Game Day Preview: Bruins vs. Jets
Coming off tough back-to-back losses against the Montreal Canadiens and the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Boston Bruins look to get back to their winning ways Friday night at TD Garden as they welcome the Winnipeg Jets to town for a “Black Friday” matchup.
The B’s fell victim to the Pens Monday night on the back of Evgeni Malkin, who tied the game for his team and then eventually won it in overtime. Two days before that, the Habs continued their dominance against Tuukka Rask and the Black and Gold improving their record to 3-0-0 against their rivals in 2014-2015.
The Bruins will for surely be without David Krejci (hip) yet again Friday, while Chris Kelly may return to the lineup after missing two games with an injury. Rookie David Pastrnak could let things loose as he is tentatively slotted to start alongside Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.
Here is your complete Bruins-Jets preview:
Time: 7:00 PM
TV/Radio: NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub
Records: Bruins 13-9-1, 27 points/ Jets 12-9-3, 27 points
Location: TD Garden
Bruins’ projected lines:
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak
Milan Lucic-Carl Soderberg-Loui Eriksson
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Reilly Smith
Matt Fraser-Chris Kelly-Simon Gagne
Dennis Seidenberg-Torey Krug
Matt Bartkowski-Kevan Miller
Joe Morrow-Dougie Hamilton
Jets’ projected lines:
Andrew Ladd-Bryan Little-Blake Wheeler
Evander Kane-Mathieu Perreault-Dustin Byfuglien
Chris Thorburn-Mark Scheifele-Michael Frolik
Anthony Peluso-Jim Slater-Matt Halischuk
Grant Clitsome-Zach Bogosian
Mark Stuart-Jacob Trouba
Adam Pardy-Paul Postma
Who to watch for Bruins: Milan Lucic
Before his goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins Monday night, Milan Lucic had not scored a goal in his last five games. Maybe it has something to do with Krejci being out of the lineup, but it looks to seem that Lucic has found a home for the time being alongside Loui Eriksson and Carl Soderberg.
In the game versus Sidney Crosby and the Penguins, Lucic was skating hard, crashing the net, playing well along the boards and finding his line mates at will it seemed, albeit in a losing effort.
On Boston.com: New look Soderberg line shining for Bruins
Lucic was on the record saying that he likes playing with Soderberg due to his big body and physicality much like himself and by the results of Lucic, Soderberg and Eriksson on Monday night, this line has some potential and must be a factor not just for a few plays, but for entire 60 minutes if the B’s want to grab two points against the Jets tonight at TD Garden.
In most cases, the more physical and aggressive Lucic is in a game, the better chance the Black and Gold have of winning that game because points from their top left winger usually aren’t far behind.
Who to watch for Jets: Evander Kane
Whether they were true rumors or false rumors, the B’s should keep an eye on Evander Kane as a potential trade target.
Although he has four goals and four assists in 16 games, Kane is a potential 50-point player; something that Peter Chiarelli and company would welcome with open arms.
He may be off to a slow start, but Kane is finding his groove over the last two games, netting two goals against the Columbus Blue Jackets and recording an assist versus the Red Wings. The fourth overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft is only 23 years-old and has talent the B’s blueliners must take into account if they want to end their two game skid.
The Jets have a handful of play makers whether it’s Andrew Ladd, Blake Wheeler or Bryan Little, but Kane’s name should be right in that group as well.
Game Day Edge: Let David Pastrnak loose
Claude Julien admitted that his team is having trouble scoring the puck as of late, so why not let his most skilled player have at it?
Pastrnak projects to play alongside Bergeron and Marchand tonight against the Jets and from his little time with them against the Penguins, one could tell the instincts and skill he has on the ice.
On Boston.com: Pastrnak earns spot with B’s after shining in Providence
In only 17 games for the Baby B’s, Pastrnak netted five goals and added 13 assists. He is just that dynamic offensive talent that the B’s are desperately trying to find ever since they traded away Tyler Seguin.
Pastrnak only received 7:53 of ice time on Monday night against the Penguins, but that was expected. Tonight, maybe Julien kicks it up a notch and gets a better look at what the kid can do alongside reliable linemates such as Bergeron and Marchand.
The real key here is Pastrnak being that two-way player that Seguin wasn’t. Only more ice time will tell and that should start tonight against the Jets.
Game Day Video: Relive what the Bruins had to say after their 3-2 overtime loss to the Penguins