Bruins look to snap winless skid in Columbus
Tonight, the Bruins look to snap a four-game losing streak when they travel to Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets in the second game of their four-game road trip.
Tuukka Rask was the first goalie off the ice after the morning skate indicating that he’ll get the start between the pipes. Former Calder Trophy recipient Steve Mason will likely get the start down the other end of the ice.
According to Boston Globe beat writer Kevin Paul Dupont on twitter @GlobeKPD Michael Ryder, who’s tallied just three points in the last 11 games, could be listed as a healthy scratch and Tyler Seguin could see the ice for the first time since March 8th in the Bruins’ 4-1 loss to Montreal. Both Seguin and Ryder were skating on a line with Chris Kelly and Mark Recchi during practice the past couple of days.
Steve Kampfer returns to the Bruins’ blue-line after missing the last four games due to a mild concussion, while fellow defenseman Andrew Ference will sit out tonight’s game, but is close to returning from a lower-body injury suffered back on February 26th in Boston’s victory over Vancouver.
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Rich Peverley
Mark Recchi-Chris Kelly-Michael Ryder/Tyler Seguin
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk
Tomas Kaberle-Adam McQuaid
Dennis Seidenberg-Steven Kampfer
What to Watch For
– After finally scoring on the power play in Friday’s loss to the Islanders – albeit 5-on-3 – the Bruins might be able to capitalize against a Columbus penalty kill that ranks 20th in the league (at 81.1 percent). Since the addition of the coveted puck-moving defenseman (Kaberle), the Bruins power play has been subpar scoring just two goals. Another goal or two (or even some production) might provide the spark that the unit desperately needs.
– While the top line of Lucic-Krejci-Horton has been red hot recently with 40 points in the last 11 games combined, the secondary scoring has been lacking. Marchand has only one point in his last eight games and Bergeron only has not tallied a single point in six contests. The team has emphasized the importance of their depth throughout the season and its something that Julien and company can use tonight against a team who is falling out of the playoff picture out west.
Joe Haggerty has his latest power rankings up on CSNNE.com where the Bruins drop five spots from last week from second to seventh.
Fluto Shinzawa talks about the importance of Andrew Ference in his notebook on Boston.com
Ty Anderson of Hockey Buzz analyzes the team’s recent slump.
From the Blue Jackets standpoint, Rick Gethin of the Hockey Writers discusses the team’s “Uphill Climb”
Still wondering why Chara didn’t get suspended for his hit on Max Pacioretty a week ago? Nick Cotsonika of Yahoo Sports talked to Mike Murphy – the senior VP of hockey operations – and explains why he didn’t discipline the Bruins’ captain. On a sidenote, NHL GMs viewed Chara’s hit on Paciorertty as a “hockey play that didn’t require discipline” by a 24-6 margin according to Bob McKenzie on Twitter
And finally, Habs fans are expected to protest the ongoing headshot debate in the NHL. Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau, who will be coaching his team against the Habs tonight, has his response to the potential protesters via TSN.