Brett Connolly impresses in Boston Bruins Debut


When the Boston Bruins acquired twenty-two year old Brett Connolly from the Tampa Bay Lightning at the trade deadline, hopes were high among the fans. The Bruins essentially traded Connolly for Johnny Boychuk, and the fans were hoping this Chiarelli trade would pan out for them. As luck would have it, Brett Connolly had his right index finger broken by a Dennis Seidenberg slap shot during practice.  That setback occurred just two days into his Boston career.

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  • Welcome to the Bruins Brett.

    Connolly was projected to miss six weeks and was in danger of missing the rest of the regular season.(He ended up missing fourteen games.) That projection only galvanized the pitchfork and torch brigade in Boston. Connolly was out for several weeks as the finger healed. He was eventually allowed to skate again, and then take contact during practice. That set the stage for last night’s performance against the Detroit Red Wings. Once again, the Bruins were in a must-win situation. A victory would improve their odds, and give them the tie-breaker win in the playoff bracket over Detroit if it came down to that.

    Connolly started out the night playing on the Merlot Line. He played with Chris Kelly and Gregory Campbell. As the night progressed, the Red Wings were piling on the aggression. Coach Claude Julien had to start changing line configurations, a process made worse by the loss of Patrice Bergeron (He missed the second period after taking a stick to the face. Somehow, the refs seemed to miss the blood and the fact that he had twenty plus stitches and a full face guard when he returned in the third.). As the game moved into the final period, Connolly found himself on the B’s second line, centered by Ryan Spooner.

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    Connolly spent most of his career with the Tampa Bay Lightning playing as a bottom-six forward. He got a chance to show the Bruins and the fans just what those draft picks were worth last night. Overall, it was a strong performance from the guy wearing #14. He earned two assists (on the Carl Soderberg and Zach Trotman goals), and was a +1 on the ice. He had one shot on goal, and three hits during his 12:44 on the ice. (He ended up playing one second less than Milan Lucic.)

    Connolly brought a physical game to the ice tonight. He had no problem engaging the Red Wings along the boards. For a 6’2″ guy that only weighs 181 lbs, he was putting every ounce of force he could muster on the ice. He’s got a solid shot. The Bruins have been looking for a right-shot, right-winger and they may have finally gotten what they were looking for.

    While tonight wasn’t the best night for the Bruins, it was a good night for the newest member of the team.

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