Boston Bruins: Opening Night Roster Taking Shape.


Sep 17, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Washington Capitals goalie

Braden Holtby

(70) makes a save in the second period against Boston Bruins forward Bobby Robins (64) at 1st Mariner Arena. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Bruins have begun to announce which of the players will be making the opening night roster for the 2014-15 NHL season. There are several players that we knew that were going to make it. There is also a couple of unusual surprises.

Ryan Spooner was sent back to Providence last week, but the nagging injury that has kept Gregory Campbell out of the line-up has caused him to be recalled. While he will likely be the starting fourth line center, Spooner showed his flexibility on the left wing. Putting Spooner on the roster is a good sign that the Bruins are moving ahead.

David Pastrnak did not make the roster. The Bruins organization (for whatever reason) believes he needs more time to get ready for the NHL. He’ll also need to put on ten to fifteen pounds of muscle so he can be ready for the big dance.

The same thing can be said about Matt Fraser. Fraser had a strong training camp, and showed marked improvement from last season’s camp. Fraser will  likely be tucked in the fourth line(or possibly the third)with Spooner and Daniel Paille, and it’s a good combination in the short terms. Spooner showed good chemistry with Paille in camp, and this certainly will speed up the fourth line, and if he ends up on the wing with Kelly and Soderberg, there will be an improvement there as well.

The Bruins announced that AHL journeyman (and man of prose and punches) Bobby Robins made the opening night roster.  (It appears that the coach won the battle with the front office over how the fourth line was to be formed.) On some level, the Robins choice makes sense. Claude Julien said he was only going to ‘tweak’ his lines. In some ways, he’s a lot like Shawn Thornton. He has eighty fights in his last three seasons in Providence. He’s an extremely physical presence on the ice. He was in the double digits for hits in the preseason, and he got into one fight.  He may also may end up as the thirteenth forward once Campbell is healthy.

Some members of the Bruins fan base have been less than thrilled with Robins making the roster. The fans were looking for a faster, younger Fraser/ Khokhlachev-Spooner/Paille line. Instead they got a slightly faster, certainly more aggressive ‘Burgundy Line’. Personally, I won’t knock it until we see Robins making bad plays on the ice.