After not playing in game 1, the Boston Bruins should give Ryan Donato a chance in game 2.
The Boston Bruins played a great game on Thursday night but did not leave unscathed. After Nazem Kadri’s horrible hit on a defenseless Tommy Wingels, I wouldn’t expect the veteran winger to suit up for game 2. With that in mind, the Bruins should give their young phenom a chance to show he is able to play with poise in the most pressure-packed games of the year.
Ever since he was called up, Ryan Donato has produced. He is great on the powerplay and fit in well on the 2nd line with David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk. In 12 games he had 5 goals and 4 assists. Donato is a great skill player who has a knack for putting pucks in the net. This great skillset may hold Donato out of play.
Playoff hockey and regular season hockey are two completely different animals. The game is so much faster, and everyone is fighting harder. You have to earn your space as well as the puck. Brian Gionta isn’t a big guy but he has playoff experience. When you pair that with Bruce Cassidy’s comments earlier in the week it makes you believe that Donato will not be getting any playing time.
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Also we still don’t know Riley Nash’s status for game 2. Nash is skating with the team but is in a non-contact jersey. If he is somehow able to play there is no room for Donato. Nash would be centering the 3rd line while Noel Acciari would be sent down to the 4th line.
It’s Donato’s time
With all of that in mind, I think it is time for the Bruins to give Donato a chance. He may not be the strongest or most physical player, but he can open up the ice with his speed. Gionta may have the experience, but he is not as good as Donato. Gionta is more of a grinder than a scorer.
Even if he is on the third line I think Donato will do well. Alongside veteran David Backes he will be able to focus on moving the puck. It will also give Cassidy the chance to see how Donato adjusts to the more physical game.
Saturday can’t come soon enough as the Bruins hope to have a 2-0 lead in the series when they make their way to Toronto.