It’s looking like Boston Bruins winger Rich Peverley may be a healthy scratch tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 1 of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. If we’re basing assumption on the morning skate, newly acquired Kaspars Daugavins will be taking Peverley’s place.
While we won’t know for sure until the puck drops, this move comes as a slight surprise.
The key word is “slight.”
With only six goals and 18 points overall, Peverley has struggled for a good chunk of the 2013 season. On the other end, Daugavins has only registered one assist in six games for the Bruins since being acquired on waivers from the Ottawa Senators. One has to wonder what Julien sees in Daugavins that made him decide to swap him in for Peverley.
Though Peverley isn’t necessarily an offensive powerhouse, he played a key role in the 2011 Stanley Cup run. When Nathan Horton suffered a concussion at the hands of Vancouver Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome in the Stanley Cup Finals, Peverley stepped up big time by delivering two crucial goals in Boston’s Game 4 victory. He also possesses a quick and gritty playing style the team benefits from, especially on the penalty kill.
One theory going around Boston is this may actually be a motivational scratch from Julien. Much was made about Milan Lucic being scratched a few weeks ago against the Pittsburgh Penguins, after which Lucic returned to score a goal and two assists to go along with two fights in five games. Perhaps Julien is trying to shake Peverley’s tree and get his game going again.
Daugavins may be starting tonight, but don’t be surprised if Peverley is back in action soon, perhaps even as soon as Game 2.