On Wednesday, April 9th, the Boston Bruins announced the recall of Ryan Spooner on an emergency basis from Providence. He will join the Boston Bruins in Winnipeg, which will make him eligible for Thursday’s game against the Jets. This recent recall is most likely a result of Chris Kelly being listed as day-to-day after playing through only one shift of the third period during the Bruins loss in a shoot out against the Minnesota Wild.
This year, Spooner has previously appeared in 22 games with the Boston Bruins, amassing 11 assists. His last recall was just this past week, when he traveled with the team to Detroit and then to Toronto before arriving in the early hours of Friday, April 4, in Boston from which he drove back to Providence. Though he did not play on this recall, he was in a number of time zones and then played with the Providence Bruins that Friday evening against the Worcester Sharks.
The Pink Puck had an opportunity to chat with Spooner after the Providence Bruins cannon-balled the Portland Pirates on Sunday, April 6. It was the third of three games in three days in which the team won in the shoot out on Friday night against the Sharks; lost in the shoot out on Saturday night to the Hartford Wolf Pack; and won in regulation on Sunday against the Pirates.
The Pink Puck: Speak to the whirlwind travel with Boston this past week and then slotting in and playing with Providence on Friday night?
Ryan Spooner: Yah, I got in at 2:15 about and I drove [to Providence] and got to bed about 3:15. Got up and played [Friday] night. When you’re excited to play it’s easy to have that energy.
TPP: So, could you say you were feeding off the adrenalin of that excitement?
RS: Yah, that kind of makes it a lot easier.
TPP: How about your thought processes. Is it harder to think through plays when you’re tired?
RS: If you have the mind set going in that it’s only two-and-a-half hours of work you kinda get through it a little easier.
TPP: On Friday night after the game [head coach Bruce Cassidy] had this to say about you: “He certainly had his legs and that’s what we want out of him. He needs to have that every night; that’s his strength. You gotta play to your strength in this game.” What are your thoughts on this?
RS: I think the thing that makes me the player that I am is the fact that I can skate. And when I’m not skating I tend to get myself in a little bit of trouble. I think when I can skate out there and use my speed, I think I can, I guess, create a [few] more chances for myself and it makes the players that play on my line better too.
TPP: You spent a lot of time with the Boston club this season. Tough to be sent back down?
RS: Yah, I was a little bit upset, but at the same time I’m still young and being down here, I still have a lot to learn. So I just kinda try to look at the positives with it and just kinda move forward with it.
TPP: While every hockey player wants to make it to “The Show” permanently, does the amount of time you spent with Boston this season make you more determined?
RS: Yah, just being up there, you kinda see how good that they treat you; how fun it is to play there. So definitely something I want to do is get back up there as soon as I can and stay there. So this summertime I’m going to really try to bear down and get better.
TPP: Your most recent recall you were a healthy scratch. What learning experience do you take from a game when you watch, rather than play?
RS: Just seeing how guys look after themselves before the game and after the game. You sit back and look at that and just try to learn from it.
TPP: Do you find it harder to sit out when the team is winning or losing?
RS: Obviously you want them to win. When they’re winning you can see things they are doing right out there and just pick up on things.
TPP: What do you think is the biggest aspect of your game you have to work on this summer?
RS: Probably just strength; something I’ve been trying to get better at. I’ve always been a smaller guy, but I think if I can put on some size I think it will help me out a lot.
Spooner’s latest recall will find him in Winnipeg, but depending on how Jarome Iginla and Kelly progress, will determine if he sees any ice time against the Winnipeg Jets and if he has another early morning arrival back in Boston and ice time in Providence on Friday night when the Providence Bruins host the Norfolk Admirals. Or he may still find himself up in Boston on Saturday when the Boston club, hosting the Buffalo Sabres, play their last home game of the regular season.
In 45 games for Providence this season, Spooner has tallied 11 goals and 34 assists (second on the team) for 45 points (fourth on the team) with a plus-13 (third on the team).
Drafted by the Boston Bruins in the second round (45th overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, the 21-year-old pivot has played for Providence since 2010 in a total of 112 AHL games accruing to date 31 goals and 78 assists for 109 points. He was named to the 2014 AHL All-Star team on January 9, 2014, but he was with the Boston club so did not participate.
The Kanata, Ontario native, if he plays, will undoubtedly do his best to “play to his strength,” as his Providence Bruins head coach refers to his speed. Coupled with the speed, depth and all-around hockey smarts of the Boston Bruins during this one game—and undoubtedly in the future—just offers another option for the Bruins organization.