Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Boston Bruins

Spooner Wings It With Bruins

by Caryn Switaj / Boston Bruins

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - Ryan Spooner has played more than 300 games over the past five years, including 27 in the NHL, as a centerman.

On Friday night, he was slotted into the lineup as a left wing, scoring a pair of goals en route to the Bruins' 6-1 preseason win over the New York Islanders at Webster Arena.

"I've played wing maybe once in the past five years, so it was definitely something that was a change for me," said Spooner. "But I just tried to be in the right spot, and I thought it went well."

Spooner was released from Boston's training camp on Wednesday, and joined Providence's camp. He was recalled on Friday morning for the game, with half of the Bruins' veterans getting the trip off.

"They told me - when I got sent down three days ago, they said that they might bring up a couple guys," said Spooner.

For him and the other recalls getting another shot in the Spoked-B, for no matter how long, it provided an opportunity to make a statement.

"You know, Spoons - that was one of his best games we've seen him play in a while so it was nice and refreshing to see his talent come out in all areas," Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said following the game.

Right out of thee gate, Spooner created a turnover in the offensive zone, fed his right wing for the night Seth Griffith and jammed in front on the rebound.

Another bang-bang play saw Griffith feed center Chris Kelly, who hit Spooner down low at the top of the crease, but he missed the open net.

Later in the shift, Zach Trotman fired a shot from the point and Spooner was in the slot to fire in the rebound and put Boston up 1-0.

In the second period, Spooner sped down the left wing and hit Griffith with a cross-ice feed. When that one wouldn't get past Isles netminder Chad Johnson, Spooner and Kelly set up Griffith again off the rush to give the Bruins a 3-1 lead.

Spooner's skill set came out the most when he took a centering feed from Milan Lucic behind the goal line on the power play, pulled the puck to his backhand and putting it past Johnson.

The Bruins would build on that 4-1 lead and leave Bridgeport with a 6-1 win.

"I got a couple of nice plays and finished them off so that was good, but that's definitely a change out there, on the left side, so I just need to improve on that," said Spooner.

He had to make defensive adjustments to his game.

"Just getting the puck out is pretty much the only job I have and if I'm back first, I've got to play low, so I thought for the most part it was good," Spooner said.

"I thought he played well all three zones, I thought he came back hard, he was skating hard, getting in on the forecheck," Kelly said of Spooner. "I thought we managed to turn over quite a lot of pucks and generate some offense."

"It's a new position for him - I thought he played well. We we were talking a lot and just trying to make it easy. I think playing an unfamiliar position with two - well, maybe him and Griff know each other, but - a new centerman, I thought it worked well."

The 22-year-old Spooner may be best suited at his natural center, but he's willing to give it more time on the left side.

"Yeah, absolutely, for sure," he said with earnest.

The Bruins' depth at center with Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Carl Soderberg, Chris Kelly and Gregory Campbell hasn't made it easy for Spooner to claim a job. His NHL time has come due to injuries.

"Again, you know our situation at center right? So you know, you've got to try different things and see if that works," say Julien. "Obviously [Friday night], he played really well and I think we have to be honest here, it's probably half of American League team on the other team [with the Islanders] so you don't want to diminish what he did, because he really played well and I think it's a matter of - we may have to look at him again."

"But the biggest thing for him right now is consistency and we know what he can do and what he did tonight is exactly what we want him to do."

"There's games that he does it really, really well and other games there's a big drop in his play, so consistency is also a part of a player maturing and getting better at it, so he excites us when he's on top of his game like that. He's a real good player."

Spooner played 23 games with Boston in 2013-14, putting up 11 assists and no goals. Finding his scoring touch at the NHL level will help his case.

Following Friday's game, Julien wasn't sure yet if the forward would get another look in preseason action at TD Garden against the Red Wings on Saturday night.

"Not sure yet. We still have to discuss that," said Julien.

Spooner nearly capped off his night in Bridgeport with a hat trick, when he made made a move in close to Johnson's blocker side, but he was robbed of the chance.

"Maybe we have to see [him on the wing] a little bit more," said Julien. "But you don't let one game convince you; it takes more than one game to convince us whether he's able and comfortable to play there and that's what I mean, we may have to look at him again."

View More