Anders Bjork playing his way back into the Bruins’ lineup
Injuries and inconsistencies plagued Anders Bjork’s rookie season in 2017-18. Now in Year 2, Bjork is doing all he can to overcome his first bout of adversity in his professional hockey career.
The former Notre Dame standout rehabbed all throughout the offseason in hopes to work his way back into the lineup. He found himself on the opening night roster, but still sat in the press box during the Bruins’ beat-down in Washington.
Bjork returned to the lineup the very next night in Buffalo, but he struggled offensively; tallying zero points in his first three games.
That all changed on Saturday as his hard work finally paid off during the Bruins’ 8-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings.
“Well, it’s good for him because it’s been a long time coming,” head coach Bruce Cassidy said about Bjork following Saturday’s victory at TD Garden. “He’s worked to be in the lineup. We didn’t talk a lot about him in August. We weren’t sure when he’d get in and he’s kind of pushed himself in the lineup, it’s that simple. That’s why you don’t pick your team in necessarily in July sometimes. You let it develop, and I think he’s done a good job of being heavier on pucks.”
The 22-year-old tallied two points against the Red Wings, including his first goal of the season and has started to solidify himself as the right-winger on the third line.
“His goals started with a puck battle on the wall that he hung in on, him and [David] Backes and they got it out and off they go. So, good for him,” Cassidy added. “Even the play late. I mean it’s a nothing goal but for him. It’s important to be able to hang onto pucks below the goal line and make a play with it, a strong play. I think he should be real satisfied with his game.”
Now healthy, Bjork finds himself playing with Backes and Ryan Donato, giving the Bruins much needed depth on the third line. His first of the season should only help develop confidence for himself and his fellow linemates.
“Yeah, I think it’s great. I think, you know, hopefully it’s big for our line there too. I think that was our first five on five goal,” Bjork said. “So I think, you know, we can get things going here a bit, and I think it’s kind of something that you’re thinking about and once you get the first one it kind of… we can relax a little bit, and then, just be hungry to get more.”
At an even 6-feet, 186-pounds the speedy Bjorkis showing glimpses of his solid offensive skillset and potential and during his first four appearances. Both Bjork and the Bruins hope that his first goal of the season was exactly what he needed to propel his game to the next level.
Bjork and the rest of the Black and Gold hope to continue their recent success and extend their four-game winning streak as they start their four-game road trip in Calgary on Wednesday.