The Bruins are at the TD Garden tonight, where they will play the New York Rangers.I should state that this site has gotten a major update this weekend. This resulted in an “upgrade” in the post editor. The new interface was really quite straightforward
So after it outright refused to let me insert a photo into my article, I gave up and found an old article and did a copy & paste of the text from an older article. This resulted in some… abstract formatting on this article So I promptly found a plugin to get rid of the old “new” editor and replace it with a new “old” editor.
Anyway, the Bruins have bounced back a bad defensive performance in Philly with a strong performance at home vs the Blues. This maintains their spot in the playoff structure with 3rd spot in the Atlantic Division. However, the playoff race in the Eastern Conference has tightened significantly over the last week. Yes, the Tampa Bay Lightning are still running away with a 7 game lead on the nearest competitor in the East with a league-leading 74 points. But Boston is a mere 1 point behind Toronto with 59 points in 48 games vs the Leafs’ 60 points in 47 games. Montreal also has 59 points, but Boston has an additional ROW and a game in hand. Meanwhile, in the Metro, the New York Islanders have popped to 1st place with 60 points in 47 games. 2nd and 3rd place are occupied by the Caps and the Blue Jackets, who each have 59 points in 47 games. The final wild card slot is currently occupied by the Penguins, who have 58 points in 47 games, with an impressive goal differential of +27. This puts 7 of 8 playoff contenders within 1 game of each other, and the 9th team in the East, the Buffalo Sabres a mere 3 games out from the 7 teams ahead of them.
So what do the lines look like?
Joakim Nordstrom is still out & wearing a walking boot. Steve Kampfer, Matt Grzelcyk and Noel Acciari were healthy scratches last game. But Acciari is swapping back into the lineup tonight. In spite of Heinen taking part in morning rushes, and not Donato, Coach Cassidy has called out Donato as playing in the “3rd” line wing. Matt Grzelcyk will be back, which may be a good thing, as the John Moore – Kevan Miller pairing was not very effective on Thursday. Tuukka, is in goal tonight.
|Bruins Forward Lines|
|Bruins Defensive pairs|
|#40 Tuukka Rask||(#41 Jaroslav Halak)|
This evening’s opponent are the Rangers. They are reasonably healthy right now, missing only Kevin Hayes and two defensemen, but those defensemen are Fredrik Claesson and Neal Pionk – their #1 guy by TOI. They have a record of 20-20-7 (47 points) which puts them largely out of contention. Consistent with their season record, they’ve gone 3-3-0 in their last 6 games. Offensively, they have resided in the league basement with only 28 shots/game, while allowing an average of 33 SOG. Top scoring threats are Chris Kreider & Mika Zibanejad at 22G/15A/37pts and 15G/27A/42pts respectively. Goaltender Hank is having a bad season, not helped by his team’s sub-par performances in front of him.(h/t Daily Faceoff):
#20 Chris Kreider — #93 Mika Zibanejad — #36 Mats Zuccarello
#72 Filip Chytil — #16 Ryan Strome — #17 Jesper Fast
#26 Jimmy Vesey — #24 Boo Nieves — #90 Vladislav Namestnikov
#8 Cody McLeod — #21 Brett Howden — #89 Pavel Buchnevich
#76 Brady Skjei — #54 Adam McQuaid
#18 Marc Staal — #77 Anthony DeAngelo
#55 Ryan Lindgren — #22 Kevin Shattenkirk
#30 Henrik Lundqvist
#40 Alexandar Georgiev