|Chuck Kobasew quietly moving up the scoring charts||03.27.09 at 1:52 am ET|
WILMINGTON — Take a guess at the Bruins player with the most goals since everybody’s favorite NHL All-Star weekend in Old Montreal back in late January.
Phil Kessel or Michael Ryder? Nah. Both have had injuries and illness knock them off their normal scoring pace.
Marc Savard? The B’s playmaking center has been remarkably consistent and seems again on pace for a 90 plus point season, but again that would be an incorrect answer.
The rookie wonder twins of Blake Wheeler and David Krejci? Once again the answer is no. Both Krejci and Wheeler have tailed off over the last few months amid the long grind of an 82 game season, but have showed serious signs of regaining their games in recent weeks.
The answer is the gritty, gutty Chuck Kobasew, who has banged home 10 goals over the team’s last 24 games and has 18 goals and 19 assists on the season. Kobasew is just a handful of points behind both Wheeler and Zdeno Chara despite the fact that both played have appeared in 13 more games than Kobasew, who missed significant time at the beginning of the year after an errant shot broke a bone in his leg.
“Koby does those kinds of things quietly,” said B’s bench boss Claude Julien. “He competes hard, he bangs and crashes and then he slides that goal in here and there. It’s almost like people don’t take notice as much for his goals as they will for the Kessels and the Ryders, but he quietly racks up the points. You notice him as much for his grit and determination as you do for anything on the scoresheet.”
The 26-year-0ld winger, for his part, is just to happy to have meshed with linemates Mark Recchi and Patrice Bergeron, and together the trio has really stepped up and taken on some needed offensive responsibility.
“For me it’s never been about the goals or about anything related to numbers,” said Kobasew, who practiced on Thursday afternoon following two “maintenance days” spent off the ice. “I’m out there to play a physical game and to do whatever this team needs to win games and get into the playoffs. That’s what it is all about for me.”
Kobasew, perhaps more than any other player in a Spoked B sweater, perfectly meshes the frenetic physical style of a kamikaze pilot with enough scoring tough around the net. Add that to the other two elements on Kobasew’s line, and you have a trio that Julien has been more than happy throw out against another team’s top scoring line — while also coming to expect some offensive production as well.
“Bergie’s game is getting better and better in the last month-and-a-half or so, and you can see he’s really finding his groove again,” said Julien. “I really like his two-way game right and he’s becoming the reliable Bergie that we all watched until his injury. Koby is just a strong competitor and Recchi has really added some valuable experience to that line.”
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