The light is most definitely on for Swedish import Carl Soderberg as he continues to make a bigger impact on everything the Bruins are doing out on the ice.
The 28-year-old Soderberg set up a goal in Saturday’s 3-2 overtime win over the Carolina Hurricanes, and has points in three out of his last four games while totaling 20 shots on net in his last five games. To say the Big Swede has been heavily involved would be an understatement almost as big as the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Soderberg.
“We might be talking about whole different [win/loss] outcomes here. Those new guys have stepped in and done a great job,” said Claude Julien. “You look at [Carl] Söderberg and [Reilly] Smith, what they’ve done for us this year in that third line role. Last year we were struggling to find a third line, so that’s been great.
“[Soderberg and Smith] just feel better more and more about playing together. They’re reading off of each other extremely well; I said that earlier in an interview about how they’re just reading off each other, they’re anticipating, so they’re always on top of the puck.”
It’s pretty clear the Swedish winger is getting more comfortable with the NHL game and the North American rinks, and is now finding those seams in the defense to get off his heavy shot from the slot. It was a slot shot that earned Soderberg a goal against the Blues earlier this season, and that same shot created the loose puck Reilly Smith turned into a backhand goal for himself on Monday afternoon.
“We’re three good players and good skaters too,” said Soderberg, of his third line. “So, we try to get the puck deep.”
Soderberg is projecting for 13 goals and 45 points this season in what will be his first full NHL campaign, but the size, strength, shot and willingness to get to the hard hat areas around the net portend even better things to come for the Big Swede this season.
It will be interesting to see what exactly he’ll develop into the NHL level, but Soderberg has already made Boston’s third line much more of a dangerous force this season.