As established yesterday, the Boston Bruins will be without Nick Foligno for Friday night’s game against the Buffalo Sabres. This is a pretty notable omission to their forward group, as the Bruins are trying to get their third line to clique on a permanent basis.
With Foligno officially out, head coach Bruce Cassidy announced that Tomas Nosek will be filling in his spot at third-line right wing. Yet, I’d like to focus on Karson Kuhlman a bit.
Kuhlman spent the first two games of the regular season on the fourth line due to Curtis Lazar being injured. Overall, he’s done what has been asked of him, as he not only has played with a high degree of effort, but also scored a nice goal against the Philadelphia Flyers in Wednesday night’s tilt.
During training camp, it seemed possible that Kuhlman could have been sent down to the Providence Bruins. However, he edged out former bottom-six mainstay Chris Wagner to be one of the team’s depth forwards. Now, due to multiple injuries, he finds himself in the lineup again for a third straight time and will be looking to surprise some Bruin fans.
It will be interesting to see how Kuhlman meshes with Trent Frederic and Anton Blidh. Although Kuhlman isn’t an offensively dominant player, he does have speed and can make scoring chances happen. Perhaps this could lead to a goal or two from the trio. He’s been pretty noticeable these last two games as well and certainly is making a case for himself to remain with the NHL club – even if it’s just for depth. He also could end up being moved to the third line if the team feels Nosek looks off at right wing.
Kuhlman is coming off of a regular season that was not particularly strong. In 20 games, he scored just two goals and had a -6 rating. This came after a season where he scored a goal and had six points in 25 games. If he can produce at a similar rate like that, he could be a decent little depth scorer for the Bruins when called upon.
This is a big chance for Kuhlman to show the Bruins what he can do after a solid last game. It will be fun to see if he can get on the scoresheet for a second straight time.