By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Consider Sunday's roster moves as a sign that the Bruins are finally getting healthier, as the team reassigned Jack Studnicka and assigned defenseman John Moore, on the long-term injured reserve since the start of the season, to Providence on a conditioning loan.
The 20-year-old Studnicka, arguably the organization's top prospect, appeared in two games with the Big B's during his recall, recording the primary assist on a Danton Heinen goal in Boston's 8-1 victory over the Canadiens last Tuesday. Studnicka won eight of his 12 faceoffs and logged 14:30 in that win, but finished Friday's win over the Rangers with just 9:45 of ice-time as Bruce Cassidy shortened his sluggish bench.
That game did come with a slight change of sorts, too, as Studnicka lined up on the wing opposed to his natural center spot.
"I was OK with it," Cassidy said of moving Studnicka to the wing. "I thought Jack could give us some energy. He wants to prove he can play at this level, so you’re going to get the effort no matter what; we’ll fix the mistakes along the way. The effort was there on that goal. So, he ended up on the wing; I know he’s played there a little bit. It’s not what we want to do going into it. We will do it if we have to. Don’t expect him to start on the wing his next game.
"We want him to work the middle of the ice, but we’ll always have a conversation what’s best for the group, but we want him to be a center and learn to play center first."
Studnicka's return to the minors comes with word that David Backes, who has been out of action since Nov. 2 with concussion-like symptoms, will return to the Black and Gold's lineup for Sunday's head-to-head with the Canadiens.
Moore, meanwhile, will report to Providence in his attempt to work off the rust as offseason shoulder surgery has kept him on the shelf since the conclusion of last year's run to the 2019 Stanley Cup Final. Moore, who is in the second year of a five-year deal worth $13.75 million, had four goals and 13 points in 61 games last season, and skated in 10 postseason tilts.
Both Studnicka and Moore are expected to play in Sunday's game between the P-Bruins and Charlotte Checkers.