Cehlarik fi­nally gets shot in B’s lineup

Boston Herald - - NHL / NBA SCOREBOARD / RACING - By STEVE CON­ROY Twit­ter: @con­roy­her­ald

ANA­HEIM, Calif. — Of all the promis­ing young play­ers the Bru­ins have in their sys­tem, Peter Cehlarik’s name should have been near the top of every­one’s list based on the small sam­ple he was af­forded last sea­son.

While he notched a mere two as­sists, the Bru­ins were 8-3 with him in the lineup skat­ing pri­mar­ily on a sec­ond line with David Kre­jci and David Pas­tr­nak be­fore some de­fen­sive lapses landed him back in Providence.

With the early sea­son prom­ise of Char­lie McAvoy, Jake DeBrusk and Anders Bjork, Cehlarik might have been lost to fans be­cause he wasn’t able to com­pete for a job in train­ing camp af­ter un­der­go­ing off­sea­son shoul­der surgery. Then while play­ing at AHL Providence, his bad luck con­tin­ued when he suf­fered a lower-body in­jury that pre­vented him from get­ting the call up to Bos­ton.

But tonight against the Ducks, it looks like he’ll get his shot. And judg­ing from yes­ter­day’s prac­tice at the Honda Cen­ter, he’ll be play­ing a prom­i­nent role. With both Brad Marc­hand and Bjork out for at least the games against the Ducks and Kings (to­mor­row), coach Bruce Cas­sidy had Cehlarik tak­ing Marc­hand’s spot on the first line with Pa­trice Berg­eron and Pas­tr­nak while also em­ploy­ing him at the net front on the first power-play unit.

“Ob­vi­ously los­ing (Marc­hand) is a big loss. We’ve looked at a lot of dif­fer­ent op­tions to move up there. It’s ob­vi­ously a good spot, so we’re not afraid to put a young player there,” said Cas­sidy, who also likes Cehlarik’s puck re­trieval ca­pa­bil­i­ties on the power play. “Peter did play with (Kre­jci) and (Pas­tr­nak) last year, so he’s used to play­ing with good skill. He does com­ple­ment them as far his abil­ity to pro­tect pucks and get­ting to the net. So he could be a good fit. Again, it’s Day 1. We may look at other op­tions with that, but we wanted to give that a try to see where he was, and I thought he did a good job (in prac­tice).”

In his first five games with Providence, Cehlarik was part of a line with Jakob Fors­backa Karls­son and Kenny Agostino — per­haps the best trio in the AHL at the time — and had three goals and three as­sists. Cehlarik played well enough to get a brief callup for a prac­tice be­fore be­ing sent down later in the day. Soon af­ter, he suf­fered the in­jury and missed three weeks be­fore re­turn­ing to the Providence lineup on Sun­day in Spring­field. He got the call-up Mon­day.

“We knew Peter would have had a real good chance to make our club this year, but the shoul­der in­jury put him back a lit­tle bit. He’s a guy we’ve been wait­ing on,” said Cas­sidy. “I don’t know what the ap­pro­pri­ate amount of time is af­ter an in­jury to come back and play. You like to get him as many reps as pos­si­ble. But right now, if he can help our team, we’re go­ing to put him in the lineup and use him.”

If the lines stay the same, it will be the first time Cehlarik will play with Berg­eron.

“He’s an awe­some player. I grew up watch­ing him, and I’m just go­ing to try to com­ple­ment him and Pasta as well,” Cehlarik said.

Bru­ins notes

Kre­jci’s avail­abil­ity would most likely im­pact how the lines are formed. He skated in prac­tice with­out the non­con­tact jer­sey for the first time since be­ing knocked out of the lineup with what ap­peared to be a back in­jury on Oct. 19. He did not take a reg­u­lar line shift, which would sug­gest he won’t be play­ing against the Ducks. But nei­ther he nor Cas­sidy ruled that out.

“It felt pretty good again today, an­other good day,” Kre­jci said. “At this point, I think it’s a ga­me­time de­ci­sion. Hope­fully I’ll have a good rest of the day, a good morn­ing skate. Ob­vi­ously as a player you want to play, but you also have to be safe with your health.” . . .

The B’s did some pow­er­play work in prac­tice and Zdeno Chara was used as a reg­u­lar on the sec­ond unit.

“We used him there in prac­tice with the type of setup we’ve had there, left stick up top who can shoot the puck. We’ve used (Paul) Postma there ob­vi­ously. We could dou­ble up (Torey) Krug. (Chara) could get some looks there if we stick with it. I liked what I saw in prac­tice,” Cas­sidy said.

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