Beyond the box score, Peter Cehlarik doing the little things to stake claim as viable top-6 contributor

Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

Bruce Cassidy was searching for the proper word to describe Boston’s latest top-six winger.

He’s only logged a hair over 32 minutes of ice time up in the NHL ranks this season, but Peter Cehlarik has hardly looked like a mid-season call up so far on David Krejci’s line — tallying three points as the latest candidate to solve Boston’s scoring droughts.

So what was it going to be for Boston’s bench boss following Thursday’s 5-2 victory over the Blues?

Excited? Encouraged?

“Yeah, those ‘e’ words,” Cassidy said of Cehlarik. “Elated, enthusiastic. He’s done what we’ve asked and more.”

Given the rate at which Cassidy and his staff have juggled forwards around in Boston’s lineup, perhaps it’s premature to label Cehlarik’s showing as anything more than just a nifty start.

Sure, the 23-year-old winger has produced on the scoresheet over a pair of games, but a top-six unit featuring Joakim Nordstrom alongside Krejci and Jake DeBrusk also generated a couple of 5v5 tallies when first assembled — before eventually getting shuffled around again and again as the year dragged on. 

So what makes this case any different? Yes, Cehlarik has exceeded expectations so far in his third stint with the B’s. But for Cassidy, it's the unexpected strengths of the winger’s game that have truly set him apart so far — and made Cehlarik a key addition at just the right time for a Bruins team in need of a scoring lift.