Austin Czarnik’s half-year as a regular was a pretty good one, all things considered.
Playing in the depth of Boston in a rotating cast, he found himself endearing to fans who liked to see the bottom-6 get some decent goals and assists in for themselves. He himself was able to see to that quite easily throughout the year in parts.
However, one major concern that became part of Czarnik’s play was a fast, young guy who could put the puck on net and the worrying trend of the third line having real trouble keeping consistent possession of the puck, and while his style did lead to some fun goals it ultimately contributed to the line’s overall problem of being consistent with chances, shots, and zone time (all of which is again, relative to the fact that Boston is the best possession team in the NHL), in which his case he tended to take few shots and the shots he took were somewhat low-danger. And by the time players that could somewhat guarantee these things came along, Czarnik got hit with the dreaded “we have guys that can go and do this better than you can right now” which overtook a plethora of players over the course of the season. Now obviously Czarnik is talented and in his extended role as substitute he did a fine job, but now that Claude has all the guys he needs, he’s effectively a 13th forward playing intermittently. He was recently sent down to Providence and is already rocking 3 points in 2 games.
I think he’ll be just fine shoring up the positives of his game in Rhode Island for a bit.
He’s got a lot of the skills to make him an extremely valuable player to Boston for the forseeable future, but as of right now the position he’s been put in doesn’t quite help him reach that potential. He’ll be much more suited to playing in the top six in Providence where he can regain his confidence and build on the good things he did on the main roster.
Games Played: 46
Season CF% as of 1/31/17: 54.24%