The Boston Bruins had several players step up and have big post-seasons, but none have made a greater impact than Torey Krug. With multiple injuries to the Boston Blue line, the Bruins called upon the likes of Dougie Hamilton, Matt Bartkowski, and Krug to fill the void. When Dennis Seidenberg and Andrew Ference returned however, Krug remained.
Krug has jumped onto the scene and been an effective factor to the Bruins power play with his speed. The undersized defenseman has scored four goals and tallied two assists, in 11 NHL playoff games. He has proven to many that he is ready for the NHL now with the way he has jumped onto the scene with Boston.
Hamilton has found himself to be the off man out late in the playoffs, but he was still effective early on for Boston. He was able to dish out three assists, and will look to have a big season next year in his first full season at the NHL level.
Bartkowski was a big factor in the series against the New York Rangers. He, along with Krug, helped the Bruins push a more up-tempo game from the back end. He only had two points in five games, but he proved to be effective in both zones.
The Bruins have a lot of options next year for their blue line as these three rookies have all proved they are useful. With the cap going down next season, the Bruins could decide to roll with their cheaper younger defenseman and make some moves in the offseason.
The Providence Bruins blew a 3-0 lead to the Wilkes-Barre Penguins, in the second round, but a big part of that reason was the thin blue line the Bruins had. With Krug and Bartkowski making the jump to the NHL it left Providence with a depleted back end.
The Bruins were looking for players like Ryan Spooner to step up in the playoffs after he led the team in scoring during the regular season. Spooner struggled only registering five playoff points.
After having some ups and down during the season with injuries, Carter Camper finished the AHL regular season on a tear. The hot streak continued into the AHL playoffs for Camper. His success was noticed, as he was one of the Black Aces the Boston Bruins called upon to practice with the team during their playoff run.
Niklas Svedberg had his troubles in the playoffs after a stellar regular season, but there was plenty of blame to go around. Losing Krug and Bartkowski in the Penguins series hurt Providence in many ways and affected its goalies play too. Svedberg finished with a 6-6 record, 3.29 goals-against-average, and a .889 save percentage. His stellar season still earned him a call up as one of the Bruins black aces for the NHL playoffs.
After a career high 46 points during the regular season, Craig Cunningham continued his success into the playoffs. The undersized forward was able to tally eight points, in 12 AHL playoff games. He still needs time to develop at the AHL level, but the Bruins are happy to see him making progress.
Although he did not put up many points during Yale's post season run, Rob O'Gara proved to many that he is for real. The 6'4 defenseman helped anchor the Bulldogs blue line, as he and his teammates earned the NCAA National Championship beating top-ranked Quinnipiac. O'Gara helped the Yale defense limit red-hot UMass-Lowell and Quinnipiac to only two goals. The young defenseman was a big factor in shutting out Quinnipiac in the title game.
Zane Gothberg helped North Dakota beat Niagara in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Gothberg was excellent stopping 28-of-29 shots as UND won, 2-1. He did not, however, get the start in the second round of the tournament against the red-hot Yale Bulldogs, who defeated UND on its way to the championship.
Seth Griffith certainly stepped up this season for the London Knights as he helped his squad earn the OHL title. Griffith has continued to dominate the OHL over the past two seasons, and that did not change in the playoffs as he was over a point-per-game. The winger, who stands at 5'11, scored nine goals, 16 assists, in 21 playoff games.
Bruins rugged prospect, Anthony Camara continued to impress this playoffs season. He registered 42 penalty minutes and was a point-per-game (16 points), in 16 games for Barrie. Camara will look to improve on his breakout season next year and prove to everybody that he is indeed for real.
Malcolm Subban was able to help lead his Belleville Bulls all the way to the third round before losing to Camara's Barrie Colts. Subban was sensational in the playoffs posting an 11-6 record, 2.00 goals against average, .933 save percentage, and three shutouts. Subban has a lot of talent, and he continued to prove that in the OHL playoffs. It will be interesting to see if he can put Belleville on his back next year and take the Bulls all the way to the Memorial Cup.
Notes and Signings
The Bruins made a few prospect singings, which included two NCAA free agents, Matthew Lindblad and Chris Casto. Lindblad is coming off a 28-point junior season with Dartmouth in the ECAC. Lindblad had five points in five games with Providence after being signed. Castro is coming off a nine-point season at Minnesota-Duluth.
Over the past few months the Bruins have inked the following prospects: Anthony Camara, Alex Fallstrom, Seth Griffith, and Carl Soderberg to entry-level deals. Soderberg has already made his NHL debut and had two assists in six games of NHL action. He should compete for a top-six spot on the roster next season, but third line duty may seem more likely depending on what kind of roster moves the Bruins make during the off-season.
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