General manager Peter Chiarelli’s after-Christmas shopping paid off well this season.
When Chiarelli completed a free-agent contract with Miroslav Satan for the rest of the season Jan. 3, the GM saw it as a low-risk, high-reward sort of deal to get a 14-year veteran for less than a million dollars. As far as bang for the bucks, Satan fit the bill.
The speedy winger was as streaky as the rest of his new black-and-gold-wearing teammates, and he wasn’t much of a defender, but he still managed to register nine goals in 38 regular-season games and then tie for second on the Bruins’ playoff scoring chart with five more scores. When David Krejci left the lineup with injury, it seemed like he took Satan’s scoring touch with him. But when the season ended, Satan had given the Bruins value for their decision to sign him.
Although it’s unlikely Satan will return to Boston for next season, he proved he could still play and chip in for a winning team next year.
Stats: 38 GP, 9-5-14, 12 PIM, plus-8
Season highlight: Satan’s two-goal game in a road win over Toronto April 3 was huge, but, of course, his biggest goal with the Bruins came in the playoffs against Buffalo. With the Bruins trying to build an almost insurmountable 3-1 lead on the Sabres, Game 4 headed to double overtime. After a Michael Ryder end-to-end rush, Satan received a pass from the fellow winger and then beat Ryan Miller for the game-winning goal. Not only did Boston pull within one win of a series victory, the Bruins also learned a new dance.
Season low-light: Losing Krejci seemed to hurt Satan more than any other Bruins player. That’s still no excuse for his awful pursuit of the puck and defensive effort in the Boston end toward the closing moments of the first period of Game 7 against Philadelphia. When James van Riemsdyk skated off the wall and shot the puck off Mark Stuart’s stick and past Tuukka Rask, the Flyers gained momentum for their history-making comeback. Van Riemsdyk never should’ve been able to get that shot off so cleanly.
Final grade: B-minus
While he proved to be pretty one-dimensional, streaky, and not as much as a help on the power-play as the Bruins had hoped, Satan scored at an 18- to 20-goal pace for a full season, which was a rare bright spot for the league’s worst offense.
The crystal ball says … Satan finds a home with another contending team with a third-line opening next season.