PHILADELPHIA — If the Bruins brass is smart, they’ll tell their team doctors to keep it on the down low if there comes a time that Chris Kelly can remove the cage protecting his face ever since he was injured in Game 3 of the Montreal series.
After all, Kelly’s goal in Boston’s dramatic 3-2 overtime win in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series with Philadelphia tonight at the Wells Fargo Center was his fourth of the playoffs, and fourth since he was pushed into the post by Canadiens forward Scott Gomez and had to return to Boston to be examined.
Remember, Kelly scored just twice in 24 games after he was acquired from Ottawa.
As for the cage, Kelly’s sick of talking about it.
“The cage will come off when I’m suggested to take it off, regardless of how things keep going here. That will be my final statement on the cage,” he slowly and firmly stated after the game with a slight smirk on his victorious face.
Whatever the reason for Kelly’s improved production, the veteran center has made general manager Peter Chiarelli’s trade look shrewder than it looked just a couple weeks ago. The former Ottawa pivot is finally playing how the GM and others with team predicted he would.
“It’s great. I’m having a lot of fun,” said Kelly. “It was a tough adjustment coming here after being in one place for so long. This is why I came here for this opportunity to help this team. I feel fortunate to get this opportunity and hopefully I can make the most of it.”
Making the most of it might mean keeping his face hidden and protected. Even if he doesn’t want to admit it.