BOSTON — Peter Cehlarik certainly has made his presence felt in the Boston Bruins lineup since being recalled from Providence on Tuesday, and he’s garnering plenty of his head coach’s attention.
Cehlarik potted two of the Bruins’ three goals in their 4-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday and added an assist in Thursday’s 5-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night at TD Garden. Bruce Cassidy gave the second-line winger heaps of praise Tuesday, and the trend continued after Thursday’s win.
The bench boss had even more positive feedback for the 23-year-old when asked to describe how he felt about Cehlarik over his last two games with Boston.
“He’s done what we’ve asked and more,” Cassidy said. “He finished the other night, a couple times, so we know he’s capable of offense. I just think he’s winning — even the (David) Backes goal. It’s a 50/50 puck against a big body. He gets there first. Ties up, (David Krejci) follows, so now you’re winning puck battles. It’s a big part of hockey, to me. You can go through all of the x’s and o’s of every team in the system, but when you win puck battles, assuming you have good players, which we do, you’re going to make plays when you have it more.
“I give him a lot of credit for that,” Cassidy added. “He’s at the top of the crease when that shot comes from (Zdeno Chara). We’ve been trying to instill some of those habits into some of our younger guys for a long time, to get there and stay there. He’s a bigger body and little more mature, so he can take the — hold his ground, I guess, for a better term.”
David Krejci, who’s centered Cehlarik the past two games, echoed Cassidy’s comments.
“He’s playing well. He’s trying a lot. He’s making lots of good play out there,” the center said. “Not only that, it helps me as well. He’s strong on the puck. Like I said, you know, he’s good on breakouts in the neutral zone. A lot of give and go. So, it’s been good but hopefully we can keep it going.”
As for Cehlarik, he’s just enjoying his time in the NHL.
“I’m having fun out there,” he said.
Cehlarik has racked up three points in the last 48 hours. If he can continue to be an integral part to the lineup — particularly Krejci’s line — he likely can count on having even more fun.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images