The Bruins are on the road, visiting the Buffalo Sabres for their first match of the season, and broadcast on NESN.
Last time in Bruins Hockey…
Bruins were playing the Penguins, at the PPG Paints arena.
They won by a score of 2-1, in a fairly even match with few bits of ugly.
We got to see the debut of forward Oskar Steen, who had 2 shots on goal, including a nice bad angle shot which could have made it in to the net.
We also got to see a full 60 minutes from Goaltender Dan Vladar, who shocked us with a nifty reverse-angle stick save.
Both Evgeni Malkin and Jarred Tinordi were knocked out of the game due to injury.
Tinordi was eliminated via a particularly violent hit. A charge from Brandon Tanev starting from 70 feet away that flung Tinordi 10+ feet into the boards, and appeared to knock him unconscious. The call on the ice was a boarding major, which was controversial, since the broadcast did not show the distance traveled, and the hit was to Tinordi’s upper chest & shoulder.
The Bruins are now at 15-8-4, which still has them at 4th in the MassMutual East division by victory points, 8 points behind the Caps and Isles, and also 4rd in the division with a points percentage of .630.
What will be the lines today?
The lines are nothing but big question marks.
Why are they a question? Because a Bruin reportedly has tested positive for COVID. This resulted in a report that the game had been postponed. It turns out that the morning skate has been cancelled, but after the press and players were left in the dark for a while, the game is still on.
UPDATE: After further testing and contact tracing, as of now, tonight’s game against the Buffalo Sabres will go on as scheduled.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) March 18, 2021
The pre-game practice of course is the best chance for the media (oh crap, I think *I* am “the media” in this scenario) to gain insight on the lineup for the night. Now there is an undisclosed player missing and no updated practice lineup. Late reports suggest it is Sean Kuraly who is out, replaced by McKegg.
What we know: Brandon Carlo is is on IR with concussion-like symptoms.
Forwards Ondrej Kaše, Zach Senyshyn, and defensemen Jeremy Lauzon are still on IR. Kaše and Kevan Miller are both skating on their own. Miller is travelling with the team, but I do not expect him to play tonight. On defense, Steve Kampfer played RD in Tuesday’s match, and Jarred Tinordi is banged up. If he is unable to play – which I assume – then that would bring either Jack Ahcan or Urho Vaakanainen into the lineup unless Kevan Miller is ready.
Karson Kuhlman Oskar Steen and Greg McKegg are up from Providence, as are goaltenders Dan Vladar and Jeremy Swayman.
Is Tuukka Rask (back ailment) still out? Dan Vladar was in goal, with Jaro Halak, backing him up – will Swayman get a chance tonight?
It appears to be another Halak game.
|Bruins Forward Lines|
|Bruins Defensive pairs|
|#41 Jaroslav Halak||(#80 Dan Vladar)|
This evening’s opponent are the Buffalo Sabres, who the Bruins have not matched up with since the beginning of the COVID pandemic. The Sabres have been a dumpster fire on a runaway train wreck this year. They got infected with runaway COVID after playing the COVID-riddled Devils. Can you name a player on their roster? – yEAH THAT GUY IS PROBABLY INJURED. They have the worst record in the league, and finally fired their coach – Ralph Krueger – after their last game. Don Granato is interim coach.
So this is totally a trap game for the Bruins.
Jack Eichel, Zemgus Girgensons and Jake McCabe are out. Taylor Hall is in, but took a puck to the face, thanks to Chiller. Linus Ullmark has been out but may be available tonight.
(h/t Daily Faceoff and the Athletic’s Joe Yerdon @JoeYerdon and John Vogl):
#4 Taylor Hall — #38 Riley Sheahan — #72 Tage Thompson
#13 Tobias Rieder — #12 Eric Staal — #23 Sam Reinhart
#68 Victor Olofsson — #20 Cody Eakin — #21 Kyle Okposo
#53 Jeff Skinner — #27 Curtis Lazar — #37 Casey Mittelstadt
#88 Brandon Davidson — #55 Rasmus Ristolainen
#26 Rasmus Dahlin — #33 Colin Miller
#62 Brandon Montour — #10 Henri Jokiharju
#40 Carter Hutton
(#34 Jonas Johansson)