The Bruins are home again, this time hosting the Edmonton Oilers
At the halfway point of the season, the Bruins are at 24-7-11, putting them 1st in the Atlantic, and 2nd in the league behind the Capitals. They have 59 points, which is an impressive 118 point trajectory for the season. Their goal differential of +32 is still the leagues largest. David Pastrnak is the season’s first 30 goal scorer, leading the league. Pastrnak and Brad Marchand are 4th & 5th in the league in points, with 60 and 59, respectively. Goaltenders Tuukka Rask & Jaroslav Halak have been among the leagues best all year, with save percentages of .923 & .930 (8th & 4th).
Defensively they’ve been pretty solid, allowing 31 shots (8th fewest) and 2.4 goals against (1st fewest) per game.
Last time, on Bruins hockey…
The Bruins were at home, fending off the Blue Jackets. They would get an early scare, with a puck in Tuukka’s net a mere 17 seconds into the game, but fortunately it was scored by notable free agent No Goal. Apparently, dragging a goaltender forward by his pads counts as interference.
Later in the period, the Bruins came out to a 1-0 lead, with a David Pastrnak power play goal. The Blue Jackets, while suffering from lots of injuries, were still on an 11 game point streak. They would block plenty of shots, keeping the Bruins to 1 goal, and would eventually tie up the game in the 3rd period.
The Bruins would lose after 52 seconds of OT.
It’s bad that a Bruins overtime loss still feels like a win because I don’t have to watch them painfully lose in a shootout
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) January 3, 2020
What will be the lineup today?
The usual suspects are back.
Charle McAvoy and Torey Krug had both been on IR and David Krejci was nursing a lower body injury. All three returned to play for Thursday’s game. Connor Clifton picked up an upper body injury vs the Sabres, has not been skating at practices, and will not play today.
Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara, and Joakim Nordstrom missed practice on Friday but are all expected to play. Matt Grzelcyk is out sick today, so Steven Kampfer will rotate into the lineup.
Injured defensemen Kevan Miller (fractured kneecap) is still not close to being ready for his season debut. Forward Karson Kuhlman has been sent to the Providence Bruins for a conditioning stint before returning to Boston’s lineup.
Anton Blidh (recovering from shoulder surgery) has begun skating before practice but not during practice. He will probably go to Providence as well.
Tuukka Rask will be in goal.
|Bruins Forward Lines|
|Bruins Defensive pairs|
|#40 Tuukka Rask||(#41 Jaroslav Halak)|
Transactions since last time we saw these guys:
Lucic gone, James Neal brought on. Cam Talbot sent off to Philly at the trade deadline (he is now in Calgary). Signed Mike Smith (formerly of the Flames and Yotes)
Drake Caggiula & Jason Garrison traded to Chicago for depth defensemen
21-17-5 (47 points), 4th in Pacific Division
Matt Benning (D) out with concussion
Connor McDavid & Leon Draisaitl have been leading the league in points most of the season. Both are near the top in goals as well.
(h/t Daily Faceoff):
#18 James Neal — #97 Connor McDavid — #44 Zack Kassian
#93 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins — #29 Leon Draisaitl — #56 Kailer Yamamoto
#10 Joakim Nygard — #91 Gaetan Haas — #39 Alex Chiasson
#16 Jujhar Khaira — #23 Riley Sheahan — #15 Josh Archibald
#77 Oscar Klefbom — #74 Ethan Bear
#25 Darnell Nurse — #4 Kris Russell
#84 William Lagesson — #6 Adam Larsson
(#19 Mikko Koskinen)
#41 Mike Smith