Eriksson finding his consistent groove, offensive touch

Eriksson finding his consistent groove, offensive touch
November 26, 2013, 1:30 am
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BOSTON - Loui Eriksson has quietly started finding his game ever since he returned from the concussion suffered courtesy of John Scott’s meaty elbow. Maybe it’s not quite so quiet anymore after Monday night’s explosion against the Pittsburgh Penguins when the Swedish winger factored in three of the four goals in a 4-3 overtime win for the Bruins on the TD Garden ice.

The loudest and prettiest of Eriksson’s announcements of authority came on the very first goal of the game when he teamed up with Carl Soderberg on a play that can only be described as the Swedish Mafia Strikes Back. Soderberg fed Eriksson a cross-ice pass as he gained the blue line, and the B’s two-way winger took the puck between his legs while moving in for a partial breakaway.

Eriksson made a couple of moves, and then slid a backhand through the leg pads of Marc-Andre Fleury for what many will agree was the most aesthetically pleasing of goals scored by Boston this season. It perfectly displayed the hands and natural instincts around the net that have allowed Eriksson to top 30 goals per season on a regular basis when he was playing in Dallas.

“[Eriksson] scored a nice goal tonight. He’s on the number one power play and he’s playing well offensively,” said Johnny Boychuk. “When you’re doing that you’re playing well, scoring and having those confidence goals.”

Eriksson was just getting started, though, as evidenced by his team-high five shots on net, and the strong, crisp pass on the PP that found Soderberg down low, and set up Reilly Smith’s power play strike that staked Boston to a two-goal lead in the first period.

“We were working on that play for the last little bit,” admitted Smith. “So I think Carl [Soderberg] saw me the whole time. We knew they were going to be pretty aggressive so as soon as it went down to him he kind of knows that I’m going back door. So he made a great play.”

Eriksson would also get the secondary assist on Torey Krug’s game-winner in overtime, but don’t let the scoring plays fool you. The second line right winger was in the thick of the action from beginning to end, and used an active stick to poke pucks away from Penguins players throughout his 18:16 of ice time.

That’s the nice combination of offense/defense for Eriksson, who has 3 goals and 7 assists in 11 games during the month of November along with a plus-3 rating while gaining full comfort in the Boston way of doing things. That is allowing his natural talent to come out just like it did for years with the Dallas Stars.

“It feels good. I think we can still do some things even better, and find that consistency where we can do that every game,” said Eriksson. “We know we’re getting some great chances, and we know we’re going to score some goals.

“That’s the kind of mindset that we have to have out there. If we take advantage of those great chances we’re getting, then we’ll be good.”

In theory Eriksson was expected to be a perfect fit for the Bruins and linemate Patrice Bergeron before the season began, and now that potential is starting to translate into the real thing for the Black and Gold.