Boston Bruins: Filling In The Gaps


The Boston Bruins have some big shoes to fill for the immediate future. Bruins forward David Krejci has been listed as ‘week-to-week’ with an undisclosed upper body injury. Sadly, this means David Krejci will be out for Friday’s Winter Classic. Now, the Black and Gold need to figure out who can handle the job of being a top-six center.

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“Definitely, it’s a big loss for us,” said Bruins captain Zdeno Chara following yesterday’s practice.  “At the same time, it’s a challenge. We all know that, but we’ve just got to take it with the right attitude, and obviously, other guys have to step up and fill the big shoes that he filled.”

Coach Claude Julien has determined that Ryan Spooner will be the man to fill in the center spot on the Bruins second line, centering for Matt Beleskey and Loui Eriksson.  It’s certainly a 180-degree turn in the mindset of the Bruins’ bench boss. Last season found Spooner going back and forth to Providence, playing only 29 games with the big club. Spooner’s hard work during the off-season and the first part of this season has validated the 23-year old forward in the eyes of the Bruins’ bench boss, and now it’s up to the young Canadian to show he can handle the job of a top-six forward.

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  • “It’s not good to see somebody go down,” offered Spooner after Monday’s practice. “But at the same time, it was a chance for me, and last year, I had some ups and some downs, but for the most part, I thought that I played well. Again, at the beginning of the season here, I kind of just came in and I didn’t really say to myself that I had a spot here; I just said to myself, I’m going to come in here and try to earn it.

    “With this season, I’ve had some ups and some downs, but I think in the past month, I’ve been playing a lot better. I just want to try to improve each game that I play.”

    Claude Julien finally seems to trust the work of Ryan Spooner. Maybe it was Spooner’s four-point game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Perhaps it was Spooner’s willingness to drop the gloves and help protect his team. There is no doubt Spooner has progressed this season. He’s also improved on special teams, putting in five power play goals for Boston. On the downside, Spooner is a -7, and still makes defensive errors.

    We’ll just have to trust in Claude. He’s been right for the most part this season, and hopefully he is right here too.

    “This, to me,” said Julien of Spooner’s promotion. “I think, is a challenge he should relish and he should want to have as a player. You’re given an opportunity here to step up for your team, to obviously step up for yourself and say, ‘Listen, I can do this job.’ He’s shown times this year where he’s very capable of doing that now. He’s given the opportunity right now to do it.

    “So those guys are being put there because we feel they have what it takes to be able to confront that challenge and succeed at it. So that’s where we’re at, and it’s about making sure they’re ready to go and they want to take on that challenge, and for us, to keep pushing them and encouraging them to succeed in those positions.”

    We’ll see how Spoons looks as a top-six forward in tonight’s match up against the Ottawa Senators.