Calm, cool Spooner looks like he belongs with Bruins

Calm, cool Spooner looks like he belongs with Bruins
March 20, 2013, 2:00 am
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WINNIPEG – After it was all over, Ryan Spooner wasn’t nearly as nervous as he thought he’d be.

The 21-year-old centered one of the top Bruins forward lines in a 3-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets at the MTS Centre, and clearly the end result wasn’t something to smile about. But Spooner was happy with his play after finishing with a pair of shots on net and winning 4-of-8 face-offs while racking up five-on-five time as well as over three minutes of power play time,

Unfortunately the Bruins power play went 0-for-4 in a loss where they could have used a goal, but Spooner felt confident after getting all of the firsts out of the way in a game against the Canadiens at the Bell Centre last month. He manned the same power play spot occupied by David Krejci when the Czech center is healthy, but Spooner couldn’t live up to the team-high six PP assists that Krejci has racked up this season.

At least it wasn’t because of rookie nerves.

“I actually wasn’t as nervous as I thought I was going to be when the game started,” said Spooner. “I think it was because I already had that game against Montreal under my belt. Instead I was able to just focus on playing, and had a lot of time and space with the puck skating with Lucic and Horton.”

It was a good start for Spooner, who played with speed up and down the ice and showed a good willingness to enter into the battle areas for loose pucks without any fear or trepidation. Those are the traits that Claude Julien is looking for in his top centers, and that’s exactly the kind of game Spooner gave him in a big spot.

Ultimately a player like Spooner will be judged on his ability to create offensive plays and help finish them. Just as his team-high 45 points at the AHL level were a measuring stick number, Spooner’s ability to put points on the board will ultimately decide whether he can stick at the NHL level.

But the first precincts have reported and Spooner looked like he belonged in his first extended NHL action of his career. Now the setting moves to Ottawa and a Scotiabank Place rink set in Kanata, Ontario that also doubles as Spooner’s hometown where his entire family will no doubt be coming to watch him play against the Senators.

It will personally be a big game for Spooner and his extended family, but the stakes will be just as high for the Black and Gold as they look to avoid their first three-game losing streak of the season after back-to-back losses against Pittsburgh and Winnipeg to start the current road trip.