Daugavins gets his chance for B's in Campbell's absence

Daugavins gets his chance for B's in Campbell's absence
June 9, 2013, 8:45 pm
Share This Post

BOSTON – It was out of necessity rather than choice, but the Daug Man came through for the Bruins in a pinch.

Kaspars Daugavins hadn’t played since Game 1 against the Toronto Maple Leafs way back on May 1, but was pressed into duty when Gregory Campbell went down with a broken right leg. He only played 6:46 of ice time Friday night in the decisive Game 4 against the Pittsburgh Penguins, but he was noticeably active taking the puck to the net with speed and power, and even hit a post on one trip toward the cage.

“I didn’t play that much but every time I got out there I enjoyed every second of it,” said Daugavins, who had an assist and a minus-1 rating in six games after landing in Boston. “I tried to keep it simple because I hadn’t played in awhile and it worked. Get pucks deep and try to start a cycle and back check, it worked well.”

The Daug Man created a couple of scoring chances based on his own aggressiveness, and that’s a good sign moving forward given his ability to also do a little penalty killing and mix it up physically. So, he’s the perfect extra forward ready to jump in with fast, young 25-year-old legs when adversity hits as it did with fourth-line center Campbell in the conference finals.

Hard to believe he was essentially picked up for nothing prior to the trade deadline when the Ottawa Senators placed the shootout specialist on waivers.

“I’ve always liked the way he plays. He’s got that puck possession mentality, puck protection mentality. He’s got some skill on the puck. I didn't know what we could do in the trade deadline,” said Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli. “It was a really tight, tight market, and we had to get some depth. I liked him, and he was in a great contractual status.

“He’s young still, and I like the way that he played. His [Game 4], I thought, was really good for the time he was on. He likes to take the puck to the net. That was a terrific move protecting the puck with his right hip. That was a terrific move and hit the post, and he had another couple of shots and good cycle, good defensive plays. He played well.”

Daugavins also represents one of the more underrated talents of Chiarelli and the Bruins front office: the ability to find sufficient depth and potential role players without surrendering too many assets. Picking up the Daug Man was definitely a footnote when the Bruins traded for Jaromir Jagr and Wade Redden, and would have gone totally unnoticed if Daugavins hadn’t pulled his spin-o-rama shootout move on the Bruins just a few weeks prior.

But Daugavins is stepping into a role where he can aid the Bruins at the most important time of year, and is showing the excellent organizational depth Boston built up before getting dropped into the Stanley Cup playoff war of attrition.