Spooner over illness, ready to give best to Bruins

Spooner over illness, ready to give best to Bruins
April 1, 2014, 9:15 pm
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WILMINGTON – Ryan Spooner was engaged in what most 21-year-old kids are doing with a day off when he got the call back to the NHL around 10:30 p.m. on Monday night. Bruins assistant general manager Don Sweeney interrupted a game of NHL 2014 on Xbox with two of his buddies, and Spooner was excited to get another look after his extended stint in December and January this season.

Amazing, Spooner was playing the San Jose Sharks against his buddies rather than choosing his own Bruins team, and somehow skipped the temptation of forcing himself into a top line spot given the video game power to edit rosters. But now he’s got something much better: the real NHL thing with a road trip through Detroit and Toronto on tap for Wednesday and Thursday.

Spooner is fully over the illness that caused him to lose 10 pounds from his already slender frame back in January, and put him into an NHL slump for nearly a month after he returned to Providence.

“I’d say it took 3 or 4 weeks. I don’t really know what I had, but I didn’t feel my best, and my play really showed it down there,” said Spooner. “I wasn’t really playing well, and was frustrated with myself. I’ve played much better in the last three or four weeks.

“The whole strength thing was [a big lesson from the NHL stint], and staying on top of the whole nutritional side of things as well. I just want to try to stay healthy after getting sick there for a bit.”

Spooner finished with 11 assists and a minus-1 in 22 games while filling in for Chris Kelly recovering from a broken ankle, but only had two points in his last eight games with Boston while being slowed down with the undiagnosed sickness. He’s certainly got a chance now to show what he can do once again, and prove his worthiness at being a Black Ace in case injuries hit Boston’s forward group during the playoffs.

“I think I had three points in the month of February, and I wasn’t playing well, I was really getting down on myself,” said Spooner, who has 10 goals and 40 points in 42 games for the P-Bruins this season. “I just tried to get through that, and I’ve been a better player over the last month. I tend to go up and down a lot, so I’m just focusing on playing my best at all times.”

With Carl Soderberg “on the bubble” according to Claude Julien as his very pregnant wife waits to give birth any day and David Krejci battling the early signs of illness with a sore throat, Spooner should get that chance to play his best in at least a couple of games leading up to the postseason.