Marshfield’s David Warsofsky shows power-play ability in Garden debut
|12.21.13 at 11:46 pm ET|
In his second NHL game, defenseman David Warsofsky got a chance to show what he can do in the role that suits his game best — power-play quarterback. And the Marshfield native and Boston University product ran the Bruins’ power play the same way he’s been running Providence’s, which is very well.
Buffalo’s Linus Omark went to the box for hooking 9:07 into Saturday’s game, and with the Bruins’ top line just finishing up a shift, it was Warsofsky and the second power-play unit (which also included Patrice Bergeron, Reilly Smith, Carl Soderberg and Ryan Spooner) that got the first crack.
They set up a nice cycle and got Buffalo’s penalty killers moving, and Warsofsky’s ability to move his feet and open up lanes was a big part of it. Thirty-two seconds into the man advantage, Smith found the back of the net after a pretty passing sequence that saw all five Bruins touch the puck in about a five-second span.
“I think I’ve obviously been playing on the power play down in Providence, and that’s kind of the role I want to come into,” Warsofsky said. “I felt comfortable out there. … Not every guy gets the chance when they come up to play on the power play, so it was nice to see the coaches have some confidence in me and put me out there.”
Warsofsky didn’t exactly take the fast track to the NHL. He signed with the Bruins in 2011 after his junior season at BU, and while he has long been viewed as one of the two or three Providence defensemen who could contribute to the big club if needed, the opportunity never came until this week. The closest he got was the start of last season, when he made the opening night roster before eventually getting sent down without appearing in a game.
“There was frustration at times,” Warsofsky said. “It’s a long journey to the NHL, but not every guy gets to play in the NHL. So I kept that in the back of my head and I knew hopefully one day it would come. I just kept working at it and luckily it did.”
On Thursday, Warsofsky finally got into that first NHL game. And on Saturday, he finally got to play in front of the TD Garden crowd he had been a part of so many times growing up.
There’s a good chance Warsofsky’s stay in Boston won’t be a long one, at least not this time around. Adam McQuaid could be back as early as Monday, and his return would likely bump Warsofsky to healthy scratch territory. Dougie Hamilton got back on the ice Saturday morning and could be back in a week or two, and it would be tough to find a spot for Warsofsky once he’s back.
But Warsofsky knows he can’t be concerned with any of that. All he’s thinking about is playing his game and keeping things simple. So far, he’s been able to do that.
“He’s no different than anybody else that’s come here,” Claude Julien said. “We don’t ask that those guys come in here and be saviors. We don’t ask them to come here and change their game. We just ask them to come back here and play the same way they played [in Providence]. He’s a good puck mover, he can carry the puck well, and that’s what he’s done so far. I’m happy with his game so far.”