Boston Bruins: There Are Worse Decisions Than Playing A Young Center

Boston Bruins, Jack Studnicka #68 (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)
Boston Bruins, Jack Studnicka #68 (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images) /

Jack Studnicka has earned his chance in a Boston Bruins uniform. Whether he gets it or not remains to be seen.

The Boston Bruins head into the Stanley Cup Playoffs on the back of four straight losses (though one was an exhibition game). They could certainly make worse decisions than giving young center Jack Studnicka a proper chance.

One thing the Boston Bruins lack is a bit of youthful exuberance in the line-up. Grit, determination, veteran leadership, playoff pedigree; they have all of these in spades, but Jack Studnicka could bring a little different energy to the room.

It felt a little unfair that he was dropped after putting up a half-decent display in the round-robin fixture against the Philadelphia Flyers, but such is Bruce Cassidy‘s determination to put his absolute ideal line-up together.

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Against the Washington Capitals, he might well have been a useful spark to slot in, albeit as a right winger, with Charlie Coyle. Of course, this would’ve meant Nick Ritchie or Ondrej Kase sitting out, but they’ve not exactly set the world on fire since arriving from Anaheim.

Perhaps it should’ve been David Krejci that sat and Studnicka could’ve played in his preferred role at center. Maybe not in the top-six but with a bit of shuffling, he could easily have been given a shot at centering a line.

Given the Boston Bruins have stated that they weren’t playing with any real intensity or end-goal, these round-robin games would’ve been the perfect opportunity to experiment a little.

Of course, you don’t want to spend too much time tinkering with your line-up especially as we’ve only been back four games, but Jack Studnicka should rightfully feel hard done by; there was a missed chance to throw him in the cauldron and see how he went.

Now if he sees ice-time in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, it’s only going to be harder for him to adapt to the intensity. There is the other angle to this in that Bruce Cassidy is actually protecting a young Jack Studnicka by limiting his time.

Better to take any small mistakes and turn them into teachable moments than allow him to make a big mistake on a big stage and potentially screw his confidence and thus development.

It’s hard to say why exactly he didn’t get another chance versus Washington or Tampa, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.

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The Boston Bruins seem to have a decent player on their hands, they just need to allow him to take the next step.