Eriksson hopes to 'get some confidence' in Dallas return

Eriksson hopes to 'get some confidence' in Dallas return
January 16, 2014, 3:15 pm
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DALLAS – It was difficult to take the smile off Loui Eriksson’s face on Thursday morning after renewing acquaintances with so many familiar faces around American Airlines Center. It’s a smile that hasn’t been seen all that much in Boston through injuries and a new work environment that took some adjustment, but it revealed a player fully comfortable in his surroundings.

“There were a lot of good memories here,” said Eriksson. “It’s all about winning, but it should be good tonight.”

It’s a smile meaning that the return to Dallas was a reminder Eriksson that he was an All-Star forward and 30-goal scorer here, and still has plenty to give the Black and Gold in the second half of the season.

“It’s kind of weird to be back, but it’s really nice to see all of the guys around here. It’s always nice to some of my friends outside of hockey. I was able to do that yesterday,” said Eriksson. “It’s going to be fun tonight. Hopefully I can score a couple of goals, and get some confidence after that. It will be a good game tonight.”

It was good timing for Eriksson, who was able to return for a couple of games prior to the reunion in Dallas on Thursday night, and start working on the chemistry with Ryan Spooner and Carl Soderberg. The questions about concussions and recovery timetables are a thing of the past, and now it’s about building up some chemistry with a third line that could really do some damage for the Black and Gold. Eriksson has averaged just a tad over 13 minutes per game in his first two games back from the Dec. 7 concussion, and has an assist and a single shot on net in those two games.

The confidence isn’t all the way back and the feel for the game might completely be there, but they’re returning slowly and surely. Claude Julien has liked what he’s seen so far, and knows that third line combination can really give the Bruins a jolt in the goal-scoring category.

Eriksson has five goals and 15 points in 26 games along with a plus-9 rating, but has been beset by the two concussions in the first few months of the season. With Eriksson’s head finally clear of concussion symptoms, Claude Julien is hopeful that the Bruins see the same players that Dallas got to watch over the last five years.

“You can see why he’s a good two-way player. You can see the smarts. But there’s no doubt the injuries he suffered were very serious injuries, and they set him back,” said Claude Julien. “We haven’t seen the best out of Loui yet. But we have half of the season left. Hopefully we see the best of him in the second half, and that would be great.”

Perhaps that second half revival starts for Eriksson and the Bruins tonight in the familiar environs of Dallas.