By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — The Bruins’ lack of scoring this season, despite leading the league in the vaunted possession stat CorsiFor percentage, has more to do with a lack of skill and scoring touch than it does with “puck luck.” But they do have certain players who could use a little luck these days, namely rookie defenseman Brandon Carlo.
Overall, the 2015 second-round pick has been a pleasant surprise this season for an improved Bruins defensive corps. He’s primarily a defensive defenseman and not exactly someone who needs to score goals to be effective, but he had not scored since Nov. 3 – a staggering 33 games without so much as a puck bouncing the right way for him.
Well, Carlo finally got the bounce he needed on Tuesday night against the St. Louis Blues, when he fired the puck wide to the left of Blues netminder Jake Allen. Much to the goalie’s dismay, the puck bounced back toward the net and rolled over the netting right to Allen, who accidentally kicked it back into the net off his left leg.
Juuust like he drew it up.
It was obviously an epic blooper for the puck to tumble around like it was trapped in a Rube Goldberg machine, but it was certainly the kind of good fortune that the struggling Carlo could have used to boost his confidence. He wasn’t playing great defense, either – he was a minus-6 in 21 games since the start of December before Tuesday night – but you could see some improvement in his game after scoring in St. Louis.
Claude Julien noticed Carlo’s improvement and expressed confidence in the young blue liner when he spoke to NESN’s Jack Edwards and Andy Brickley after the game.
“We work with [Carlo] every day … we encourage him to have some poise and to be patient sometimes and to really play with a lot of confidence, so he showed that [against the Blues],” said Julien. The coach added that Carlo’s strong third period in St. Louis “was a sign of a guy getting better game after game” and that the 20-year-old has “progressed quite a bit.”
It was an absurdly lucky series of bounces that knocked the puck into the net for Carlo, but perhaps it was the spark he needed to turn things around.
Matt Dolloff is a writer for CBSBostonSports.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect that of CBS or 98.5 The Sports Hub. Have a news tip or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.