Let’s take a break from talking about the Boston Bruins third period collapses and take a look at the team down in Providence that is scorching as of late.
The Providence Bruins hold a 38-19-5 record (81 points) where they find themselves in first place in the Atlantic Division and one point behind the Syracuse Crunch for the first overall spot in the Eastern Conference.
Despite dealing with adversity all season long – from the injury bug to players shipping up to Boston (Chris Bourque, Jordan Caron, Jamie Tardif and Ryan Spooner) – head coach Bruce Cassidy has done a remarkable job behind the bench. The Baby B’s are 7-2-1 in their last 10 and currently ride a three-game winning streak.
Rookie Niklas Svedberg has started 40 games and sports an impressive 30-7-2 record with a 2.26 goals against average (good for seventh in the American Hockey League) and a .922 save percentage (which ranks him sixth). Cassidy was not sure what he was going to get out of Svedberg nor backup Michael Hutchinson, but the Swedish net-minder ran away with the opportunity and has not looked back since. It’s safe to say that Svedberg is making a name for himself at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
Offensively, Spooner has 12 goals and 33 assists in 50 games to lead the team in points (45) while Tardif leads the team in goals with 26 to go along with his 12 assists on the year. Defenseman Torey Krug has come on strong lately notching a point in each of his last 10 games – tied for the longest among AHL rookies this year. Krug, who has 33 points on the season (9 G, 24 A), took home AHL Rookie of the Month honors in February after tallying 12 points (4 G, 8 A) in 11 games during the month.
With 20 games left in their 2012-13 season, the Baby B’s have plenty of time to overtake Syracuse for first place. Look for them to do what they have been doing all year-long, overcoming challenges and doing what it takes to get the victory.