Castoff Kaspars Daugavins finds a home with Bruins
BY STEVE CONROY Boston Herald June 10, 2013 9:20PM
Updated: June 10, 2013 11:02PM
Back in March, Kaspars Daugavins was officially on the scrap heap.
Daugavins, who turned 25 on May 18, was put on waivers after seven years in the Ottawa Senators organization. In need of a little insurance at forward with an unpredictable trade market in front of them, the Bruins scooped up Daugavins, just to be safe.
Daugavins will be front and center for the Bruins on Wednesday in their Stanley Cup Final opener against the Blackhawks.
“It’s the first time for me,” Daugavins said. “It’s exciting, and I have to take advantage of it.”
“Obviously, I was lucky to get out of there and come to a great organization. I wasn’t thinking this far. I was just hoping to get some ice time and prove that I can be in this league. Now, I’m in the playoffs, and it’s just a big bonus.”
Because of the injury to Gregory Campbell (broken fibula) in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final, Daugavins was thrust into the spotlight for Game 4, and he performed admirably. He didn’t commit any turnovers, played a fairly safe game and even created his scoring chance when he left Tyler Kennedy in the dust with a toe drag before chiming the post.
“Obviously, I was a little nervous with the last game I played,” said Daugavins. “I hadn’t played in a month, and it’s a game where you can go to the Final. So you have to step up your game. But it’s hockey.
“You want to win that Stanley Cup. To come in and play, it was awesome. Like I’ve said. It’s easier playing than watching from the bench. Those last 20 seconds were crazy.”
Coach Claude Julien mixed and matched his bottom six forwards in that Game 4 against the Penguins. Earlier, he said he’ll keep an eye on those lines, switching them up if need be, depending on the situation. But the last two days, Daugavins has skated with center Rich Peverley and right winger Tyler Seguin.
The trio proved it could play well defensively in the victory over the Penguins. But can it also provide some offense if needed?
“I think so. We’re a good two-way line,” Daugavins said. “We play well on defense and obviously [Seguin] is a world-class player.
“Pevs is a great player. He’s shown that he can score a lot of goals. I’m only in the second year in the league and I’m still trying to prove myself. I’ve scored goals before in different leagues and I think I can score goals in the NHL, too. But the first thing you have to do is get the puck away from them.
“That’s the best defense. Playing in their end. We might not look like the prettiest line, but we’ll try to outwork them and score some goals.”