an injury and in 44 games with Providence this year has only registered 15 points. Now, many people would probably brush that off and pin it on the injury, but Jordan Caron has a history of under performance with Providence. Yes he has spent a good chunk of time up here in Boston when he got here in 2010-11, but for a kid who has been given chance after chance to preform with the big club, it’s time to just leave him in the AHL for good as a checking bottom 6 forward. I haven’t been a big supporter of Jordan Caron, I find his play to be overly physical and he tries to go for the big hits and big attacks but lets the puck squirt free of him everytime he does it. He certainly looks like he could be a great third line NHL forward, but he is going no where fast at the moment. He reminds me a lot of former Bruin Landon Wilson (1996 – 2000) , except where Landon Wilson knew how to rally around his Providence mates (this is exemplified by the 1998-99 P-Bruins Calder winning season) Jordan Caron is over achieving.. without actually achieving anything.
AHL Stats: (G:8 /A: 23/ GP: 35), NHL Stats (G: 1 / A: 4/ GP: 18)
Yes Chris Bourque will more than likely see another chance with the Bruins sometime this season. Bourque made the most of his play making ability in Providence this year almost a point a game pace. He currently sits with 31 points in 35 games, and had 4 points in 18 with Boston. Bourque was improving each and every game he played in Boston, especially with his stick handling and overall hockey sense. Yes, a good portion of his shots hit high glass but he knew how to move the puck around to Kelly and Peverly and was learning to make plays at the NHL level against guys twice his size. I can definitely see Bourque getting a second chance on the third line with Peverly and Pandolfo some time in the future.
3. Ryan Spooner
AHL Stats: (G: 10 / A: 31 / GP: 47) / NHL Stats: (G: 0 / A: 0 / GP: 1 )
Ryan Spooner came out of his shell recently big time with the P-Bruins. He leads the team in points with 41 and is right now the hottest centre on that team behind Carter Camper. Spooner was given a one game shot against the Habs when Brad Marchand was injured back in February, and he didn’t really see much playing time so it’s hard to form an opinion on how he was playing. If he continues his production in Providence at the rate he is, the Bruins will call him up again for another chance and he will probably see a lot more ice time. Spooner definitely has the potential to be a bottom 6 and maybe even a top 6 NHL forward in his future, and now is a perfect opportunity to prove that. Spooner may face a lot of the same problems as Chris Bourque did with his height, but I think he has it in him to deal with it and show a little fang when he needs to.
All stats (AHL and NHL) acquired from hockeydb.com