(Photo Credit: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

By: Jason Cooke | Follow me on Twitter / X @cookejournalism

Mason Lohrei has shown he is capable of being a regular National Hockey League blueliner. He’s also demonstrated lapses in his game that have made him a defensive liability at times this season for the Boston Bruins. As a result, he’s had a short leash under head coach Jim Montgomery—and the rookie may be on his way to the American Hockey League yet again.

Lohrei was seen leaving Boston’s morning skate on Friday, and it is reported that the defenseman may be sent to Providence to log more ice time. The rookie hasn’t appeared in an NHL game with the B’s since April 2, being scratched in six of the last seven contests. The Bruins have been toying with potential playoff lineups with just three regular-season matchups remaining on the slate, and Lohrei hasn’t necessarily been part of those plans. Montgomery has gone with Matt Grzelcyk and Kevin Shattenkirk instead, leaving Lohrei sidelined and not playing substantial minutes.

In 41 games with the big club this season, the 23-year-old has totaled 4-9-13 in a roller coaster of a freshman campaign with the Bruins. He’s already been up and down between Boston and its minor-league affiliate a handful of times, showing a bag of mixed results each stint. There’s no doubt about his raw offensive talent, as the 6’5″ Lohrei has showcased an apparent ability to stickhandle and make plays with the puck in transition and the offensive zone. He was even the hero in a February matchup against the Vegas Golden Knights, slapping a one-timer in the third period to push the B’s over the defending Stanley Cup Champions.

But for Lohrei, the good has come with the bad. He has had trouble turning the puck over in the defensive zone throughout his time in Boston. The coaching staff has told Lohrei to simplify his game to minimize those giveaways, but those miscues have continued to linger in his game—and that’s not what the Bruins are looking for in the playoffs. While his offensive flare brings excitement and electricity to Boston’s lineup, playoff hockey is about consistency and eliminating mistakes.

However, that doesn’t mean Lohrei won’t appear in the playoffs this season. With injuries and the nagging soreness that comes with playoff hockey in the NHL, lineup swapping always happens. Perhaps spending the remainder of the season in Providence is best for Lohrei to keep his feet moving in case his services are needed in Boston.

(Photo Credit: Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)