Injuries limited Bruins center David Krejci to 47 games last season, and the Bruins missed the playoffs for the first time in eight years in large part because of it.
The misfortune has persisted into 2016, with Krejci suffering an upper-body injury in the Bruins 3-1 loss to Ottawa on December 27. The timetable for the pivot’s return is ‘week-to-week’, according to the team.
The Bruins have gone 2-2-1 in Krejci’s absence, a mark that could be much worse if not for Ryan Spooner, who has stepped up in a way nobody did when Krejci went down in 2014-15.
Spooner came up late last season, and playing largely against bottom-six opponents. He posted an impressive 16-24–40 line in 59 games between his February 2015 call-up and Krejci’s injury in Ottawa two weeks ago.
With Krejci out, it was time for the 23-year-old Spooner to step up and play the big boys. And he’s answered the bell.
Spooner has six points in five games since becoming the No. 2 to Bruins ace pivot Patrice Bergeron. His lone goal of the stretch came in the second period of the Bruins 4-1 win over New Jersey on Friday night. The score, which put the B’s ahead 2-0, proved to be the winning tally in the game.
Spooner has averaged 18:18 of ice time per game, while winning faceoffs at a 46 percent clip (29 of 63). His season averaged heading into the stretch was 41.7.