Boston Bruins: Trio of players sent down to Providence

BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 16: Boston Bruins defenseman Urho Vaakanainen (58) carries the puck during a game between the Boston Bruins and the Washington Capitals on November 16, 2019, at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 16: Boston Bruins defenseman Urho Vaakanainen (58) carries the puck during a game between the Boston Bruins and the Washington Capitals on November 16, 2019, at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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The Boston Bruins look set to announce injury returns for a trio of players, as they have demoted the same number to their AHL affiliate in Providence.

Heading back to the American Hockey League are Paul Carey, Trent Frederic and Urho Vaakanainen. All three acquainted themselves well in their limited runs as Boston Bruins players in the NHL, but those returning from injury obviously take priority.

You’d assume their demotions will leads to Brett Ritchie, Jake Debrusk and Torey Krug all being back in the line-up versus the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday.

It was safe to say that Boston Bruins head coach, Bruce Cassidy didn’t have a ton of faith in at least Carey and Frederic’s abilities to be useful players. Against the Washington Capitals on Saturday, neither saw more than 7 minutes of ice-time.

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By comparison, Vaakanainen seems to have won the bench boss’ trust, playing a solid 19-plus minutes against the league leaders and not looking wholly out-of-place in the NHL.

Perhaps the key part of his game that the young Finn needs to continue working on in the AHL is his ability to process things at an NHL pace. There were times where he seemed to be taking an extra split-second or two to find the player he should be tracking; it’ll need a little more work before he cements himself as an NHL regular

However, given that’s probably the biggest criticism I can level at him, safe to say, he showed well. He, given a little more time, could really cement himself in a third pairing role, if not one on the second pair.

Paul Carey, being one of the more experienced heads in Providence, likely received his call-up to the Boston Bruins, in part as a nod to the experience and leadership he brings to their room. That call-up out of respect for the efforts he’s going to with the next generation of Boston Bruins in the AHL.

Trent Frederic, on the other hand, is somewhat of an enigma. He played a grand total of just over 4 minutes in an overtime shoot-out loss; it’s clear to see, Cassidy was highly unsure of what he had and what he could get out of the player versus Washington.

The 21 year-old has 40 penalty minutes in just 15 appearances for the Providence Bruins thus far this year, so perhaps that played a role in his lack of ice-time. Knowing that a power-play means facing Alex Ovechkin in his office, perhaps Cassidy intentionally limited Frederic to so few minutes.

It’s reasonable to say that Frederic will get another look some point further down the line and this one was a promotion of necessity to fill holes caused by injuries. He was never likely to remain with the team as he still needs a fair bit of work, especially when it comes to his discipline.

Vaakanainen is there or thereabouts when it comes to the next injury call-up of a defenseman, though he is about to be blocked by the injury returns (when they eventually happen) of Kevan Miller and John Moore.

dark. Next. What injuries are we currently dealing with?

It’s not really a demotion, the promotion in itself was a bonus this early in the season. We’re sure we haven’t seen the last of the youngsters as Boston Bruins players.