Tonight is round two of of the season series between two resurgent teams. Last season the Rangers missed the playoffs, and spent the summer licking their wounds. The Bruins limped into the playoffs with a woozy Savard, Stuart, Siednberg, and Sturm all out of action and Sobotka would be playing with a separated shoulder before the playoffs were over. We know how the Bruin’s season ended, and both teams have sipped deeply from the victory cup early in the season. The Rangers stand fourth in the conference after eighteen games, and the Bruins are sixth after fifteen.
In the first game of the season, the Bruins came out flat and were further deflated in a losing effort when Johnny Boychuck was cut from the roster by a Brandon Dubinsky slash that broke his arm. It’s possible Brandon Dubinsky might have to keep his head on a swivel this game as Boychuck has traveled with the team and may make his return to the ice tonight.
- If Boychuck is in, will McQuaid sit? To me it’s a no-brainer, despite his fighting spirit he hasn’t been even average in his own end and could probably benefit from a game or two in the press box with the coaches going over plays throughout the game.
- Which team will come into the game with the most energy? The Rangers who gutted out a win against the Penguins, or the Bruins who aside from an early minutes surge by the Devils had a fairly easy night against the Devils?
- Which Mark Stuart will we see tonight? While Stuart might have put himself on a most wanted poster with his meteor strike hits against the Devils in the last game, this season has not seen his best stretch of play.
- Can Patrice Bergeron finally get his second goal of the month? He’s hit at least three posts and been stonewalled by goalies right and left, but he didn’t score 31 goals a couple years back accidentally.
- Will we see a shootout or a goalie duel tonight?