All season long, Paul Postma has been a victim of the numbers game. The seven-year NHL veteran was a healthy scratch for the majority of his time in Boston, seeing action in just 12 games with just one assist and a minus-two rating during his stay.
At the trade deadline, with the Bruins adding Nick Holden from the Rangers to bolster their back end, Postma was again phased out of the lineup as the B’s placed him on waivers on Feb. 25. Postma cleared and made the trip down I-95 South the following day, making his debut with the Providence Bruins the following Friday, March 2 against the Charlotte Checkers.
Despite having not dressed for a game since Dec. 13, the sixth-year defenseman had himself a pretty solid first contest — he collected two assists in Providence’s 6-3 win. Though he certainly looked good, Postma admitted that he’s still a bit rusty.
“I was kind of in a tough spot with the [Boston] Bruins,” he said on Sunday, March 4. “I didn’t get the chance to play. I hadn’t played in a while, and I thought this [Providence] would the best place for me to get some ice time. I’m just trying to get better defensively and get my timing back — just making the most of this opportunity.”
Postma had some equally good looks in Sunday’s 2-0 loss to the Springfield Thunderbirds. He was on the ice for just about every situation — power play, penalty kill and even strength — and notched two shots on goal. However, he also found himself on the ice for both T-Birds goals, resulting in a minus-two rating for the night.
Again, as Postma admits, he is still trying to get his legs back under him. But while the veteran acknowledges his obvious flaws, he believes that it won’t be long until he gets back to the level he’s capable of playing at. When asked how long he thought he would require getting back to full fitness, Postma stated with confidence that it would take about a week.
“My first game [in Providence], I felt okay — but I was getting tired really quickly,” he said. “Tonight I felt a little bit better. I was getting my chances, I thought I played pretty good. I honestly think by next week I should be good to go, back in the swing of things…also, I need to work hard off the ice to make sure I’m in good shape [and] ready to go.”
Although he has taken a bit of a step back in his career, Postma has an opportunity to assume a leadership role with Providence. The more veteran leadership they have, the better the P-Bruins are likely to be as they head down the stretch. With over 200 games of NHL experience under his belt, Postma fits the mold.
Postma also gives Providence an option at the point that they lack. While most of the P-Bruins’ defenders are lefty shooters, Postma can provide a right-handed outlet — especially on the power play.
“I’ve been known to be an offensive [player],” Postma asserted. “[I can] jump up in the play, get shots to the net, try to chip in offensively. So I’d love to do that. I always want to get better defensively as well, but my main goal is to chip in offensively.”
While things could have gone better in Boston, the 29-year-old has no ill will toward the organization. In fact, he still believes that there remains a chance for him to don the eight-spiked B on his chest once more before the end of his career.
Given the recent rash of injuries the Black and Gold have suffered, it may not be outside the realm of possibility. But in the meantime, Postma will be focused on helping Providence win and auditioning for another shot in the NHL — whether in Boston or elsewhere.
“It’s amazing [playing in Boston]. I was in Winnipeg for five years, and all they have is hockey and it’s a great atmosphere. But I think Boston is one of the best cities in the league to play in,” Postma said about his time in Boston.
“The fans are so loyal. It’s an amazing city. They have such a great chemistry in the [locker] room, and it’s a fun place to play. I don’t know what the future holds for me; I could be playing for [Providence] next year…or, a couple injuries up in Boston, I could be there for the playoffs.”