(Photo Credit: Michael Dwyer/AP Photo)

By: Andrew Bluestein | Follow Me On X (Formerly Twitter) @adbblue

The Boston Bruins are coming off an impressive 5-3 win over a red-hot Arizona Coyotes team. However, the win came at a cost, as Pavel Zacha left the game with an undisclosed upper-body injury and did not return. 

Zacha hasn’t practiced since the injury and is currently day-to-day. On Tuesday, head coach Jim Montgomery announced that Zacha will not play against the New Jersey Devils tonight. With their top center out for possibly a few games, an opportunity has emerged for Morgan Geekie. 

Geekie has been bumped up and taking line rushes at practice in the top-line center role. His wingers have been Jake DeBrusk on the left and David Pastrnak on the right. Geekie has primarily played on the wing in the bottom six but has played center for brief periods this season. He is no stranger to playing in the middle, as center is his natural position. 

The Strathclair, Manitoba, Canada native has taken 116 face-offs this year and has a 52.6% success rate. Often, he has been the first guy to take the draw before reverting back to the wing after the puck is dropped. In 20 games this season, Geekie has two goals and five assists for seven points and is +2. He missed six games after suffering an upper-body injury in early November. 

The injury may have briefly disrupted his timing and play after returning, but the forward has been a solid role player. This is a great opportunity for Geekie to bump up his ice time and point production. The former Carolina Hurricanes’ third-round pick has averaged 14:13 per game, but that will certainly increase in the top-line center role. 

Also, getting the chance to play with DeBrusk and Pastrnak should allow him to expand his offensive game. Geekie was well over a point-per-game player in two of his four years playing juniors in the WHL. He also put up good numbers, being just under a point-per-game player in the AHL for a couple of seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes organization. So, he has the ability to be a productive offensive player. 

Another thing that gives Geekie a great opportunity with Zacha out is that he’ll be on the top power-play unit. He’s been taking reps with the first team group in practice. Geekie has gotten time on the man advantage this season, but it’s primarily been with the second unit. He’s averaging 1:16 of power play time on ice per game, but that will surely increase as long as Zacha remains out of the lineup. 

Geekie has been a bottom-six forward his entire five-year NHL career. He has yet to break out, having a career-high point total of 28 last season with the Seattle Kraken. Undoubtedly, centering the top line will be the biggest opportunity of the 25-year-old’s career. 

If he steps in and takes advantage of it, it’ll benefit the team, as it could buy Zacha more time to get as healthy as possible. It will also give Jim Montgomery an option to turn to if more injuries happen down the road.