At the trade deadline, center was a clear need for the Boston Bruins.
That and a backup goaltender were pretty much the talk of the Bruins. Add those two things and this team should make the playoffs. They did neither and now their center depth takes yet again another hit.
This time, as you Bruins fans must know by now, Ryan Spooner is out with a concussion. Spooner, who is in his second full season with the Bruins and fifth, had been racking up minutes this season, taking on a bigger role than in the past.
Looking at his numbers, you can learn a little about Spooner like that he’s been a key part of the Bruins scoring effort (11 goals and 23 assists, 34 points in 65 games). But faceoffs have been a major concern for him all year. He’s only won 37.88 percent of those. In his NHL career, he’s only won 42.5 percent of the faceoffs he’s taken, and receives criticism regularly for his shortcoming.
The injuries caused the Bruins to shift their lines, which can always be a problem for teams. But on top of that, it create an opportunity for center Austin Czarnik, who had been on the major club for much of the season. He got sent down in mid-January.
So far this season, Czarnick has 13 points in 48 games and has won 43.8 percent of his faceoffs. Sure, there’s a chance a couple years of seasoning could help him develop into something, but that’s not quite what you want to see on a winning team right now playing big minutes — not that he will likely be playing big minutes anyways.
An injury like this can definitely shake up a playoff mix though. B’s are contending and that’s good for them. Just not in any position to screw it up — or lose ground.