It looks like the final pieces are coming into place for the Boston Bruins. The final slots for the roster are getting filled. While it’s still up in the air who is going to make the team, it’s clear that players have all been told their place in the club. Sadly, I think one or two really talented people are going to get left by the wayside (or more likely sent to Providence) when the Bruins announce who has made their team.
The two players who I suspect will be on the outside looking in (and on other teams would already be in) are Nick Johnson and Ryan Spooner. Johnson, a twenty year old veteran with NHL and AHL experience made a strong case for his inclusion on the final roster. The same can be said about the twenty one year old Spooner, who is trying to break out of the AHL Bruins to take a shot a the big time.
The only problem for these two outstanding players is the limited amount of room on the roster. The first two lines were practically carved in stone via trades and other deals. Nathan Horton headed to Columbus, and Jarome Iginla got put in. Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley headed to Dallas. Loui Eriksson and Carl Soderberg assumed their postions. As much as I would like to see Daniel Paille promoted up a line, it looks like he will be remaining with the Merlot Men for the near future. In essence, that leaves a single remaining position open, and Reilly Smith (who has been paired with center Chris Kelly and Soderberg) seems to have gotten that final slot.
After Johnson stood up for Adam McQuaid in their 3-2 overtime win against Washington, the Bruins thought very highly of the veteran. “Just another guy trying to show he’s a good teammate and he’s going to stick up for his team, and he just went in there without hesitation, so kudos to him for doing that,” coach Claude Julien said. “It’s not how many you win, it’s how many you show up for. So we give him credit for that.”
Claude Julien commented about Spooner after last night’s overtime win against the Jets.
“That was a great play by Spoons, and a good job by Fraser setting the screen in front,” said Claude Julien. “Those are the kinds of things that we were talking about after not playing well in the second period. “He’s been good. He opened some eyes . . . there’s no doubt about that. His skating and playmaking ability [are there to see]. There are still some areas that we talk about him improving, but he’s certainly in the mix and he’s put himself into the conversation when we’re making those [roster] decisions.”
Unfortunately, the conversation is too short for a too long list of candidates.