Snakebit Bruins Await Connolly’s Return

For the Bruins this season, in a lackluster and cap-riddled state, more misfortune just seems inevitable.

The inevitability resumed on Wednesday when newly acquired winger Brett Connolly suffered a broken finger in his right hand after a Dennis Seidenberg shot struck the 22-year-old. Team doctors examined Connolly’s hand during the resolution of Wednesday’s practice in Wilmington.

As the Florida Panthers continue to linger in the standings behind Boston with 69 pts., the Bruins (71 pts.) have caught an additional source of pressure to expand their distance from the Panthers after one of their trade deadline acquisitions has already fallen without even touching the ice in gameplay.

Tuesday’s practice disclosed the notion that Connolly’s services may be needed on the fourth line, as Gregory Campbell continues to muster through injury. Wednesday’s practice, however, proved Connolly’s commodity value as a depth forward, when the ex-Lightning was seen working on the third line with Loui Eriksson and Carl Soderberg.

General Manager Peter Chiarelli told the media on Monday during his 5pm press-conference he sees great potential in Connolly and praised the winger for his elusive skating and quick shot.

Connolly has played 50 games this season with the Lightning, and has posted 12 goals, 3 assists (15 pts.). The Bruins can only hope for this young forward to bud into a true goal scorer along the right wing, an area lacked since Jerome Iginla departed Boston this past summer.

It’s an unfortunate start in Connolly’s chapter with the Bruins, and Chiarelli can only hope this injury does not hinder Connolly from performing at a high level. The winger’s injury yields more depth struggles, something the Bruins hoped this deadline trade would resolve. It now appears that Brian Ferlin will get the nod for Thursday’s game against the Flames.

Ferlin was also spotted at Bruins practice Wednesday, as he paired up with the fourth line wingers. Newly acquired ex-Avalanche forward Max Talbot was in the mix with the Merlot line Wednesday, too, as he practiced with Daniel Paille, Chris Kelly, and Ferlin.

So for all you Brett Connolly advocates out there, it appears you’ll have to await his depute with the Bruins for about another month. The Bruins were yearning to see what Connolly was made of sooner than later to help ensure he was worth the deadline move. Yet now, Charelli and company will have to ponder this move for 6 weeks, and a lot can happen over that time.

The Bruins need a sniper-like shot on their right wing. Thursday’s tilt against the Flames was the potential date to examine Connolly and his skills. It would give the Bruins front office a chance to gauge an understanding for their new forward. For now, it’s only a guessing game of how the youngster will fare in Boston.