By Nick Germano
Something all Boston Bruins fans knew would eventually happen, is finally happening.
After seeing virtually no production from anyone outside of the first-line, and also dealing with serious injuries, Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy finally decided it was time to make some roster moves. Today, the Bruins called up F Anders Bjork from Providence, with Karson Kuhlman officially ruled out.
Bjork had three goals and five assists through Providence’s first seven games, while also posting a 5 +/-. Being one of Providence’s top producers, and one of Boston’s most exciting prospects, a lot of fans were not surprised to see him being the first to get called up after also having a spectacular camp this summer.
However, a lot of fans are surprised by where he is getting placed in the lineup versus Toronto. Cassidy has Bjork at the 4LW and has moved Brett Ritchie up to 2RW with Charlie Coyle and Jake DeBrusk. Taking away the first game of the season against his former team in Dallas, Ritchie has done virtually nothing for this Bruins squad. Cassidy has given him chances on the power-play and is consistently giving him quality minutes, but the only positive thing I’ve noticed from his game is that he can move his feet. The thing is, so can Anders Bjork, and chances are, he can score a lot more goals than Ritchie can.
Standing at 6’4”, I think Cassidy is trying to find Krejci that big winger he so loves. However, Krejci isn’t able to play due to injury, so it doesn’t make sense to have Ritchie up there right now.
I think Cassidy will want to see what Bjork can do at the bottom of the lineup, and if he manages a decent output, eventually he will most likely get moved up to the second line and have DeBrusk switch to the right side.
As it stands right now, however, it feels like the bottom six is a lost cause. Danton Heinen is playing quality hockey, as hard as it is for some fans to hear, and Sean Kuraly is a backbone to this team on the fourth line. Other than that, the other players haven’t done much at all. Yes, David Backes worked on his skating this summer, but has it necessarily translated into this season? Backes has an astounding zero points through four games. How many chances does Backes deserve? It’s hard to trade him away because of his contract, but it just seems like this player is finished in my eyes.
The fact the team has had only one regulation loss shows you how good the goaltending and the first line have been. Five players are the reason this team is in the position they’re in at the top of the league, and it’s time to see some help from the rest of the squad. Hopefully, Bjork can bring some of that tonight against Toronto.