When the Boston Bruins signed Joakim Nordstrom in the offseason, the addition was not met with much excitement. The Bruins needed a scorer and Nordstrom did not fit the profile.
He was coming off a season in Carolina in which only scored two goals. During the regular season, Nordstrom did not make much of an impact as he shuffled in and out of the lineup. In the postseason, however, he has been key and is proving his worth at the perfect time.
During the regular season, Nordstrom dealt with a fair amount of adversity. It seemed as if he was on the way to a career year as he tallied five goals by Dec. 17. But in the Winter Classic, he had a key blocked shot which resulted in a broken foot. Nordstrom would miss a month and only recorded two goals throughout the rest of the season. He did still receive ample playing time as Cassidy only scratched him once upon his return.
Additionally, the playoffs did not begin well for Nordstrom. Without Sean Kuraly, the Bruins fourth line struggled against the Toronto Maple Leafs. When Kuraly returned in Game 5, Nordstrom was briefly the odd man out. In Game 6 against Toronto, Nordstrom was put back into the lineup, where he has remained ever since. Like the rest of the Bruins bottom six, he has thrived during this deep playoff run.
Through 15 postseason games, the fourth line winger has two goals and two assists. Offensively, he has continually come up with big plays and had a beautiful pass to set up Chris Wagner’s goal in last night’s win. Against Toronto, he also came up clutch in Game 7, as his goal gave the Bruins an early lead which they held throughout. While Nordstrom has made plays offensively, he has been just as good on the defensive end.
Although Nordstrom has been willing to sacrifice his body, he also made his impact in other ways. In Game 1 against Carolina, he drew a penalty against Dougie Hamilton that turned the game in Boston’s favor. He has also been good on the power play and in whatever role Cassidy has placed him in. The Stockholm native has used his speed to his advantage to make his impact felt.
When Nordstrom signed with the Bruins, he knew nothing would be handed to him. All season he has had to prove himself time and time again. In the playoffs it has been no different, however, he is up to the challenge. While this teams journey is far from over, Nordstrom is proving why he is a key piece.