In dire need of some more offensive and consistent results from their largely-ineffective third line, the Boston Bruins officially recalled Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson from the Providence Bruins on Friday.
With ‘JFK’ sitting in the middle of their plans for that line, too.
“He’ll play with Danton [Heinen] on the left wing,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said of the club’s line configuration with Forsbacka Karlsson at center. “Right wing, [David] Backes was there today, could be a different right winger [Saturday].”
The right winger for the majority of the regular season has been Anders Bjork, but it’s now been nine games without a point for the 22-year-old, and with just eight shots off No. 10’s stick over that span. The veteran Backes has not been much better, though, and is still without a point to his name this season after 10 games. In fact, Backes is one of just three NHL forwards to have played at least 10 games and average at least 13:00 of time on ice and still skate without a point to his name this season.
But the focus will be certainly be on how Forsbacka Karlsson, who comes up to the Big B’s with one goal and four points in nine AHL games this season, responds after his late-camp demotion to Providence to work on the details of his game.
“To expand on [Forsbacka Karlsson], we liked his training camp. We didn’t feel he was ready, or he would have started here,” Cassidy admitted of the B’s latest recall up front. “But made some plays, he didn’t get scored on. We wanted to work on certain things. We addressed, up the compete level, in terms of winning pucks.”
“Obviously this is a great feeling — this is where you want to be,” Forsbacka Karlsson said after Friday’s practice, agreeing that he’s worked on improving since his failure to win the B’s third-line center job out of training camp. “Those are the things that I’ve been trying to work on; Playing my game, being hard on the puck, the details, everything like that.”
Said Cassidy: “We’ll see how it plays out for him. Hopefully he’s up to the challenge.”