The Bruins are back home, hosting the annoying but middling New Jersey Devils.
Last time in Bruins Hockey…
The Bruins were in New York, battling their provisionally hated rival, the New York Islanders at the Nassau Colosseum.
The Bruins were a little bit sluggish at times – though this time they were able to score on the Isles. The Bergeron line was able to score twice, but the power play was not very effective. Defenseman Jakub Zboril made some dumb decisions with the puck, and left the game after only 8 shifts with an upper body injury. We can point to no obvious incidents during this game, however in the previous game, he got trucked from the blind side by Jacob Trouba, so could have been trying to play through concussion symptoms.
The Bruins are now at 10-2-2, keeping them 1st in the MassMutual East division, with 3 points ahead of the #2 Islanders (though the Isles have a higher points percentage, having won 2 games vs the Sabres since playing the Bruins).
The Bruins were to have played the Devils on Sunday, but the Devils are riddled with COVID and were forced to cancel the game. One can only hope that they do not drag the Bruins into their pestilent nightmare as they did to the Sabres.
What will be the lines today?
The lines are getting mixed around again.
Forward Ondrej Kase, while skating again, is still on IR. Craig Smith had been playing on the Krejci line in his stead…
DeBrusk was playing on the Coyle line, but is going to get bumped up to the Bergeron line. Pasta will be with Krejci, restoring Smith to the Coyle line opposite T-Freddy. Anders Bjork gets to bang it up with Kuraly & Wags.
Matt Grzelcyk has been out with a lower body injury, and Jakub Zboril has an “undisclosed” injury, so Connor Clifton and John Moore will both be appearing – most likely paired with Carlo and Miller, respectivly.
Jaro Halak is in net, with Tuukka scheduled for the Tahoe game.
|Bruins Forward Lines|
|Bruins Defensive pairs|
|#41 Jaroslav Halak||(#40 Tuukka Rask)|
Today’s opponent are the New Jersey Devils. This will be the 3nd meeting between these teams this season, the first being a shoot-out win and the 2nd being an overtime loss. The Devils are below the middle of the pack in the division at 5-3-2, but have a points percentage of 550 which is a more respectable 4th. You may note that they’ve only played 10 games this season whereas other teams have played 14-17. That’s because they are the kings of COVID cases. They had 17 players in the covid protocol as recently as last Friday, and had to defer their games, including Sunday’s game vs the Bruins. It is very likely that they infected the Buffalo Sabres when playing that team.
The Devils made some last minute transactions today- Recalled Mikhail Maltsev, Nick Merkley from their taxi squad, assigned Connor Carrick to their taxi squad and called up Jesper Boqvist & Ben Street from Binghampton to taxi.
Goalie Eric Comrie was claimed off waivers by Winnipeg.
Mackenzie Blackwood is a ‘gametime decision’ but expected to play. Ryan Murray is sick, but not with COVID (supposedly – I wouldn’t trust NJD on this topic)
(h/t Daily FaceoffDevils’ team reporter Amanda Stein)
#11 Andreas Johnsson — #86 Jack Hughes — #63 Jesper Bratt
#38 Yegor Sharangovich — #23 Mikhail Maltsev — #21 Kyle Palmieri
#59 Janne Kuokkanen — #37 Pavel Zacha — #39 Nicholas Merkley
#44 Miles Wood — #20 Michael McLeod — #14 Nathan Bastiann
#24 Ty Smith — #28 Damon Severson
#8 Will Butcher — #76 P.K. Subban
#70 Dmitry Kulikov — #45 Sami Vatanen
#29 Mackenzie Blackwood
(#47 Aaron Dell)