Gameday preview: Bruins and Canadiens set to renew rivalry
The Bruins are set to hit the ice again tonight when they host their longtime rivals the Montreal Canadiens. The Bruins and Habs have gone in two complete directions since the Habs took both games of a home-and-home series back in October.
The Bruins sit second in the Eastern Conference just three points back of the conference leading Rangers. On the other hand the Canadiens are 12th in the East seven points behind the Washington Capitals for the eighth and final playoff spot.
The Bruins have won the previous two meetings by a combined score of 4-2.
Puck Drop: 7 p.m.
TV/Radio: NESN/98.5 The Sports Hub
Expected Goalie Matchup: Tim Thomas vs. Carey Price
What to watch for Bruins:
Patrice Bergeron — this week’s Bruins Daily Bruins player of the week — has been on fire of late. The talented two-way-forward has points in four straight with 4-4-8 totals in those four contests. Number one center David Krejci has an even better point streak going as No.46 looks to make it ten straight games with a point. The Czech-forward has 14 points in his nine-game-point-streak which includes five goals.
Tonight marks game two of Brad Marchand’s five-game-suspension. The Bruins didn’t miss a beat without their top agitator in Tuesday’s win over the Jets as former Canadiens forward Beniot Pouliot filled in perfectly for the absent Marchand. Pouliot’s game has improved drastically of late. The former first round draft pick has five points in the Bruins last three games.
The Bruins recalled forward Jordan Caron from Providence this morning. It will be interesting to see if Caron gets the call and Zach Hamill watches from level nine.
What to watch for Canadiens:
The Canadiens are in a world of hurt when it comes to injuries. The Habs just lost their Captain and Boston College alum Brian Gionta who is out indefinitely after having surgery to fix a torn bicep muscle. Gionta has just 15 points in 31 games.
One of the few bright spots for the Habs this year has been the play of Erik Cole. Cole signed with Montreal in the offseason after ending his tenure in Carolina. Cole is tied with Tomas Plekanec for the team lead in points with 30. Cole does lead all Canadiens with 17 goals. The New York native Cole has two goals in four games against the Black and Gold this season.
If you don’t follow the Canadiens to closely you may not know the name Lars Eller, but really, you should. The young forward was the key piece in the deal that sent goalie Jaroslov Halak to St. Louis. Eller has 17 points in 39 games this season which already matches his season total from a year ago. The 22-year-old broke out in a big way last week when he scored four times against the Winnipeg Jets.
Gameday links Bruins:
Daysofyorr.com lets you know how the feel about suspended forward Brad Marchand being on Twitter.
Chiarelli upset Marchand was misled by NHL (Jesse Connolly/ New England Hockey Journal)
Gameday links Habs:
Habs forward Mike Cammalleri blasts his team. (Mike Halford/ NBC Sports)
Bed news continuing to pile up for Canadiens (Mike Boone/ Hockeinsideout.com)