Today, the Bruins are in NOT Boston but in Las Vegas, Nevada to continue their “West Coast Tour” vs the Golden Knights, televised on NBCSN
So while we are treated to the dulcet tones of
Doc Emerick Mike Tirico Dave Gosher, Jack Edwards is no doubt going on his usual tirade about having a game snatched away from his…
Three hours of sleep in Vegas; caught a flight to Salt Lake City; driving up toward Little Cottonwood Canyon. For pagans who pray for snow, this is a pilgrimage. It’s been 25 years since I have skied Alta. The mountain always wins, but every skier grins.
Heading to the hill. pic.twitter.com/xPQJL9PgzU
— Jack Edwards (@RealJackEdwards) February 19, 2019
Oh, nevermind, he’s off skiing.
This west coast tour has really been rockin’
The Bruins played 3 games at home vs Western Conference teams a week ago, and the results were pretty good. Game one, vs The LA Kings, was Saturday, and the Bruins came away with two points. Game two vs the Avalanche last Sunday also resulted in two points with a Marchand OT goal. It might be nice to win in regulation, but nevertheless, I’ll take the two points. The 3rd game of that stretch was vs the Chicago Blackhawks, and the Bruins never lost the lead, winning by 6-3 in regulation time. This was followed by the actual start of the West Coast Tour which also has gone well, with wins over the Ducks, the Kings and most improbably, the Sharks. That’s 6 wins in a row (assuming that one includes the three OT wins)!
This has the Bruins in 2nd place in the Atlantic Division ahead of the Leafs by a 2 point margin, though the Leafs still have a game in hand. But now there are still some tough opponents immediately ahead with the Golden Knights tonight followed by a Blues team that has won 11 games in a row.
So tell me about the lines…
There is reportedly a trade in the works, but it will not affect tonight’s game:
Not official but hearing the trade is Coyle to BOS in exchange for Ryan Donato and a fifth-round pick. Details to come.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 20, 2019
As of press time, Coyle has been informed he has been traded, and his gear has been pulled off the Wild’s team vehicle, but he has not yet been informed of which team he has been traded to. If the trade is as rumored, the Bruins will need to move one of the call-ups back to the AHL to free up a roster spot before they can publish the deal. In Bruins injury news, David Pastrnak is still out after thumb surgery and Jake DeBrusk has been playing on the David Krejci line along with Peter Cehlárik. However, Cehlárik suffered a lower body injury against the Kings and is out day-to-day, so emergency call up Karson Kulman got another start, this time on David Krejci’s wing. While Cehlárik did skate in practice, Coach Bruce Cassidy is not interested in rushing him back, and Kuhlman will get another start. Danton Heinen remains in the right wing spot on the top line. Trent Frederic will continue to center Joakim Nordstrom and David Backes.
8th D-man Steven Kampfer has been called back up from his conditioning stint in Providence, but is not in the plans for tonight. It’s Halak’s turn to be in net.
|Bruins Forward Lines|
|Bruins Defensive pairs|
|#41 Jaroslav Halak||(#40 Tuukka Rask)|
This evening’s opponent are the Vegas Golden Knights. The Knights came out of the gate relatively strong this season, but have been disappointing over the past month, losing 8 out of their last 12 games, but still managing a record of 32-25-4 for 68 points, which is good for 3rd place in the Pacific. Part of their woes have been blamed on a goaltending slump from Marc-Andre Fleury, who is expected to start tonight after some strong outings by backup (and P-Bruins alumnus) Malcolm Subban. Vegas had a big victory a few nights ago vs Nashville, in a Subban-vs-Subban game (their mom was rooting for Malcolm), however this was followed by a disappointing 0-3 loss in the Pepsi Center vs the Avs. One would expect they will be pretty motivated tonight. All in all, the VGK are a little better than average across the board. A high-point is their penalty kill which has been running at 83.1% on the season which is 5th best in the NHL and shots per game at 33.9 is 3rd best. Their top line has not been particularly effective, with no player currently above 20 goals on the season. Leading scorer is Jonathan Marchessault with 19 (21 assists) and the leading points accumulator is Alex Tuch with 16g, 26a for 42 points. Shea Theodore is their most prolific scorer on defense with 9 goals this year. They have a few injuries, with center Ryan Carpenter on IR for an upper body injury, depth winger William Carrier suffered an upper body injury vs Colorado, and will be out for a while, replaced tonight by Tomas Nosek. Erik Haula’s right knee has had him off the roster since November. Defenseman Nick Holden had been out with a lower-body injury for around 10 games and is expected to return tonight so Colin “Chiller” Miller (#6) appears to be a healthy scratch tonight.
(h/t Daily Faceoff):
Golden Knights Forwards
#81 Jonathan Marchessault — #71 William Karlsson — #19 Reilly Smith
#73 Brandon Pirri — #26 Paul Stastny — #89 Alex Tuch
#67 Max Pacioretty — #21 Cody Eakin — #24 Oscar Lindberg
#92 Tomas Nosek — #41 Pierre-Édouard Bellemare — #75 Ryan Reaves
Golden Knights Defense
#3 Brayden McNabb — #27 Shea Theodore
#5 Deryk Engelland — #88 Nate Schmidt
#15 Jon Merrill — #22 Nick Holden
Golden Knights Goaltending
#29 Marc-Andre Fleury
(#30 Malcolm Subban)