No one likes to be woken up at 7:00AM by a phone call, but for Bruins rookie Ryan Spooner, he couldn’t have gotten a better 7:00AM wake up call.
“Yeah I was preparing to go to practice and got a call at like 7:00 in the morning and I just happened to wake up and I got the good news, so that was good” said Spooner.
The Bruins unexpectedly called Spooner up from the Providence Bruins yesterday morning in a move that Bruins head coach Claude Julien hoped would help bring speed to the Bruins offense.
“I think we need a little bit more speed right now and we need a little bit more offense in our game and sometimes a new face in the lineup can certainly help bring that” said Julien prior to the Bruins 3-2 shootout win over the Anaheim Ducks Thursday night.
Spooner was thrown on the third line with Chris Kelly and a struggling Carl Soderberg, the move paid off for the trio, as Spooner picked up his first career point on Soderberg’s first career National Hockey League goal.
Much like he did during the preseason, Spooner was all over the ice, using his speed to his advantage and his hard work showed as Spooner was able to catch up to a few pucks to negate a pair of icing calls.
“Yeah I thought, I think it happened a couple of times” said Kelly. “I think that’s one of his assets is his speed and how well he skates and I thought he did a good job getting to those icings and it’s tough with that new hybrid icing for linesmans to waive them off but clearly he was ahead of guys and he did a good job.”
Julien was certainly happy with his young forward and the confidence he has in Spooner certainly showed in overtime and even in the shootout. Spooner was paired with Jarome Iginla at times during overtime, and Spooner was the first to shoot in the shootout for the Bruins.
“I think he’s been a real good player; even in preseason when we had shootouts we’ve used him. I’ve seen him now for a few years in Providence; he’s pretty good. And he actually, to me, had the five-hole, and the goaltender made a pretty good save so as much as it looked like it was an easy save I think he had the right place to put the puck it just didn’t go through”.
If things work out perfectly for Spooner and the Bruins, this very well may be his last trip up I95 from Providence. If Spooner can consistently show up and play “his game” the things will be just fine for the 21-year old.
“Just try to play my game, not be too nervous out there. I mean if I go out there and start to doubt myself, that’s when I start to get in trouble. So I will just try and play my game and go from there.”
Spooner did find himself in a bit of trouble in his first shift as a Soderberg turnover led to a Devante Smith-Pelly goal just 1:52 into the contest. Starting the night at -1 after one shift wasn’t the way Spooner had hoped to start the night.
“When that happens on the first shift, it kind of sucks,” said Spooner. “But I guess you just have to kind of re-focus and go from there.”
Spooner was certainly able to re-focus as he ended up as one of the best Bruins on the ice. Don’t be surprised if No.51 becomes a regular in the Bruins lineup moving forward, even when Loui Eriksson returns from his concussion.
Check out what Julien had to say about Spooner and the Bruins win in his postgame video: