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With Jordan Caron still out of action with a stiff back, the Bruins have recalled Justin Florek, who made his first career NHL start against Winnipeg on Saturday, on an emergency basis. He will travel west with the B's to play during the road trip, which begins on Tuesday when the Bruins take on the league-leading Ducks.
The previous captain of Northern Michigan University is in his second full season with the Providence Bruins, with Monday marking the first recall of his career. Florek was actually sent back down to Providence for one game on Sunday, in which he tallied two assists.
On Saturday, with the NHL Bruins, Florek provided a screen in front of the net, which led to Torey Krug's eventual game winning goal against the Jets. His 6'4", 199 pound body provided all the necessary traffic in front of the net to help put the B's on top.
"That’s a huge part of my game, you know, big body, so getting in front is really important," Florek said after the game. "You don’t always get the glory, but a goal is a goal and helping out the team. It’s awesome being out there and trying to contribute."
His line-mate Daniel Paille was happy with his performance:
Florek was awoken prior to the game on Saturday morning at 8:30 with a phonecall from Bruins Assistant General Manager Don Sweeney, and had to rush to TD Garden in order to arrive on time for the B's 1:00 match-up.
"He read the plays very well, even if he got himself a little bit out of position at times he knew exactly where to go and he acknowledged and he tried to correct it as soon as he did," Paille said.
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"I thought for his first game, he played extremely well, he adjusted to us very well. Especially for your first game, you go out there not thinking too much; you just kind of play it. It definitely makes it a lot easier that way."
"It was just the best way I could wake up," Florek said, as he sat alongside Jarome Iginla
"It was pretty crazy… I was actually talking to Iggy before the game and he said that’s what happened to him, you don’t have too much time to think about it. So it was actually pretty nice just hopping in my car, driving up here and get ready to play in the game rather than think about it for a day so it was pretty good."
With a surplus of recalls, spots in the down in Providence have opened up for guys like Florek, who have done their best to step up their game to fill the holes. Justin has scored 5 of his 9 goals with Providence this season in his last nine games, while totaling 13 assists on the season.
"You want to work so you’re always ready to take that next step so when a guy like Fraser, you know a huge goal scorer, gets called up, I try to take his place down there and started scoring goals and producing like he did," Florek said. "So it kind of helped me move into that spot and kind of transformed my game all around and offensively."
Florek hopes to continue progressing through the ranks, both in Providence, and in Boston.
"Definitely, it’s definitely been a positive progression," said Florek. "I think that’s part of the game. I think you never really quit trying to progress and move onto the next level."
"I’ve been trying work my way up the line up from Providence and it’s brought me here to Boston, so it’s a great feeling just to know that my hard work is starting to pay off."
Switaj, Caryn. "Florek Joins Bruins on Road Trip Following NHL Debut." - Boston Bruins. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Jan. 2014.