Carl Soderberg Excellent in Boston
All Boston Bruins fans witnessed the B’s dominate the regular season and falter in the middle of the playoffs.
During the 82 games spanning from last fall to April, the Bruins maintained consistently solid performances, notably an excellent win streak in March. After all, the B’s won the Presidents Trophy, given to the NHL squad with the season’s highest point total, so you would expect them to harness high-level production from nearly all skaters.
One player really stuck out, though, neither Patrice Bergeron, whose brilliance we’ve seen countless times, nor captain Zdeno Chara, the Bruins’ top D-man who also holds very high expectations, but former HockeyAllsvenskan (Swedish hockey league) man Carl Soderberg.
Strength on the puck and a tactful hockey sense allowed the 6-foot-3 lefty to tear up Sweden in 2012, netting 60 points in 54 games for the Malmo Redhawks.
“It was unique because he is an older player who’s had international success, who’s had success in Europe on the bigger ice and a different system over there, a completely different system,” Chiarelli said about a month ago, according to Amalie Benjamin of The Boston Globe. “So sometimes those guys don’t adapt when they come over.”
The Bruins signed the forward to a three-year deal on Apr. 13, 2013, and he made six appearances before the season’s conclusion, notching merely two assists.
Carl Soderberg also wasn’t anything special in the beginning of his 2013/14 campaign, but once ailments to Chris Kelly and Ryan Spooner placed him at the centre position, his stats and general noticeability swelled. When the playoffs came about for the Bruins, Soderberg had 48 points in 73 contests, amongst the best point-to-appearance ratios for a fixture in the Bruins’ gameday lineup.
In the playoffs, Soderberg lead by example during a time where his team struggled. On the ice against the Montreal Canadiens, the crafty Swede was often the only bright spot of Boston’s dismal play, his most remarkable display a 3-point effort giving the Bruins a 3-2 series lead. Another notable competition was Game 4, as his lone creativity handed the B’s a vital 1-0 victory in Montreal.
He was the best player in this elimination series, no doubt, and being a huge part of the Black and Gold’s “killer” depth, one could tell his awareness, among other traits, makes him arguably the NHL’s best third-liner. The St. Louis Blues draft pick put forth great work right up until the Bruins croaked, and he should continue to deploy his expertise during his second full campaign under Claude Julien.