Eriksson finding offensive groove post-Olympics

Eriksson finding offensive groove post-Olympics
March 7, 2014, 9:30 am
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BOSTON -- Loui Eriksson continued his resurgence with another solid effort following the Olympic break, and this time coming off the “infected heel” that forced him to sit out Tuesday night’s game against the Panthers.

The small injury was no big deal, and did absolutely nothing to slow down his momentum.

The Swedish winger notched his seventh goal of the season in the second period, and helped spur the Bruins on to a 3-0 whitewashing of the Washington Capitals at TD Garden on Thursday night. Eriksson has three points (1 goal, 2 assists) in his first four games back from the Olympic break after headlining for Team Sweden in a top line role, and has an incredibly active 10 shots on net in those four games.

“I’m feeling good and I’m making more plays I feel like, and I’m more comfortable out there,” said Eriksson. “So have to just keep doing that I think, and I will be fine.

“It’s been good. Kells [Chris Kelly] is a really good two-way player. He can play in both ends, and he can take face-offs and everything. Carl [Soderberg] is just a big guy with a lot of good stuff he can bring to the game, and it’s been good so far. We just have to keep doing it.”

The goal against the Capitals was a thing of beauty for Eriksson. Carl Soderberg grabbed the loose puck from the front of the net, wheeled around behind the net and then slid a pass to Eriksson after he’d shaken free of defenders in front of the net. That allowed Eriksson to lift a shot under the crossbar, and once again show off his finishing ability in close to the cage.

Eriksson, Soderberg and Chris Kelly had a handful of scoring chances in the win over Washington, and Claude Julien said the improvement in the Swedish winger’s game has been pretty easy to recognize.

“I think we’re all seeing the same thing," Julien said. "He’s been a pretty good player, but we had to give him that opportunity to find his game after going through those two serious concussions that really set him back. But I think we’re starting to see the smart player that we all talked about at the beginning of the year, both ways,” said Claude Julien. “You know, he makes smart plays and he also defends well. He’s, he’s been a really good player.

“I just saw him starting to find his game before the Olympic break. I saw him play well at the Olympics, and it’s followed up here since he’s been back.”

The Bruins just have to continue hoping that Eriksson maintains his string of good health, and gets enough time to really get on a role while transforming Boston’s third line into a legitimate offensive force like it was three years ago during the Stanley Cup run.