Today the Bruins announced that forward Chris Kelly is out indefinitely due to a broken tibia thanks to a knee-to-knee collision with Senators forward Chris Neil in the Bruins 3-2 win Monday night in Ottawa. Kelly was off to a real slow start with the Bruins this season as the veteran forward had just two goals and four assists in 23 games.
Even though Kelly wasn’t producing offensively, the Bruins were relying on Kelly in other phases of the game. Kelly ranks third among Bruins forwards in Shorthanded Time on Ice. In the faceoff circle, Kelly is very important as well as No. 23 has won 60.6 percent of his face-offs this season.
Usually phenomenal in his own end, the 30-year old Kelly is a shocking minus-6 on the year.
As for a timetable for his return, it is hard to say. Most likely Kelly is done for the regular season, and maybe even the playoffs. As Hockeybuzz’s Ty Anderson points out, Chuck Kobasew’s season was ended in 2007-08 and Andrew Ference missed 31 games in 2008-09 due to a broken tibia.
Chris Kelly has a fractured tibia. Same injury ended Chuck Kobasew’s year in 2007-08. Ference missed 31 games in 2008-09 with one, too.
— Ty Anderson (@_TyAnderson) March 13, 2013
The Bruins will need to replace Chris Kelly somehow, and no offense to Jay Pandolfo, but Pandolfo just doesn’t won’t do it.
The Bruins will most likely look to their minor league affiliate in Providence and that very well could mean calling up Ryan Spooner.
Spooner leads the Providence Bruins with 41 points—10 goals—in 47 games. Spooner was previously called up earlier this year for the Bruins and was dressed for the Bruins in their 2-1 February 6, with over the Montreal Canadiens. Spooner only saw 5:29 of ice time.
With the Bruins set to host the Florida Panthers tomorrow night, expect some news to break rather soon on any possible call ups.