It’s game day, and the Bruin’s will resume what may be their fiercest non divisional rivalry. Over the decades, the teams have exchanged hits, slashes and players. Recent history includes the concussions to Bruins star forward Patrice Bergeron, former Bruins defenseman Andrew Alberts, and the broken wrist of David Krejci. None of us will soon, if ever, forget the loss last spring of a series that seemed well in hand. The list of players responsible is longer than just Mike Richards and Tuukka Rask. David Krejci owns some of the blood guilt for not paying better attention to who was around him during a playoff series against one of the more physically aggressive teams in the NHL, management owns more than a little for hiding the extent of Thomas’s injury and not even considering bringing up another goalie for situations like we saw unfold.
Tonight will also be the first Bruins game after the trade of Matt Hunwick. Without Hunwick the Bruins have gotten slower, less agile and less experienced. While I’ve held some reservations about him, I think the loss of speed will show if not tonight, then soon. While McQuaid’s physicality will be welcome against the Flyers, he’s not get the same foot speed or offensive potential. With Marc Savard so close to his return, the angst and competition for roster space should have hit overdrive. It’s a given that Matt Hunwick will not be the last hometown hero we say good bye to this season, the question of who else goes is still up for debate, but it’s coming and sooner rather than later.
Today’s 5 questions:
- Who scores first? The Bruins are unbeaten when scoring the first goal, the Flyers are .714. the stats suggest this could be important.
- Who wins the battle of the premier defensemen? Pronger seems to get more press, and has a ring, Chara is a more impressive physical specimen and didn’t get mocked by the juvenile delinquents who hoisted the Cup this spring.
- Can anyone of the Bruins regular centers win more faceoffs than they lose, other than Bergeron?
- Will Patrice Bergeron finally bust his goal scoring slump? If so can he match his November goal total tonight?
- Which goalie steal the show tonight? There are three potential show stoppers on tap, Thomas, Rask, and Bobrovsky. Who steps up?