When Loui Eriksson returned to the lineup against the San Jose Sharks, I didn’t know what to expect from the man who had already missed significant time twice this year due to concussions. The Boston Bruins had already dropped two poorly played games earlier in their west coast road trip and needed to do something to give them a spark. Activating Eriksson may have given the Bruins that spark.
Eriksson didn’t produce anything spectacular on the ice, but he was consistent. He skated with Carl Soderberg on the third-line, and I like Claude Julien playing Eriksson there. It actually makes the most sense. I wouldn’t break up Patrice Bergeron, Reilly Smith and Brad Marchand yet. They have played way too well lately and have finally been producing. The West coast road trip was no indication to how that line and the team had been playing.
The third-line for the Bruins has had its ups and downs. They have produced goals, but their plus-minus ratings have suffered. Eriksson gives that line some stability with Chris Kelly still out of the lineup with his veteran presence.
Reilly Smith may have been the star of the Tyler Seguin trade, but Eriksson does offer something that the minor league players they have called up do not: Stability. He’s reliable and can play two-way hockey. He is a proven NHL forward. If the Bruins can find the proper place for Eriksson to play it will only add to their depth.