BRIGHTON, MA – The Boston Bruins had to make a few roster moves with Craig Smith healthy and ready to play on Monday night against the St. Louis Blues. First, AJ Greer will be coming out of the lineup as Smith heads to the fourth line right wing and rookie forward Jakub Lauko was headed to the Providence Bruins for the time being after a solid stint in Boston.
The 22-year-old Lauko scored his first NHL last week in Pittsburgh and has one goal and two points in seven games while playing an energy role for the Black and Gold this season.
“His speed, his tenacity, and he’s fearless,” said Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery of Lauko’s attributes and why he was on the NHL roster prior to the start of the regular season “He’s fearless going to hard areas. We think he brings energy to our group, and that speed element is something we felt we needed in our lineup.”
Lauko was similarly assigned to Providence a couple of weeks ago when Brandon Carlo was moved off the injured reserve list and activated to play.
Smith has a goal and three points while averaging 11:48 of ice time in seven games this season and had missed the last three road games in Pittsburgh, New York and Toronto with an upper body injury suffered in a win over the Blue Jackets. Smith has struggled to lock down a role in the top-12 forward group this season with a new coach, and a lack of special teams presence giving him more ice time to work with in-game.
It was thought that he would be one of the players that Boston might look at in trade in order to create some salary cap space when Charlie McAvoy is ready to play in the next couple of weeks.
Linus Ullmark will get the start in net as it looks like the Boston Bruins won’t be utilizing backup netminder Keith Kinkaid until Sunday night’s home date against the Vancouver Canucks this weekend.
Here’s the projected Boston Bruins lineup based on Monday’s morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena: