Boston Bruins: Ryan Spooner proving the doubters wrong

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 02: Ryan Spooner
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 02: Ryan Spooner /

Boston Bruins young forward Ryan Spooner is flourishing under Bruce Cassidy.

A couple years ago it seemed like Ryan Spooner was bound for a life in the AHL, or was going to end up being traded. Claude Julien seemed to hate him and his style of play. Now playing under Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy Spooner seems to be tapping into his potential and having a great season this year.

Spooner only played a full season with the Bruins once under Julien. He showed he could score ending the year with 13 goals and 36 assists. When the Bruins hired Bruce Cassidy it seemed that Spooner would get a second chance.

He once again had a solid season last year scoring 11 goals and having 28 assists. Spooner was coming into training camp looking to build off last season. Sadly after five games this season where he only had 1 assist Spooner tore his groin and was sidelined until late November.

Once he returned Spooner has been able to play some great hockey. He now has 7 goals and 10 assists on the season. His rating is at the best of his career (+8).

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When you look at the last couple of weeks Spooner has been on fire. He has six goals in his last 8 games.

What Spooner has been able to do

Spooner was criticized early in his career by many (including me) for not going deep in the zone, being strong on the puck, and fighting in the gritty areas of the ice. He seems to have embraced that and worked on that part of his game. Head coach Bruce Cassidy spoke about Spooner’s game.

"“I just like that he competed for the puck and scored a goal,” said Cassidy. “That’s a greasy goal. . . . That’s then part of the game we’re encouraging from him: Score some greasy goals. He’s going to score some nice goals, he’ll make his nice plays, but get some greasy goals, too. He’s done that. You’ve got to tip your hat to him.”"

Not a lot of people would expect to hear that about Spooner if you asked them a couple years ago. One of Spooner’s best games this season came in his hometown of Ottawa on Dec 30th. Spooner had 2 goals on the night and played amazing. He was able to put away a juicy rebound on the power play early in the first period, and then in the second period he blocked a shot in the Boston Bruins zone. Spooner used his speed to break away from defenders and a silky backhand to get his second goal.

There are still some doubters that say that Spooner’s play is a fluke and the Bruins should try and trade him while he is performing well. That wouldn’t be the smartest of ideas. We have seen Spooner flourish under Bruce Cassidy and this team is playing phenomenal. There is no need to mess up the chemistry the Bruins have going for them.

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Spooner is here to stay, especially if he keeps up this level of play.