Lindblad making an impression on Bruins

Lindblad making an impression on Bruins
September 26, 2013, 3:15 pm
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Seen in this file photo, Matthew Lindblad made his NHL debut against the Hurricanes and gained some valuable experience for a potential postseason call-up.


WINNIPEG – While Matthew Lindblad doesn’t have any skills that will pop out at you on the frozen sheet, he does the kind of things well that will get noticed by the Boston Bruins. He wins face-offs, plays solidly in all zones and makes good choices with the puck on his stick while never showing anything that would be considered flashy.

In that way Lindblad has got a little Chris Kelly in his game, and has certainly made an impression with the Bruins coaching staff while being a member of the last group at NHL training camp.

Lindblad will center Jordan Caron and Reilly Smith in Thursday night’s game against the Winnipeg Jets at the MTS Centre, and continue the career path that his him trending toward a potential bottom-six forward. The 6-foot-1, 193-pound former Dartmouth College forward won’t make the Bruins out of camp, but there’s every possibility he could be called if something were to happen to Kelly, or Gregory Campbell, during the season.

He certainly opened some eyes in the Bruins organization when he signed a two-year deal with Boston after his junior year at Dartmouth, and then posted five points (1 goal, 4 assists) in four games with the Providence Bruins at the end of last season.

“I’m impressed with, I guess, his hockey sense. He’s smart and he’s a calm individual and he is 23 years old. He’s not coming in here as a 19 year old, so there’s a maturity level there that’s helped him along the way too,” said Julien. “But I think I’ve been impressed on how he reads the play, and he’s always seemed to be in the right position.

“Whether he’s here or he’s not, this guy will play in the NHL. He’s too good of a player; he’s too smart of a player not to play in this league, so we’re having a close look.

“Maybe he doesn’t stay, but at least we feel comfortable with him maybe being a call up. This is where we have to look at some of those guys. He’s a first-year player. At the end of the day you might say, ‘well he might benefit more from playing some more pro games and playing more often.’ But he’s here because I think he belongs here right now. The more we look at him the better idea we’ll have, and the more experience he’ll have from that.”

Chances are that Lindblad won’t be do anything flashy or explosive in Thursday night’s game against the Jets, but he certainly won’t look out of place while continuing to grow on the Bruins coaching staff.