(Photo: Alan Sullivan)
Monday as the trade deadline came, the Boston Bruins announced the acquisitions of Brett Connolly, a 22-year-old winger from the Tampa Bay Lightning and Maxime Talbot and Paul Carey from the Colorado Avalanche. During his press conference Monday evening, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli spoke very highly of Connolly and his skills, describing him as “a big kid [who has] a very good wrist shot, a very good release and a good hockey mind.”
The acquisition of Talbot and Carey was in exchange for Jordan Caron. Talbot, Chiarelli described as a “glue guy,” mentioning that he can play all three forward positions and that he’s a gritty player. Carey is a Boston College Eagles alum and a Massachusetts native.
Just 48 hours later the Bruins were once again announcing the injury of a player. In this case, it was the winger from Tampa, Connolly, who had fractured his index finger during practice on Wednesday and is estimated to be out six weeks.
“It just seemd that we just, every day this year, we seem to have a new challenge or news like that coming out,” head coach Claude Julien said while addressing the media Thursday morning. “We just, again you got to go through that.”
Julien, however, was mindful of what Connolly was experiencing beyond the pain of the fracture.
“You have to feel for the player who was really looking forward to playing for us,” he said. “I liked what I saw in practice. Good size, good skater, can shoot the puck well. There’s no doubt in my mind that he would have helped our hockey club, so we’re just going to have to wait a little longer here.”
Fortunately, because of what Chiarelli described as “prohibitive prices” in regard to rental players, the team will have the services of Connolly beyond just the remainder of this season.
It does make a person wonder though if the team, as a whole, walked under a ladder, as the injuries have continued to plague this team. Defenseman Kevan Miller is out for the remainder of the season, and his willingness to bang bodies and get into the dirty areas will certainly be missed. David Krejci is again on injured reserve—the second time this season.
Perhaps the silver lining in the Krejci injury, if there can be such a thing, is the newly constructed line of Milan Lucic, Ryan Spooner and David Pastrnak, who since being put together have a combined four goals and five assists for nine points in three of the last four games the Bruins have played.
Thursday night the Boston Bruins will take on the Calgary Flames, with Boston College and Dubuque Fighting Saints alum Johnny Gaudreau on the ice. This will be the first game in which Talbot will suit up in the Spoked-B and it is looking like he will be on the line with Chris Kelly. Talbot’s ability to play all three forward positions gives Julien many options.
“He can play [center and wing] and depending on what ends up happening tonight whether [Chris Kelly] goes at center or the wing or vice versa or I move guys, I can always move [Dan Paille] down again and [Kelly] up,” said Julien. “So there’s a lot of different things I can do. But he can play both and I like the fact on a lot of occasions, especially in our own end, that you have two guys that can take draws on the same line.”
Battled scars continue, but the depth of the Bruins roster and the new acquisitions—well some of them, anyway—offer options to the Bruins as they continue their fight to remain in playoff contention.