Brandon Carlo had his longtime defensive partner, Torey Krug, head to St. Louis this offseason.
The pair spent three seasons together with the defensive-minded Carlo working well with the offensively-talented Krug. And now, Carlo seems to be putting more responsibility on himself in hopes of gaining those puck-moving, offensive-minded characteristics.
The 24-year-old blueliner made that part of his game count Monday night, scoring the eventual game-winning goal in the Bruins’ 5-3 win over the Washington Capitals. Carlo’s wrist shot at 17:23 sailed past Washington goaltender Vitek Vanecek and was the Bruins’ fourth unanswered goal, third of the final period.
The right-shot blueliner explained how he is working on his offensive game in hopes of having a more well-rounded impact in his fifth season in Boston.
“Obviously, I want to be part of the offense and I think that all starts with trying to get pucks towards to net,” Carlo told reporters Monday after the game, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “There’s been decisions that I’ve made as well where there’s been other options available and just trying to gain more comfort in that offensive zone, find my spots, find the right time to jump in and be available.
“It’s definitely a work in progress still, but after each game I’ve been doing a little bit of video and they’re doing a great job of helping me recognize those areas where there’s potential for offense within my game. Just building off my foundation of the defensive game is what I want to do, and I’ve been lucky enough to put two behind the goaltender.”
Carlo now has scored 14 goals in his career, but Monday was his first game-winning tally. He scored a career-best six times during his rookie season in 2016. His 12.5 percent shooting percentage this season, though, is on pace to be a career high.