Apr 21, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins center Carl Soderberg (34) looks to pass around Florida Panthers defenseman Mike Weaver (43) during the second period of a NHL game. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Soderberg almost ready to return to the Bruins.

There’s a little more good news in Boston. Carl Soderberg has been cleared for contact and is looking ready to get back on the ice for Boston. While that’s great to see one of our own back on the ice, it does leave a question unanswered. Where will Soderberg end up once he’s cleared to play?

Soderberg was initially placed on the third line. With his injury, that spot on the wing went to Jordan Caron. Caron has made a case for himself to remain in the NHL, but his lone point (an assist) may relegate him back to the land of the healthy scratch. It’s likely that he will end up on the third line.

That may not be where he ends up though. In the last two practices, Soderberg was seen wearing the ‘merlot’ practice jersey reserved for those who work on the fourth line. Could Soderberg start out with the Merlot Men before he works himself back up to work with Chris Kelly and Brad Marchand on the third line? (That’s stating that Marchand stays on the third, but that’s a totally different story all together.) With the entire fourth line scoreless so far, could Claude Julien be making this sort of swap out to generate a little internal spark from them?

Claude Julien has been known to tinker with the lines. Sometimes it’s a tinker in the style of a fine Swiss watchmaker. In other cases, it’s more of a “Oh, why not?”. One of the strengths of the Bruins organization is that any player could play on any line and perform well. I’m sure Julien will place Soderberg where he can do the most good. The Bruins need another big presence that can make turnovers and score goals for them.

While Soderberg won’t be in the lineup for the two Florida away games, it’s likely he will be wearing the Black ‘B’ for the first time as an active player this season when the Bruins take on the San Jose Sharks next Thursday at the TD Garden.

 

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