It might have been short, but it was well worth it for Steen. He skated on the third line and recorded his first ever NHL point, assisting on Jake DeBrusk’s second period goal. There was a bit of luck involved, as his dump-in attempt deflecting off of DeBrusk, popped over the defender, and sent in the Boston winger alone on Adin Hill as DeBrusk ripped one by the glove.
For Studnicka, he centered the fourth line with Trent Frederic and Karson Kuhlman. He wasn’t as impressive, skating just over 11 minutes and finishing as a -1 with one shot on goal.
What do the demotions mean for the Bruins’ health?
The reason for the early call ups was because of injuries at forward. Already without Curtis Lazar, the Bruins had placed Nick Foligno on IR and both Anton Blidh and Craig Smith were out of the lineup with injuries.
It’s never great to have the injury bug early, and it has certainly whipped through the bottom-six of the forward group. Just four games in, and the only consistency among the lines has been the top line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak.
It was expected that Studnicka would eventually get the call-up, but not in these circumstances. This was more of a necessity rather than Studnicka earning it. Not that he’s played poorly in Providence, he has a goal and an assist in three games with the P-Bruins, but you get the point.
Same thing with Steen. He didn’t really sniff a roster spot in camp, so it was the fact that the Bruins needed a body. It was just Steen’s fourth game up in the NHL.
With those two heading back down to the AHL, it likely means Smith will be back in the lineup on Wednesday. However, Bruce Cassidy stated that it is unlikely that either Foligno or Blidh will make the road trip later this week, so that doesn’t bode well for the immediate future.
It raises questions about the personnel for the forward group. If neither of them make the trip, that leaves the Bruins with 11 forwards and that is if Smith is available.
Perhaps Chris Wagner will be the next man up? Who knows, we will see what the lineup looks like in the next couple of days when Boston heads down south to face the Florida Panthers on Wednesday.