In this edition of Boston Bruins News & Rumors, Brad Marchand is holding himself to a high standard early on, as he is not happy with his game despite a great start to the season offensively. In other news, Craig Smith, Nick Foligno and Anton Blidh suffered injuries this past week. In a corresponding move to the injuries, prospect Jack Studnicka was called up from the Providence Bruins.
Marchand Unhappy with Play
For most NHL players, having four goals and seven points through the first four games of the season would be a dreamed of start. For Marchand, however, it isn’t good enough.
“I just think sometimes things go your way, and you get bounces at the right time,” Marchand said. “I don’t think I’ve played my best hockey. Regardless of the points, I think I can do better and manage pucks better, and I’ve felt tired a few games. So, I still think I can be better than what I’ve been. Points… it’s part of it, honestly, but I want to be happy with where I’m playing and how I’m playing. And I’m not quite happy enough with how things have been.”
This accountability is what makes Marchand both a great player and leader for the Bruins. Despite the fact he is starting to get old in the hockey sense at 33, he is still one of the elite players in the game. Expect another massive season from him this year.
Bruins Suffer Numerous Injuries
The Bruins suffered numerous injuries this past week. The first was to Foligno, who was hurt Wednesday night versus the Philadelphia Flyers with what the team is calling an upper-body injury. He has since been placed on the injured reserve.
Smith is also battling injury, as he was forced to miss Sunday’s game versus the San Jose Sharks. He was forced to miss Thursday’s practice for maintenance reasons, but was able to suit up for Friday night’s game. Whatever it is that is bothering him seems to be nothing serious, and he could very well play in their next game Wednesday against the Florida Panthers.
The final injury they sustained came to Blidh. The 26-year-old depth winger was forced to exit Friday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres with what is being called an upper-body injury. It was his first game of the season, and one in which he had played only eight minutes in before leaving. He was also placed on the injured reserve.
Due to all of these injuries, the Bruins recalled Studnicka on Sunday. Many expected the 22-year-old to stick with the team out of camp this year and take over David Krejci’s role as the second line center, but that never ended up happening. Instead, he was sent to Providence, where in three games he scored a goal and added a helper prior to the recall.
This is a great opportunity for Studnicka to prove his worth and stick with the Bruins for good moving forward. His skill level is undeniable, but he has yet to put it all together at the NHL level. In 23 career games he has managed just one goal and four points, but could break out at any moment.
Up Next for the Bruins
As mentioned above, the Bruins don’t until Wednesday where they will take on a dangerous Panthers squad who are 6-0-0 on the season. It will be a great test to see where the Bruins really are at as a group. After the Panthers they will take on the Carolina Hurricanes the following evening, and will then find themselves playing the Panthers yet again on Saturday to finish off their week. It is a tough few games, but ones they can win if they play like they are capable of.
Colton Pankiw is a former Jr. A hockey player who now provides his knowledge of the game through writing. He’s been a very active and reliable source for nearly two years at The Hockey Writers. He is a credentialed writer for the Calgary Flames but also does features on other teams throughout the league. Other writing contributions include: Oil On Whyte, NHLtradetalk.com, and Markerzone.com. Colton is also a co-host of both Oilers Overtime and Flames Faceoff podcasts. Any interview requests or content info can be made through him on Twitter. Take a look at his work here.