The Providence Bruins may have gone 1-2 over the weekend, but that didn’t stop both Anders Bjork and Peter Cehlarik from putting on a show in those three games.
Bjork exploded for two goals and four points, while Cehlarik picked up where he left off in the AHL with two goals and six shots in two games (he was given Saturday night off).
Both players were recently sent down by Boston, with Cehlarik coming off a four-week stretch on IR and Bjork needing to regain his touch after an up-and-down stretch with not much consistency.
Cehlarik notched a goal and an assist in a five game stint with the Bruins before suffering a lower-body injury that put him on the shelf for the whole month of December.
It’s a good sign that Cehlarik has produced at a consistent rate in the AHL this season, but it’s also a good sign it did not take him long to get points on the board after not playing for a month. The P-Bruins definitely value his services, and it is going to be a challenge for the Bruins to keep him in the minors if he keeps this up.
Check out Cehlarik's goal! pic.twitter.com/1EXdLZSW2S— Providence Bruins (@AHLBruins) January 6, 2018
Bjork got off to a good start with Boston, as he had three goals and six assists in his first 16 games before getting rocked by Toronto forward Matt Martin in a big open-ice hit on November 11.
Bjork didn’t play again until December 2, and had a goal and two assists during the month. However, he did not look like the same player. Therefore, his designation to Providence is in no sense a demotion; rather it is an opportunity for Bjork to get back to the player he was at the beginning of the season.
And so far, Bjork has looked pretty darn good with the P-Bruins.
Take a look at Bjork's power play goal! pic.twitter.com/5fPyE2wFqV— Providence Bruins (@AHLBruins) January 7, 2018
If Bjork and Cehlarik continue to dominate in the AHL, it’ll be really hard for the Bruins to keep them in Providence. Both have shown they can be effective NHL players, but the unfortunate injury to Cehlarik moved him out of the picture for the time being. And with the big club playing extremely well as of late, it didn’t make a whole lot of sense for the coaching staff to try and work Bjork into the lineup, especially if he wasn’t playing very well.
With that said, these are two guys who are most likely going to get more opportunities to solidify a spot on the NHL roster this season. Whether or not it happens sooner or later all depends on how the two play with Providence (or if someone on the NHL roster gets injured); if both continue to play like they have been, a recall may happen sooner rather than later.
It will be a challenge for the Bruins coaching staff to make room for them in the lineup, and right now it is unknown if a trade takes place to make some room. We don’t know what the plan is, but one thing is for sure: keeping Bjork and Cehlarik in Providence won’t be easy.