Player of the week: February 23rd-March 1
We have heard his name for quite some time in the Boston Bruins organization and now, we are finally seeing why.
Ryan Spooner is making the most of his opportunity this time around with the Black and Gold with David Krejci sidelined. His speed, quick shot and confidence are paying dividends for Claude Julien.
Spooner has been plugged in on the second-line with Milan Lucic and David Pastrnak since Krejci went down with a partially torn MCL and it is evident that the chemistry is building as of late. We can point to last Sunday when Spooner made an errant pass in his own defensive end that led to a goal for the Blackhawks, but then we saw him put it behind him and notch an assist quickly after.
Earlier on in the week against the Canucks, Spooner was much of a non-factor totaling over 16 minutes of ice time while taking three shots, but Friday and Saturday night he quickly turned the page and had a weekend he would never forget.
While the Black and Gold coughed up another two goal lead-this time to the Devils – Spooner took things into his own hands in overtime. The centerman received a nifty pass from Pastrnak (who faked his own shot) where he then buried the game-winning goal for his first NHL goal.
It took Spooner 35 games, but he finally has the monkey off his back.
“I was like oh, wow, it actually went in,” Spooner said smiling to reporters postgame.
It was never his talent that has kept Spooner from being with the big club. It’s his confidence and his ability to fit in and execute Julien’s system. Over the past week, we have seen Spooner flourish which is a great thing to see.
In 36 career games with the Black and Gold, Spooner has one goal, 13 assists, a minus-1 rating while rattling off 61 shots on net. He has a quick release and once he gains the confidence to rip one instead of dishing it off, the goals will begin to come in bunches. It’s only a matter of time.
“He’s really played well in this stint he’s been up with us,” Julien said post game to NESN’s Andy Brickley and Jack Edwards. “He’s skating well and he’s doing a lot of good things. So again, just the experience and the confidence of a guy being up for the fourth time, so he’s getting better all the time.”
While playing under Bruce Cassidy in Providence this season, Spooner was third on the team in points with 26 (8 goals, 18 assists) behind Pastrnak and team-leader Alexander Khokhlachev.
Spooner has excelled in Providence and now it’s time for him to keep excelling in a Black and Gold sweater as they make a push for the playoffs.
On Boston.com: Youth movement providing B’s with energy and execution