Tonight the Bruins conclude their five game home stand when the NHL’s worst team; the Columbus Blue Jackets visit the TD Garden. The Bruins have yet to lose on the home stand, and overall are winners of their last six games.
The Blue Jackets come into tonight as the only team in hockey to not earn at least a point on the road. Columbus started the season off with eight straight losses and only have three wins on the season.
Puck Drop: 7:00 P.M.
TV: NESN Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub
2010-11 Season Series: Bruins 1-0
Expected Goalies: Tuukka Rask vs. Curtis Sanford
What to watch for Bruins:
As of right now it’s a mystery as to who will be in the Bruins lineup tonight. Johnny Boychuk was the only Bruin who did not partake in morning skate today. Boychuk missed the skate with flu-like-symptoms and is a game-time-decision. If Boychuk is unable to go, it looks like Andrew Ference would return from his lower body injury. Daniel Pallie says he’s ready to return to the Bruins lineup and could be back as early as tonight. If that is the case it will be interesting to see which Bruins forward is scratched tonight.
Anytime you see Patrice Bergeron on the ice for a faceoff tonight, pay close attention. In what’s one of the most underrated stats in hockey, Bergeron ranks fourth among NHL forwards in faceoff percentage with a 58.6% rate. In Tuesday’s win over the New Jersey Devils, Bergeron won 24 of the 33 face-offs he took, good enough for a ridiculous 73% success rate.
Tyler Seguin was held pointless in Tuesday’s game with the Devils ending his six-game-point streak. Seguin had a quiet game and lacked the usual spark he has brought to the Bruins offensive all season. Expect Seguin to find his name on the score sheet once again tonight against a very poor defensive team.
What to watch for Blue Jackets:
In a season where you have just three wins in 17 games it’s hard to find any bright spots with your team, but Vinny Prospal is one of them. Due to constant injuries Prospal appeared in just 29 games for the Rangers last season and had just 23 points. Through 17 games for the Jackets this season, Prospal leads the club in points (14) and is tied for the team lead in goals (5).
It’s been a struggle for Blue Jackets star Rick Nash. Nash who has scored 40 or more goals twice in his career has just 12 points (4 goals) this season. The former number one overall pick’s name has been thrown around in trade rumors over the past season and a half. One rumor (ridiculous or not) has Nash coming to Boston for Rask. Keep an eye on Nash tonight, it may not be his only game in Boston this season.
Curtis Sanford makes his first start of the season for the Blue Jackets this season. Sanford has not played due to injury since October 8th when he came in for Steve Mason who was pulled in the game.
Bruins gameday links:
Jessica Camerato of CSNNE talks about Zdeno Chara’s journey to the NHL.
How the Bruins architect built the Stanley Cup Champions. (Paul Flannery/WEEI.com)
Blue Jackets gameday links:
Jacketscannon.com takes a look at the career of Vinny Prospal who will play in his 1000th career game next week.
Bluejacketsextra.com takes a look at tonight’s match-up.