The ramifications of Peter Chelarik’s callup
The young forward carousel and questions about the second and third line continued Tuesday as the Boston Bruins recalled Peter Cehlarik from Providence.
The 23-year-old forward is having one of his best seasons in the minors as he leads the P-Bruins with 29 points (10 goals, 19 assists) in 37 games. The Bruins hope that his scoring touch in the AHL ranks can finally provide the spark that has been missing in the middle of the lineup.
“Obviously we are looking for some help for Krech [David Krejci], he played there two years ago a little bit,” Bruce Cassidy said following Tuesday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena. “It’s the type of line he can help us with. He’s tied for the lead in scoring in Providence so that has put him in a position to hopefully have some success.”
Cehlarik’s status for Wednesday’s contest with the Philadelphia Flyers is a bit unknown. He could make his season debut, or he could watch a game from the press box for Boston’s first game of its upcoming back to back that also includes a home tilt with the St. Louis Blues Thursday night.
Either way, Cassidy isn’t afraid to mix things up. The third-year bench boss has tried almost every combination of players alongside Krejci and Jake DeBrusk, but no one has panned out. Ryan Donato, Danton Heinen and David Backes each had their chance to skate with DeBrusk and Krejci during Monday’s 3-2 overtime loss to the rival Montreal Canadiens.
Cehlarik, now in his third stint with Boston, may get the next crack.
“I hope after a couple of times up you understand what it takes to stay here,” Cassidy said. “Peter, we’ll see, that’s going to be a part of the test for him. Manage the puck in the neutral zone, and in the right spots. He’s a smart player, I think defensively he goes to the right places.”
His stellar season in Providence gives the Bruins some hope, but Cehlarik has yet to find a rhythm at the NHL level. The Czech winger has four points in his 17 career games with the big club.
Cehlarik filled in for DeBrusk (lower-body) during Tuesday’s practice on a makeshift line with Krejci and David Pastrnak. Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand took a maintenance day, while Chris Wagner sat out with an illness.
Addressing the glaring top-six need is Don Sweeney’s biggest task between now and the Feb. 25 trade deadline. For now, they’ll look to Cehlarik to put a temporary halt to the ongoing second and third line carousel.