Bruins fans have been hearing the name Carl Soderberg since the Bruins acquired the rights to the Swedish star when they shipped goalie Hannu Toivonen to the Blues in 2007. After the trade Soderberg remained in the Swedish Elite League where he scored 58 times in 189 games over five seasons.
Rumors began to swirl shortly after the lockout ended that Soderberg was ready to ditch the SEL and join the National Hockey League. After the initial transfer was denied by the SEL, the International Ice Hockey Federation stepped in and brought Soderberg to Boston where he made his debut Saturday afternoon.
Soderberg skated on a line with Chris Kelly and Jaromir Jagr and even saw time on the Bruins top power play unit.
The size of the ice here in North America is much smaller than the one played on overseas so it should come to no surprise that things may be difficult at first for Soderberg as he adjusts to the North American style of hockey.
Soderberg saw 16:10 of ice time, which includes 1:59 of power play time. Soderberg failed to register a shot on goal, but according to Bruins head coach Claude Julien, he handled himself well.
“I thought he handled himself well for his first game,” said Julien. “The one thing he is, he’s a smart player and he’s going to figure it out pretty quickly.”
You could tell Soderberg was a bit lost out there at times, but at the end of the day Soderberg kept his game simple, and that’s exactly the way he wants it.
“Yeah, I tried to keep my game simple. I tried to get some good passes,” Soderberg said. “That’s the way I play usually too – simple. Maybe I should have had some shots too, but not today.”
The Bruins know that Soderberg is not the answer to their issues,—and boy are there many—but Soderberg helps add to what is already a deep group of forwards. With five games in eight days to end the season the Bruins will need every healthy and fresh body they can get.
Soderberg says he has no issues with playing so many games in so little days.
“Yeah, I would love to, so let’s see if I am playing tomorrow [Sunday vs. Florida],” said Soderberg.
The next five games may very well be an audition for playing time when the playoffs roll around in just under two weeks. That being said, look for some extra buzz in Soderberg’s game as he looks to impress the Bruins brass.