Through the first four games of the season, there may not be a bigger surprise than the play of Chris Kelly.
There were big question marks coming into the 2013-14 season with the stability of the third line for the Boston Bruins, but that has been a strength for the Black and Gold due to the emergence of Kelly.
Kelly has two goals in the team’s first four games including the game-tying goal in Columbus on Saturday to give the B’s some life and eventually the 3-1 victory.
Kelly is leading by example on the third-line playing with newly acquired Reilly Smith and youngster Jordan Caron. It has really given a boost to this third line.
We all can recall Kelly’s nifty move with his penalty shot on opening night at TD Garden and he hasn’t really looked back. He is moving well, getting his teammates involved and finding the back of the net which was tough for him all of last season.
In case you missed it, or you want to see it again, here is Kelly’s penalty shot from opening night:
Kelly is tied for the team lead with Adam McQuaid with a plus-3 through the team’s first four games and scoring once every three shots. We know this will not continue at this rapid of a pace, but Kelly is showing flashes of the 20-goal scorer he was two years ago and that’s the guy the B’s are looking for throughout the entire season.
For now, Kelly is concentrating on getting better and building that chemistry with his line mates.
“Last year we were trying to find chemistry and trying to find results a lot of the time and for whatever reason they didn’t always happen, but for the first few games I think we’ve all been working together and helping one another in all three zones,” he said.
Kelly knew the third line was going to be the talk of camp leading into the regular season, but he feels they have nothing to prove if they go about their business.
If the B’s want to make another deep run into the playoffs in 2013-14, Kelly and that third line need to play as much a factor as they are in the first four games.