Game Day Preview: Bruins at Blackhawks
Stop me if you heard this before, the Boston Bruins lost.
The Black and Gold were again embarrassed Friday night — this time in St. Louis by the Blues where Vladimir Tarasenko and company took care of the B’s 5-1.
Malcolm Subban got the call for his first NHL start and after a good first period for him and the B’s, the wheels fell off in the second period leading to his departure in favor of Tuukka Rask. Subban entered later in the game after the score was out of hand.
Brad Marchand scored the game’s first goal giving the B’s a 1-0 lead, but the Blues scored the next five on their way to the rout of Claude Julien’s team.
If things couldn’t be any worse, David Krejci took a hard fall on a hit and didn’t return to the game. The good news is that he has traveled with the team to Chicago as did Ryan Spooner.
The Blackhawks sit as the fourth seed in the Western conference and own an 18-8-4 record at the “Madhouse on Madison.” The B’s are currently 0-3-1 on their five game road trip.
[In Chicago to see if the Bruins can salvage this five-game road trip with a ‘W’? Check out last minute Bruins-Blackhawks ticket prices on TicketMonster]
Here is your complete Bruins-Blackhawks preview:
Gametime: 3:30 PM
Records: Bruins 28-21-9 (65 points)/Blackhawks 35-19-5 (75 points)
TV/Radio: NBC, 98.5 The Sports Hub
Location: United Center
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Reilly Smith
Milan Lucic-Chris Kelly-David Pastrnak
Daniel Paille-Carl Soderberg-Loui Eriksson
Ryan Spooner-Gregory Campbell-Brian Ferlin
Zdeno Chara-Dougie Hamilton
Dennis Seidenberg-Matt Bartkowski
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid
Blackhawks’ projected lines:
Brandon Saad-Jonathan Toews-Marian Hossa
Kris Versteeg-Brad Richards-Patrick Kane
Bryan Bickell-Andrew Shaw-Ryan Hartman
Patrick Sharp-Marcus Kruger-Ben Smith
Duncan Keith-Michal Rozsival
Niklas Hjalmarsson-Johnny Oduya
Kyle Cumiskey-Brent Seabrook
Who to watch for Bruins: Milan Lucic
Milan Lucic had a disastrous game in St. Louis on Friday night. The power forward had 15:07 of ice time including 1:54 on the power-play and contributed with zero points, zero shots on net and no shot even attempted.
The six million dollar man was tough to watch in St. Louis. He couldn’t handle a pass, he couldn’t make a clean pass and was turning the puck over numerous times in the offensive zone and neutral zone.
In the first four games of the road trip, Lucic has a minus-2 rating and has attempted seven shots while notching a grand total of zero points. The 26 year-old hasn’t recorded a goal since February 4th against the Rangers where he played with the flu.
Management keeps reiterating about players not meeting expectations, the finger needs to be pointed at Lucic first.
Who to watch for Blackhawks: Patrick Kane
When one thinks about the Chicago Blackhawks, I’m sure the first name they think of is Patrick Kane and why not, he is one of the most talented players in the world with the quickest hands.
His speed has to be making Julien lose sleep at night especially after only accumulating one point in his team’s first four games of this road trip. Between his skill and speed, it could be a long day for the Black and Gold.
Kane leads the NHL with 63 points. His 27 goals and 36 assists rank him eighth and 10th respectively in the league.
In his nine career games against the B’s, Kane has four goals and three assists. In 30 games at home this season, the 26 year-old has 12 goals and 19 assists.
Kane could go off in this game, but it’s the B’s job to make sure he is contained or it could be a long day for Rask and company.
Game day edge: Play Bruins hockey for once on this road trip
If anyone counted how many periods the Boston Bruins actually looked like the Boston Bruins on this road trip, one could probably hold up a few fingers.
It’s been infuriating watching this team play on such an important road trip. It looks as if they are disinterested and not playing with that same fire like they did in January.
Julien and company need to get back to the basics and trust their system. It wouldn’t hurt if Chara or Lucic dropped the gloves at some point to light a fire for the team.
If the B’s fail to gain a point in this one they could potentially be on the outside looking in at the playoff picture. Not to mention sellers at the trade deadline.
If I were Peter Chiarelli I’d have my phone ready or my bags packed because either way he will be the scapegoat for obvious reasons.