It’s been a roller coaster of a ride so far this season for Bruins forward Loui Eriksson. Thanks to two concussions and an infected heel, Eriksson has missed 21 games. As Eriksson has bounced in and out of the lineup all season thanks to his injuries, he has had trouble putting together a consistent run of hockey. But fueled by an impressive showing in Sochi during the Olympics, Eriksson has gotten into a grove since returning from the Olympic break.
After missing Tuesday’s win over the Florida Panthers with an infected heel, Eriksson returned to the lineup Thursday night as the Bruins shutout the Capitals 3-0.
Eriksson scored the Bruins second goal of the game and had three shots on goal in 14:18 of ice time. The goal came off a two assist performance in New York Sunday night. Eriksson easily could have lit the lamp multiple times Thursday night had a few more bounces gone his way.
Eriksson was all over the ice against the Capitals, putting himself in positions to generate key scoring chances, another sign that Eriksson is getting himself comfortable at the right time.
“Yeah, like I said, I’m feeling good and I’m making more plays I feel like and I’m more comfortable out there” said Eriksson.” So I have to just keep doing that I think and I will be fine.”
Since head coach Claude Julien moved Carl Soderberg to center, his natural position, the line of Chris Kelly, Soderberg and Eriksson has been playing very well.
You saw the building chemistry between the line as Soderberg worked some magic around the Capitals net, skated behind Capitals goalie Braden Holtby and found Eriksson in front of the net for his seventh goal of the season.
Eriksson had two goals and an assist en route to a Silver Medal for Team Sweden in the Olympics. Eriksson’s goals came in the first two elimination round games Sweden played in. His play in Sochi was a huge confidence boost for the 28-year old Eriksson and that has certainly shown in the four games Eriksson has played in since Canada took home gold for the second straight Olympics.
Julien knows that it’s tough to build consistency when you’re battling injuries and out of the lineup for an extended period of time.
“Well, I think if you’re asking, it’s because we’re seeing it, right? I think we’re all seeing the same thing. He’s been a pretty good player, and again, I don’t know how many times I’ve said it, but you know, he’s had, we had to give him that opportunity to find his game after going through those two serious concussions and that really set him back” said Julien. “
“But I think we’re starting to see the smart player that we all talked about at the beginning of the year, both ways. You know, he makes smart plays and he also defends well. He’s, he’s been a really god player, and you know, I just saw him starting to find his game before the Olympic break. I saw him play well at the Olympics, and it’s followed up here since he’s been back. “
With the Bruins destined for another playoff appearance, Eriksson is set to taste playoff hockey for the third time in his career. The Bruins are hoping that Eriksson can remain healthy and continue to build off of what has been some good hockey in the last few weeks.
In 22 career playoff games—all with Dallas—Eriksson has four goals and five assists.
Hear what the Bruins had to say following their 3-0 win over the Washington Capitals Thursday night: