Thursday, September 29, 2011

P-Bruins Player Puckbag: Kirk MacDonald

Opening statement
Right winger Kirk MacDonald enters his third full season with the Providence Bruins on the heels of back-to-back career campaigns in most every offensive category. Yet considering the fact that he managed to tie Max Sauve for third on the team with a mere 38 points last season, one would think there ought to be more for him to cultivate.

2010-11 Highlights
• Scored a career-high 15 goals and broke double-digits in the assists column (23) for the first time in his four full professional seasons.
• Landed 200 shots on goal, the second-most on the tea behind Jamie Arniel.
• Tuned the mesh in each of the P-Bruins first two games of the season.
• Logged at least one assist in three consecutive games for a total of four in that span (Oct. 31-Nov. 6).
• Chipped in seven helpers within a span of nine games between Oct. 31 and Nov. 21.
• Took only one minor penalty in a span of 32 games between Dec. 11 and Feb. 13.
• Had a five-game point streak (four goals, one assist) between Dec. 18 and Dec. 31.
• Enjoyed five multipoint outings, including a 1-2-3 log in a 4-2, March 25 victory at Worcester.
• Scored two goals, including the game-winner, to beat the Connecticut Whale, 4-2, March 27.

2010-11 Lowlights
• Went on a 25-game goal-less skid, beginning after Oct. 9 and not ending until Dec. 18.
• Was on the ice for four opposing goals in an 8-2 loss at Springfield Feb. 12.
• Took six penalty minutes, including a high-sticking double-minor, in a 7-0 loss at Portland on Feb. 16.
• Endured two separate seven-game goal-scoring droughts while chipping in only one marker over a span of 15 contests between Feb. 12 and March 20.
• Endured a 10-game cold spell between Feb. 12 and March 4, cultivating one goal and no assists.
• Had two other goal-less skids (Jan. 8-Jan. 18 and March 29-Apr. 10), each lasting six games.

2011-12 Outlook
With more consistency as both a playmaker and a finisher, MacDonald can verify his veteran status in his fifth AHL campaign and be a leader-by-example on the Providence scoring brigade.

More than anything, MacDonald’s shooting accuracy needs some sprucing up. It was certainly stimulating to see him thrust an even 200 shots on net in 2010-11 after only 117 the previous year. But with that many more tries, he ought to have put a few more in the cage than 15 if he inserted 14 in 2009-10.