This could end up being a make-or-break year for Ryan Spooner's Bruin aspirations. There are forward spots that need to be filled. He's paid his dues in Providence: having been a near-point-per-game player for the past two seasons, he doesn't have much left to prove at the AHL level. He's shown flashes of being ready to contribute in the NHL.
He showed more of those flashes last night, scoring a goal early in the first, drawing a penalty, and generally being one of the more noticeable Bruins on the ice. After the game, Dave Goucher and Bob Beers cited Spooner as one of the best Bruins on the ice, noting his increased commitment to taking shots and getting to the net.
Good game, Spoonman!
"It was nice to see him score that goal, but if you watch the game, he’s still a liability defensively. A guy gets a quality shot in the slot so he needs to keep working on that part of his game. It’s OK to see a guy’s game offensively and we love his game offensively, but at the same time, you can score one goal but if you give up two, you’re not helping your team."
-Claude Julien, as per Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald
Holy hell. Tell us how you really feel, Claude.
Full disclosure: Julien knows Spooner better than I do. Maybe this kind of stuff motivates Spooner, but Julien has never been a coach who loves to call out guys in the media. He usually sticks by his veterans, preferring to settle issues in the room.
But to rip on a young guy like this publicly seems to be an overreaction at best, and wildly unfair at worst.
Let's look at what Claude had to say:
"It was nice to see him score that goal."
Yes. Yes it was. In fact, there may be room for offensive production like that on the fourth line, considering that one goal represents 13% of the total goals scored in 82 games by last year's fourth-line center.
"A guy gets a quality shot in the slot so he needs to keep working on that part of his game."
"You can score one goal but if you give up two, you're not helping your team."
- 1 goal
- 5 shots
- 9 faceoff wins
- 4 faceoff losses
- 1 turnover
- 1 drawn penalty