Bruins Hoping Kuhlman Can Continue to Provide a Spark
Apr 23, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs right wing William Nylander (29) battles with Boston Bruins center Karson Kuhlman (83) during the first period in game seven of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Karson Kuhlman entered the 2019-2020 campaign with high expectations after a solid rookie campaign. In 11 games, he recorded three goals and two assists. He was also productive in the playoffs as he had one goal and two assists. The Minnesota native, however, has been unable to carry that success into this season as a fractured leg has forced him to miss the majority of the season. Kuhlman did appear in eight games before the injury but failed to record a point.
With the Bruins struggling of late, Kuhlman was recalled on Wednesday morning on an emergency basis. In his short stint in the AHL, Kuhlman was productive as he scored two goals and had an assist in four games. In his return, the Bruins are hoping that their young winger can provide a boost like he did at the end of last season.
Before making his NHL debut, the Kuhlman was seen as a solid bottom-six forward due to his gritty style of play and high hockey IQ. Upon his promotion, however, Kuhlman saw time on the second line and had a knack for being in the right place at the right time. As a result, Kuhlam was placed on the second line at the beginning of this season.
In Kuhlman’s return on Thursday night, the young winger made an impact on the third line. In the first period, he recorded two assists as the Bruins took a 2-1 lead and never looked back. His offense contributions were even more crucial as the Bruins were without the services of David Krejci.
What a sequence here for Karson Kuhlman on Par Lindholm’s goal:
– Supports the puck
– Reads the play
– Shoots with a purpose and gets the assist
Quite the first game back pic.twitter.com/ZNzZIshhKJ
— Evan Marinofsky (@emarinofsky) January 17, 2020
Despite Kuhlman’s struggles when healthy this year, the third line could be a perfect fit. He is strong on the puck and skates well. Although he would still need to produce offensively, he showed against Pittsburgh that he was ready for the challenge. Against the Penguins, his two points were the same amount that Brett Ritchie had in his previous 12 games.
In 63 career games for Providence, the 24-year-old has 14 goals and 20 assists. While the Bruins do not need him to lead the offense, they are hoping that he can add a spark. The season is far from over, however, this may be Kuhlman’s time to shine as he did on Thursday night.