Feb 1, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins center Carl Soderberg (34) controls the puck during the first period against the Edmonton Oilers at TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Carl Soderberg, Bruins’ Third Line Continues to Enjoy Success


Soderberg Is Vital to the B’s

The Boston Bruins have showed viewers that they boast arguably the best line depth in the NHL.

Obviously, top-liners Patrice Bergeron, David KrejciJarome Iginla and Milan Lucic are among those Bruins who have been skating at their highest level during the B’s nine-game win streak.

Carl Soderberg, though, and the Bruins’ third line has actually been supporting its fair share of the winning burden as well.

Soderberg’s an intelligent, crafty forward; his rink awareness is top-notch, and he’s a steadfast two-way player.

On offense, he employs smart playmaking mannerisms. He’s currently tied with Bergeron and Reilly Smith for the third most assists (27) on the Bruins.

In the Minnesota Wild game, Soderberg scored the goal to provide the B’s with a comfortable 2-0 lead, stealing the puck from Wild’s Kyle Brodziak in his own zone and wrapping around behind goaltender Darcy Kuemper. Soderberg used great vision to slip a backhand pass at the end of his wrap-around, evading three defenders to find Loui Eriksson on the backpost for a simple drag-and-snap finish.

On defense, his 6’3” frame challenges smaller wingers and matches up well with taller, stronger D-men. Soderberg may not constantly display a full physical assault, but he can body opponents when necessary.

Kelly, Eriksson, Soderberg: “Best Third Line” Since ’11

Chris Kelly and Eriksson join the 28-year-old Swede on the third line. Both players have prospered in partnership with Soderberg.

Based on NHL.com stats profiles, Kelly and Eriksson have combined for a total of nine points in March.

Don’t forget, however, that this third line wasn’t always so cohesive and effective, as injuries had taken a toll on all three players about a month ago.

Once Soderberg moved back to his most familiar position at center, the Bruins and specifically his forward group were able to consistently dominate their competition across every grade.

Matt Kalman of the Boston Herald called the Kelly-Soderberg-Eriksson line the best third line for the Bruins since the 2011 pairings of Michael Ryder, Kelly and Rich Peverley.

Hopefully, the 2013-14 gang can translate their worthy performances into the postseason, where the Bruins will truly need to possess the deepest roster in the league.

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Tags: Carl Soderberg Chris Kelly Loui Erikksson