Matt Fraser and Jordan Caron In For Bruins?


May 12, 2014; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Boston Bruins left wing Matt Fraser (25) before the game six against Montreal Canadiens of the second round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

With the Boston Bruins officially bringing Torey Krug and Reilly Smith back into the fold for the 2014-2015 season, it reduced the number roster spots open to competition to two. Smith will obviously move back into his role alongside Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron while Krug will likely being in the second defensive pairing alongside Johnny Boychuk to start the season.

This made Tuesday’s night preseason game against the Islanders even more important for players trying to crack the Bruins roster for the upcoming season. Well the verdict came in on Wednesday and the Bruins announced four more roster cuts and there were certainly some surprise subtractions made in the eyes of fans.

Alexander Khokhlachev, Justin Florek, and Jeremy Smith were three of the roster cuts made, however the one that raised the eyebrows and in some cases drew the ire of the fanbase was the news of Ryan Spooner being sent back to Providence. A lot of people felt coming into training camp that Spooner would have a strong chance of making the roster based off of his speed and offensive skill.

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However, it didn’t take long to see the writing on the wall for Spooner after Julien criticized him for some of his defensive liabilities after losing to the Montreal Canadiens in the opening game of the preseason. Not saying that Spooner is beyond reproach, but it seemed typical of Claude to criticize a player who had a productive night on the scoresheet but didn’t demonstrate the type of two play he expects to see from all of his forwards. But Spooner’s natural position is center and there’s enough naturally talented wingers remaining in the preseason that should get those final two spots.

The first of those is Matt Fraser who has seemed to garner the most praise of any of the younger players trying to crack this roster. Fraser has been able to build off of the chance the Bruins provided to him during the playoffs last year(and that was on a broken foot). He showed up for camp bigger, stronger and looks to have developed even more of a physical element to his game. However, the part of Fraser’s game that is getting the most attention from the media and his teammates is the wicked snapshot that he possesses which has already led to a couple of goals in the preseason.

In the other wing spot which will most likely be on the fourth line will be Jordan Caron. Apparently, a strong game in the preseason can makeup for what has been a less than lackluster five seasons with the organization. Some people have stated the physical forward could provide more offensive power than Shawn Thornton on that fourth line wing spot. Maybe I’m focusing strictly on the negative but in 35 games Caron only posted one goal last year.

My thought is Caron will make the roster given Julien and Chiarelli’s incessant pandering of Caron and wanting to somehow justify selecting him with their first round pick in 2009. However, the injury to David Pastrnak and his inability to participate in game action could have a lot to do with this as well.

“There’s no doubt he’s fighting for a spot, and he wants to show us that he belongs here, and if he plays like that, he’s got a real good chance of sticking.”-Claude Julien

Don’t be surprised if once Pastrnak is fully recovered and gets some games under his belt that he gets the nod over Caron, especially if Jordan doesn’t display this offensive skill that people are talking about. Pastrnak meets the Bruins need for speed and pure offensive skill and after all; isn’t that what Chiarelli and Julien were hinting at when discussing the direction of their third and fourth line during the offseason?