This evening, we will get to see the Bruins visit Ottawa at the Canadian Tire Center.
The Bruins just got back from a dreadful stretch of hockey, with a nadir at the Florida Panthers, but have since played 5 pretty respectable periods. This was not quite enough vs the conference-leading Tampa Bay Lightning, but was rather effective last night against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Bruins met the Leafs in the TD Garden, and delivered to them a 6-3 score-board beat down. Halak kept the scoreboard clean for most of the game, and the Bruins got goals from some unexpected sources including JFK and David Backes. Here’s the highlight reel:
🎥 There's plenty to recap after last night's 6-3 win over the Leafs. pic.twitter.com/PYZ6SzuBXN
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) December 9, 2018
The game turned into a bit of a gong show in the 3rd with a late Zach Hyman hit on Charlie McAvoy when the Bruins were up 6-2 and the game was largely over. Brad Marchand blamed the hit on a retaliation for a McAvoy hit on Mitch Marner earlier in the game. Most likely he was referring to a shove that McAvoy made at the start of the game, that was *almost* boarding and *almost* crosschecking, but probably not hard enough to actually be a penalty. (It was, of course, penalized by the officials.) Regardless, the hit was made from an awkward distance from the boards, Marner faceplanted on the ice and may have bumped his head on the boards on the way down (video is not conclusive either way), and a scrum ensued.
So jump to the 3rd period, and McAvoy makes a behind-the net pass, Hyman sees the puck is gone and continues his hit :50 above. It’s a shoulder hit that knocks McAvoy’s head into the glass, and would keep him from participating in the rest of the game. Grzelcyk goes after Hyman and fists fly. A minute later, (3:10 above) Wagner makes a weird but clean open-ice hit on Rielly, and Ron Hainsey makes him drop the gloves. This somehow resulted in the Bruins being shorthanded. It probably has something to do with the pathetic histrionics from Mike Babcock (yes, Mike, I’m calling you out by name) behind the bench after each incident. Sorry buddy, it’s your team’s fault. Shut up and deal with it. McAvoy returned to the bench late into the 3rd and skated out to celebrate the victory. The league is taking a look at the Zack Hyman hit.
Toronto’s Zach Hyman will have a hearing today for interference on Boston’s Charlie McAvoy.
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) December 9, 2018
Let’s do some lines.
Former Dallas Star Gemel Smith – a left winger acquired from waiver wire – is played last night and is likely to play today. Jake DeBrusk missed last game and his prognosis is unknown. Charlie McAvoy appears to be ok after a scare last night.
For now, I’m going to assume the same lines as last night.
I was pretty skeptical of the Bruins forward lines and overall chances vs the Leafs. After the game concluded, I will happily suppress my cynicism.
Uh.. I said SUppress. Eh, close enough.
|Bruins Forward Lines|
|Bruins Defensive pairs|
|#40 Tuukka Rask||(#41 Jaroslav Halak)|
Tonight’s opponent are the Ottawa Senators. They are running at a record of 13-14-3, placing them at yuck in the standings. However, they got a 2-1 OT win vs the Penguins just last night. The Senators have actually performed reasonably well lately with a 3-2 record in their last 5 games, in spite of a roster in turmoil. Already having moved on from Eric Karlsson, they got bit by the injury bug. Mark Borowiecki, Matt Duchene, Marian Gaborik and Bobby Ryan are all dealing with injuries and there is no word on when they will return.
D-man Thomas Chabot had a good game and is on a roll, and wingers Mark Stone & Ryan Dzingel are their biggest scoring threats. (h/t Daily Faceoff):
Brady Tkachuk — Colin White — Mark Stone
Mikkel Boedker — Chris Tierney — Drake Batherson
Ryan Dzingel — Zack Smith — Magnus Paajarvi
Max McCormick — Nick Paul — Tom Pyatt
Thomas Chabot — Ben Harpur
Maxime Lajoie — Cody Ceci
Erik Burgdoerfer — Justin Falk