The Boston Bruins organization is going to have several tough choices to make in the month of January. Shawn Thornton will be eligible to play on January 11th in the game against the San Jose Sharks. As long as Jordan Caron‘s back is still an issue, than this will be the easiest one of the lot for the Black and Gold to make. They will keep a player like Justin Florek on the squad as the thirteenth forward and be done with it. If not, then the Bruins may finally realize that for all the skill and talent Jordan Caron has, he won’t be another Patrice Bergeron.
For the moment, the Bruins have had to recall Florek back to Boston. The second call up in the last seven days.
The next tough choice for the Bruins will pop up when Chris Kelly comes back in a few weeks from his broken ankle. In twenty nine games, Kelly has put up seven points for Boston. Ryan Spooner has earned nine points in half that amount of time. While Chris Kelly is a strong leader for the B’s, it may be time for the Bruins to put Spooner’s speed and aggressiveness in the offensive zone to use on a more permanent basis. The truth of the matter is that Claude Julien likes his veterans, and in all likelihood they will send Spooner back to Providence.
The tough choices will only continue for Boston. What will the Bruins do once Loui Eriksson returns to the line up? Demoting Reilly Smith (now the leading scorer) for Boston seems foolhardy to the point of insanity. Brad Marchand has come back to his old playing style, and it really makes no sense demoting him either. (Although if one of the players does get knocked down a line, my money would be on Marchand at the moment.) Either way, Eriksson’s return means demoting a good player, or sending one of the Providence players who have earned a slot back down to the AHL.
Finally, there is the hole in the Boston blue line. The Bruins will need someone to fill in for the remainder of the season to replace the injured Dennis Seidenberg. While Kevan Miller has done an adequate job, Boston may have to look for another experienced veteran to fill the ranks. With the pure amount of talent the AHL players have shown off, it has given Peter Chiarelli an adequate stockpile to use in a potential trade deal. Maybe the Bruins can find Jordan Caron a team that can use his skill set and get a solid d-man to boot.
The organization will have its hands full in the next few weeks for certain.