The Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks will face-off for the 107th time in their lifetime series today, at 1pm, at the TD Garden. The Bruins hold a 67-24-15-0 overall record against the Canucks, with a 431-295 scoring edge. This will be the one and only meeting, in this East vs. West battle, this season. The last time these two teams met was on Oct. 28, 2008 at the General Motors Place – when the Bruins blacked the Canucks, 1-0.
This afternoon will be the Canucks’ fourth stop of their 14-game road trip. The Canucks will not return to Vancouver until after the Olympic break: March 13 against the Ottawa Senators. The Canucks are currently 1-2-0 on their current road trip, including their second-consecutive loss on Thursday night, 3-2 to the Senators. The Canucks could be ripe for the pickin’s for the Bruins, to finally snap their nine-game losing-streak, and eight-straight at home.
Away Team: Vancouver Canucks: 34-20-2 (70 points, 1st Northwest Division, 3rd Western Conference, 11-13-1 on the road, 7-3-0 last 10 games)
- 3rd in the NHL with 3.20 goals-for per game
- 5th in the league in goals-against with 2.43
- 21.9% success rate on the power play ranks the Canucks 5th overall
- 81.6% on the penalty kill for 16th in the NHL
Last 15 games: Line 1
Alex Burrows: 15-7-22, plus-13, 46 shots on goal
Daniel Sedin: 6-17-23, plus-11, 52 shots on goal
Henrik Sedin: 6-19-25, plus-11, 32 shots on goal
Last nine games: Line 3:
Demitra — Wellwood — Bernier = 3-4-7 totals
Willie Mitchell: Concussion
Kevin Bieksa: Lacerated Leg
Line Combinations and D pairings:
Daniel Sedin — Henrik Sedin — Alexandre Burrows
Mason Raymond — Ryan Kesler — Mikael Samuelsson
Pavol Demitra — Kyle Wellwood — Steve Bernier
Rick Rypien — Ryan Johnson — Darcy Hordichuk
Shane O’Brien — Christian Ehrhoff
Sami Salo — Alexander Edler
Aaron Rome — Brad Lukowich
Home Team: Boston Bruins: 23-22-10 (56 points, 4th place Northeast Division, 11th place Eastern Conference, 13-12-5 at home, 1-6-3 last 10 games)
- 30th in the NHL with 2.31 goals-for per game
- 7th in the league in goals-against with 2.46
- 17.6% success rate on the power play ranks the B’s 18th overall — five for 24 over their last five games
- 86.3%on the penalty kill for 3rd in the NHL — have killed 13 of their last 18 times short
David Krejci: is riding a three game points streak with 1-2-3 totals; and has 2-2-4 in four of his last five
Mark Recchi: has two goals in his last three contests
Dennis Wideman: has two assists in his last two games
The Bruins have now outshot their opponents for seven consecutive games – by a total of 246-171 - but have a 0-5-2 record and 10 goals to show for it.
“When you have ninety shots in two games and you only have one point to show for, that is the frustrating part. There are so many other things that we’re doing now and we have to keep that up now.” said 42-year-old Mark Recchi.
The NHL journeyman and future Hall-of-Fame forward has certainly been through his fair shares of highs and lows. But no matter how tough these losing streaks can be, keeping a positive attitude is the only way to handle it. And as the Bruins play just five more games – from not until next Saturday – getting some points on the standings is paramount.
“We have to keep a positive attitude now, we have to stick together.” added Recchi. “These are really tough times for us but we have twenty seven games to get ourselves in the playoffs. We have to really, really stay with it here and if we can do this over the last five games before the break here and start building some momentum we can make a good run at it.”
“How do you stay positive? You have to. You don’t have a choice. You don’t get out of this by just quitting.” said head coach Claude Julien after the shootout loss to the Canadiens on Thursday. “With the amount of chances that we’re getting and the amount of shots that we’ve been throwing at the net, it’s been frustrating to say the least, when you have three goals to show for probably 89 shots, I think it is, in two games. And you got three goals to show for it, and that’s without talking about quality scoring chances.”
So, how are the goals going to come then? They’re certainly shooting the puck enough. But are they quality shots and scoring chances?
“We need traffic. We need guys in front of the net. We need guys to jump at rebounds.” the soft-spoken Steve Begin said. “It’s all details. Now we have to get those guys in front – get those rebounds. Just be in front of that goalie. The first goal, that’s how we scored tonight. Traffic.
“Even if you get 20 shots from the blue-line – if he’s has got a clear vision, it’s not hard for the goalie to stop it. Just put his body in front. They have to pay the price.”
And as for the preparation for this tough matchup?
“Keep working. Take those good things we’ve seen tonight and the last few games. But take those things to the next game. We have to be ready. We know it’s a good team” Begin said. “So it’s going to be a good challenge for us – a good time for us to start winning.
“We’ll get over it and we’ll find a way to win. And then we’ll laugh at it after”