WILMINGTON, Mass. — Few call-ups from Providence (AHL) have ever landed in Boston with more momentum than winger Martins Karsums brought with him for practice today at Ristuccia Arena.
Karsums, one of two call-ups along with Vladimir Sobotka, just finished leading the Latvia national team to a berth in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games with a 3-0-0 record in the Group F qualifying tournament in Riga, Latvia. Karsums scored one goal and registered five points for his homeland, as Latvia defeated Hungary, Ukraine and then, in the final, Italy.
“The whole team was a great team. The atmosphere was unbelievable,” said Karsums after he practiced with a Bruins team that lacked Petteri Nokelainen (eye) and Chuck Kobasew (upper body) for today’s session. “That’s probably why we won the tournament. We had a good attitude in the team. Against Hungary, all the teams we played, we went out there and played like it was our last game.”
Karsums racked up 17 goals and 24 assists in 43 games for Providence before departing for his big tourney. This is his second stint on the ice with the Bruins. While playing in the NHL is obviously a big deal for his career, Karsums is also looking forward to a year from now when he’ll get to represent his country in Vancouver.
“It’s every guy’s dream, probably, to play in the Olympics and play for your country. It’s going to be in your mind for all your life. It’s going to be an awesome time, if I make the team,” he said.
Karsums and Sobotka will both plug into Boston’s line-up because neither Nokelainen or Kobasew will make the trip to New Jersey for tomorrow night’s game. Head coach Claude Julien classified both as day to day and would not rule out one or both joining the club in Nashville for Saturday’s game.