Carl Soderberg recalls being thrown into Stanley Cup finals
|01.18.14 at 6:42 pm ET|
CHICAGO — Perhaps lost among much bigger story lines as the Bruins return to Chicago is that it’s the place where Carl Soderberg received as high-stakes an NHL baptism as one could get.
Soderberg, who had come to the Bruins from Sweden in April and played six regular-season games to get his feet wet, sat throughout the entire playoffs until Patrice Bergeron‘s injuries forced the B’s to call on him to play Games 5 and 6 of the Stanley Cup finals against the Blackhawks.
The Bruins gave Soderberg five shifts in on the fourth line with Rich Peverley and Shawn Thornton in Game 5 before he was moved up to center Brad Marchand and Jaromir Jagr. As such, Soderberg went from just practicing with the team to being a top-6 forward in a new league with no room for error. He logged 14:16 in Game 5 and 10:14 as he skated mostly in the bottom six in Game 6.
Soderberg said Saturday that he didn’t know what the game would be like given that he’d never played a playoff game before in the NHL and that he’d been out of game action for so long.
“A little bit,” Soderberg admitted. “It’s always a little weird when you’re out for a [stretch] and then play a game again, but it’s still hockey and I know that game.”
Now, Soderberg has become a strong third line player for the Bruins, manning the left wing of Chris Kelly‘s line (currently centered by Ryan Spooner as Kelly works his way back from a fibula injury). The 28-year-old has six goals and 17 assists for 23 points in 39 games.
He knows that he may have already played in the two biggest games of his NHL career, but he hopes for another shot at the Cup and says that despite being new to the league, he appreciated what he was playing for last June.
“I was really thankful for that, that the coach gave me the opportunity to play those games,” he said. “That meant a lot to me.”