When will Anders Bjork be back in Boston? That is the million-dollar question on most Bruins fans’ minds right now, as Bjork continues to showcase his talents on the AHL level.
Bjork’s last two seasons were cut short by shoulder surgeries. When he was healthy, Bjork showed definite signs that he has the skills to be an NHL-level forward. In 50 total games played in Boston, the 23-year-old Wisconsin native has amassed 15 points, including five goals and 10 assists.
Although Bjork played well in the 2019 preseason, he was sent down to Providence to start the season. The Bruins’ brass probably thought Bjork could use some time in the AHL to knock off the rust.
Six games into the 2019-2020 season the NHL club is 5-1, but offensive production has been lacking. In five games played so far this year in Providence, Bjork has three goals and three assists. Of course, this early-season success leaves fans and the media wondering if Bjork can provide an offensive spark in Boston.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but Boston’s middle six is suffering. Although current second-line wingers Jake Debrusk and Karson Kuhlman each had goals overturned in the Bruins’ lone loss in Colorado, scoring from the second and third lines has been scarce.
Once again, it seems the Bruins might need to make some changes at right wing on both of those lines. Kuhlman has played well despite the scoring drought, but the rotation of David Backes and Brett Ritchie at 3RW has been less than ideal.
Injury Bug Bites
Bad news abounded Friday afternoon. The Bruins held an optional skate following a disappointing shoot-out loss to division rival Tampa Bay Thursday.
After that practice, head coach Bruce Cassidy delivered some unwelcome news. Forwards Joakim Nordstrom and David Krejci will not travel with the team to Toronto because of injuries. In addition, Cassidy said Patrice Bergeron is also dealing with an injury, but that he would make the trip to play the Maple Leafs Saturday.
The coach said a call up is possible in light of those injuries. Bjork is certainly the leading candidate to get the nod.
On Thursday, Boston Cassidy announced that second-line center David Krejci would miss that night’s game against the Lightning. Krejci left Monday’s game with an upper-body injury.
With Krejci out, Cassidy opted to completely shake up the middle six. Charlie Coyle moved up from the third line to center Jake Debrusk and Brett Ritchie. Danton Heinen, Par Lindholm and Karson Kuhlman made up the third line Thursday.
Even if Krejci and Nordstrom return to the lineup soon, the Bruins need help. Chances are Bjork will be in Boston soon.