( Above Photo Credit: NHL .com )
By: Mark Allred Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277
On Wednesday the Boston Bruins announced that the team has moved forward Anders Bjork to the American Hockey League to work on his game with the top minor-pro affiliate Providence Bruins. This move from an organizational standpoint is the best way to deal with a struggling player in his first-year of professional hockey as a way to light a fire under the young player and get his head back in the game to where it was at the start of the 2017-18 National Hockey League campaign.
— Brandon Share-Cohen (@BShareCohen) January 4, 2018
Brandon Share-Cohen is a very talented writer covering the Bruins organization for the popular The Hockey Writer website and mentioned in his article many keywords such as “consistency” and “dominance” in his insightful article above, but I believe the most important word at least for me after reading Brandon’s thoughts was the mention of the word “opportunity”. The Providence team is in first place in the Atlantic Division and also at the top of the Eastern Conference and clicking on all cylinders when it comes to the developing youth and teamwork at the minor-pro level. When you look at all the positives from the outstanding job that this team has done thus far in the 2017-18 season, and the collaborative efforts from first-year Head Coach Jay Leach and Assistants Spencer Carbery and Trent Whitfield, the addition of Bjork to an impressive developing depth may fix the recent struggles on the man advantage.
As the NHL Bruins have the best line in the league as mentioned by many top hockey personalities and writers with Patrice Bergeron centering long-time linemate Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak, the AHL team in Rhode Island also has one of if not the best trio’s in the minor-pro level. Austin Czarnik centering veteran’s Kenny Agostino and Jordan Szwarz have been one of the most dynamic lines this season offensively but the struggles on the power-play and the fact that the Providence team has only one goal in the last 26 chances dating back about a month ago is quite concerning regardless of finding ways to win.
WIth Anders Bjork assigned to Providence, #NHLBruins now have 13 forwards, 7 d-men and two goaltenders on the active roster. Now with room to activate Adam McQuaid
— Dominic Tiano (@dominictiano) January 3, 2018
Not only is this movement to the AHL a good move for both player and organization, but it’s a great time of the season to address this particular area of special teams regardless of how long Bjork actually stays with Providence. I believe that addressing the need on the man advantage now gives the Baby B’s the opportunity to create chemistry and work on this specific part of their game for a long AHL Calder Cup Playoff run. Also, firmly believe that not being able to put the puck in the net might’ve been one of a few reasons why the B’s couldn’t beat the Syracuse Crunch in a seven-game series to advance to the 2017 Calder Cup Finals. Last spring in the extended season the Bruins took on the Wikes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and won the best-of-five first round series 3-2 and went 6 for 22 on the power-play but declined after meeting the Hershey Bears in a best-of-seven series winning 4-3 but only had one goal on 21 chances.
The 2017 Conference Final against the Crunch the B’s were clearly outmatched but went 2 for 14 on the man advantage losing the best-of-seven round 4-1. The Providence Franchise hasn’t seen the final round since the 1998-99 season when the B’s put together a 56-16-4-4 record and marched on to win the Calder Cup beating the Rochester Americans.
When looking at the Providence power-play in AHL league rankings, the B’s are 5th from the last place scoring 18 goals in 137 chances so far this year in 32 games played giving then a 13.1 percent. That has to change to be successful no matter what league you play in.
.@AHLBruins lines tonight:
— Mark Divver (@MarkDivver) January 5, 2018
Providence Journal Bruins beat writer Mark Divver reported in a tweet above that the Boston Bruins talents prospect forward will not only make his debut tonight in a game at the Dunkin” Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island but he will also split the best line in hockey having veteran Agostino drop down to the second line on the left to make room for Bjork on the first. Puck drops tonight at the dunk for the first time in a long time as the club has been on the road for an eight-game trip lasting close to a month so the home barn will be buzzing with excitement for the hometown teams return.
Support Your Baby B’s!!!
If you’d like to watch tomorrow’s stars today, I highly suggest you take advantage of the cheap tickets and family atmosphere that’s available at every Providence Bruins home game at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island. You can get ticket information and other great info by clicking HERE to enter the official Baby B’s website.
Also, if you do happen to go and support the team at the Dunk, be sure to stop by the Providence Bruins Fan Club table behind sections 101 and 102. Fantastic season ticket holders and Fan Club volunteers Jenna Labush, Rhonda Labush, and Steven Labush are always there with other valued members to help with any information and questions. You can also use the address below or visit the Official Fan Club page on the Providence Bruins website by clicking HERE. Follow the Baby B’s Fan Club on Social Media!
PO Box 40963
Providence, RI 02940