The Bruins had already played one game without Chris Kelly before last night’s game against Florida. But with the news that came out Wednesday that Kelly suffered a broken left tibia in his collision with Ottawa’s Chris Neil on Monday, the reality that the team was going to be missing their versatile centerman for the long haul was just setting in yesterday morning.
But one guy’s misfortune is another’s opportunity, and Burlington’s Jay Pandolfo now has a chance at a regular shift.
“It’s unfortunate. He’s a huge part of this team,” said Pandolfo about Kelly. “He’s a great leader in the room, and with all the little things he does on the ice, he’s a tough guy to replace. But when stuff like this happens, you need everyone as a group to step up and help out with some of the stuff the he did.”
Pandolfo for now will play left wing, while Rich Peverley takes over Kelly’s spot at center, and Jordan Caron moves to the right side. In last night’s 4-1 win over Florida, he was credited with one hit in 9:47 of ice time.
“Rich is a talented guy,” said Pandolfo. “If we can get some chances, it might give us some confidence. That’s the biggest thing, is just trying to create some scoring chances and do the job defensively. That’s all guys can really worry about.”
The signing of Pandolfo didn’t seem like a big deal at the time, but it’s proving to be pretty valuable right now, especially with the former Devil’s ability to step in for Kelly on the penalty kill.
Chris Kelly’s injury opens door for Jay Pandolfo
Boston Herald | Mar 15