Today, the Bruins are in NOT Boston but in St. Louis, Mossouri to wrap up their “West Coast Tour” vs the Blues, televised on NECN
This west coast tour has really been rockin’
The Bruins previewed the tour starting in Boston by playing 3 games at home vs Western Conference teams, winning all 3 against opponents The LA Kings, the Avalanche and the Chicago Blackhawks. This was followed by the actual West Coast Tour which also has gone remarkably well, with wins over the Ducks, the Kings, the Sharks, and the Golden Knights. That’s 7 wins in a row!
This has the Bruins in 2nd place in the Atlantic Division ahead of the Leafs by a 4 point margin, though the Leafs still have a game in hand. And now they only trail first place Tampa Bay by 18 points!
Hey, come on, it’s only 9 games. No problem, right?
Ok, maybe that’s too tall a task, but they’ve done realy well, and have put themselves on a good trajectory heading towards the playoffs. But today they play a super hot St. Louis Blues team that recently won 12 games in a row.
So tell me about the lines…
There was a trade executed in time for today’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
Coyle has been tageted as the 3rd line center which pushed out Trent Frederic, who has been sent to Providence. In Bruins injury news, David Pastrnak is still out after thumb surgery and Peter Cehlárik suffered a lower body injury against the Kings and is out day-to-day, so emergency call up Karson Kulman has been playing in his stead on David Krejci’s wing. Danton Heinen remains in the right wing spot on the top line.
Trent Frederic Coyle will continue to center Joakim Nordstrom and David Backes. This is actually kind of demoralizing, since Frederic is from St. Louis and had gotten box seats for his friends & family.
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 Rask’s turn to be in net.
|Bruins Forward Lines|
|Bruins Defensive pairs|
|#40 Tuukka Rask||(#41 Jaroslav Halak)|
This evening’s opponent are the Blues. They are actually a bit beat up right now, with Brayden Schenn having missed the last game due to injury, David Perron, Carl Gunnarsson (D) and Erik Foley unlikely to play today. However, when last they played the Bruins, Tyler Bozak was experiencing concussion symptoms, Alex Steen & Rob Thomas were out with shoulder injuries, and Carl Gunnarson, Oskar Sundqvist and Zach Sanford were all questionable for with either illness or upper-body injuries. The Bruins won that matchup by a decisive 5-2 after a couple of lackluster games.
Since that time, the Blues have transformed from “turd” to “word”, moving from 6th in their division (with a disappointing record of 20-20-5) to 3rd culminating in a 12-game win streak that just ended with a loss to the Stars on Thursday. This has their record at 32-23-5 for 69 points. Key to this have been the emergence of backup goaltender Jordan Binnington and the re-emergence of Vladamir Tarasenko. Top scoring threats are Ryan O’Reilly & Vladdy Tarasenko at 24g/39a/63pts and 27g/25a/52pts respectively. Defenseman Joel Edmundson is by far the man most likely to be in the penalty box. I expect Binnington in net tonight, but the Blues are being cagey about it.
(h/t Daily Faceoff and St. Louis Post-Dispatch beat writer Jim Thomas):
#17 Jaden Schwartz — #90 Ryan O’Reilly — #91 Vladimir Tarasenko
#7 Patrick Maroon — #21 Tyler Bozak — #18 Robert Thomas
#20 Alex Steen — #70 Oskar Sundqvist — #6 Sammy Blais
#62 MacKenzie MacEachern — #49 Ivan Barbashev — #15 Robby Fabbri
(#12 Zach Sanford is a late scratch)
#6 Joel Edmundson — #27 Alex Pietrangelo
#19 Jay Bouwmeester — #55 Colton Parayko
#29 Vince Dunn — #41 Robert Bortuzzo
#30 Jordan Binnington
#34 Jake Allen