Tuesday after the Boston Marathon called for weather in the low 50’s, clouds, and plenty of wind. Typical for early spring in New England. The night prior, the Boston Bruins skated to a 3-1 victory over the Florida Panthers earning a one game to none lead in their best of seven playoff series. More than enough reason for some rest and relaxation. But not for 26 year old A.J Greer who just snapped 6 consecutive pucks all of which hit the same spot on net at Warrior Ice Arena the Bruins practice facility.
Despite today being labeled as an “optional” practice Greer is one of the first members to take the ice. For Greer, who did not partake in Boston’s game one victory, getting his reps is the furthest thing from optional.
A career minor leaguer with limited NHL exposure, Greer signed a deal with Boston ahead of their soon to be historic 2022-23 season and set career highs in goals, assists, penalty minutes, and games played. But ahead of Boston’s first game of the playoffs Greer found himself on the outside looking in. Not due to lack of effort or even production given his role. But with the addition of forwards Garnet Hathaway and Tyler Bertuzzi via trade and Taylor Hall and Nick Foligno returning from injury there wasn’t a lot of room for the former Boston University Terrier.
Yet, less than 24 hours after being a healthy scratch A.J. Greer can be found between drills on the opposite end of the rink working on his snapshot. It’s that type of effort that has caught the attention of his coaching staff, which explains why Greer has enjoyed a career year across the board. As it’s said, the best ability is availability. If Boston’s playoff journey takes them deep Greer’s time will come, and he’ll be ready.