Boston Bruins: Are these two players in danger of losing a roster spot?

par lindholm bruins

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – DECEMBER 07: Samuel Girard #49 of the Colorado Avalanche defends Par Lindholm #26 of the Boston Bruins during the third period at TD Garden on December 07, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Avalanche defeat the Bruins 4-1. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Brett Ritchie and Par Lindholm could be roster casualties for the Boston Bruins.

The one good thing about injuries is that teams have the chance to try out different players and line combinations to determine who fits and who doesn’t. Then, injured players come back to add more depth. The Boston Bruins certainly hope this will be the case.

After a season filled with injuries, the Bruins expect to get a few players back sooner rather than later. Most notably, Zach Senyshyn and Karson Kuhlman resumed skating.

Boston sent Senyshyn down to Providence to start, and we can expect something similar with Kuhlman. However, what happens if those two players prove they’re healthy and ready to contribute in the NHL?

If the Bruins want to keep Senyshyn or Kuhlman on the NHL roster (or if the Bruins acquire a veteran like Ilya Kovalchuk), somebody on the current roster has to go. Based on everything we’ve seen this year, Brett Ritchie and Par Lindholm are the two most likely candidates.

Brett Ritchie

The Bruins brought in Ritchie this summer as a low-risk, high-reward type signing. They hoped he could recapture some of the talent that made him a second-round pick.

So far, Ritchie has yet display much for the Bruins. After he scored in the season opener versus Dallas, Ritchie only has one goal in the next 18 games.

That’s not because he hasn’t had opportunities. Bruce Cassidy gave him chances on the second line with David Krejci even as recently as this week. Ritchie, however, does not look like a top-six player.

At this point, the Ritchie experiment is probably over. He certainly has the size and strength, but he lacks the speed and goal-scoring touch to make an impact. Honestly, he’s no better than David Backes. The Bruins are better off with a youngster like Senyshyn or Kuhlman in his spot.

Par Lindholm

Let’s say the Bruins continue to hold out hope that Ritchie finds his game. In that case, Par Lindholm might be at risk of losing his roster spot.

Like they did with Ritchie, the Bruins signed Lindholm this offseason as a depth player. And that’s exactly what he is and what he has been so far.

In 20 games this season, Lindholm only has one goal. By no means do the Bruins expect him to be a scorer, but one point in 20 games probably isn’t enough to warrant a spot over a young player with more upside.

That said, Lindholm is more versatile than someone like Ritchie, as he can play center and wing. Lindholm also can kill penalties, and he’s strong at the faceoff dot. That type of versatility might make him a better option over Ritchie.

The Bruins will hopefully continue to get healthy, and they are likely to make an addition or two up front. This means that some bottom-six players could lose their roster spots. GM Don Sweeney needs to make the right choices to make sure Boston has enough depth moving forward.