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  • Game Day Preview: Bruins at Blue Jackets

    Game Day

    Game Day Preview: Bruins at Blue Jackets

    Tim Rosenthal October 13, 2016

    The wait is almost over.

    In about four hours from now, the 2016-17 Boston Bruins will take the ice for the first time in hopes of returning to the postseason. Their first task comes against the Blue Jackets and the B’s will have their work cut out for them as Patrice Bergeron did not join the team for the first of their three-game road trip. Bergeron (lower body) is day-to-day as is Adam McQuaid (upper body), while Kevan Miller will be out for at least six weeks following hand surgery.

    With Bergeron out, newcomer David Backes will likely get first line duties along with Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak. Danton Heinen bumps up to the second line with David Krejci and Ryan Spooner, while Austin Czarnik returned from an apparent concussion after his collision with Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas to practice this week and skated with Jimmy Hayes and Matt Belesky on the third line.

    The Bruins took two of their three games against the Blue Jackets a year ago. While they possess some talented youngsters like Seth Jones, Brandon Saad and Boone Jenner, John Tortorella’s bunch are projected to be in the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings again.

    Gametime: 7:00 p.m.
    TV/Radio: NESN/98.5 The Sports Hub
    2015-16 records: Bruins 42-31-9 (93 points), Blue Jackets 34-40-8 (76 points)
    Location: Nationwide Arena

    Bruins projected lines:

    Brad Marchand-David Backes-David Pastrnak
    Ryan Spooner-David Krejci-Danton Heinen
    Matt Beleskey-Austin Czarnik-Jimmy Hayes
    Dominic Moore-Riley Nash-Noel Acciari

    Zdeno Chara-Brandon Carlo
    Torey Krug-Rob O’Gara
    John-Michael Liles-Colin Miller

    Tuukka Rask
    Anton Khudobin

    Blue Jackets projected lines

    Boone Jenner-Brandon Dubinski-Cam Atkinson
    Brandon Saad-Sam Gagner-Nick Foligno
    Scott Hartnell-Alexander Wennberg-Olivier Bjorkstrand
    Matt Calvert-William Karlsson-Josh Anderson

    Zach Werenski-Seth Jones
    Ryan Murray-David Savard
    Jack Johnson-Markus Nutivaara

    Sergei Bobrovsky
    Curtis McIlhenney

    Tonight’s storylines:

    20161008bostonbruinsvsphiladelphiaflyers-28– Without Bergeron, the Bruins will be put to the test early. This is obviously far from ideal for the Black and Gold who need all the help they can get if they want to return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It’s only Game 1 of 82 and certainly tonight’s result will just be a blip on the radar once it’s said and done. But how the Bruins respond without an elite all-around player can show fans that things can be a little different.

    – Different faces are what the Bruins are bringing to their opening road trip of the season. Assuming there are no last-minute lineup changes, four rookies are expected to make their debut in Columbus tonight (Czarnik, Heinen, Brandon Carlo, and Rob O’Gara). Some growing pains are expected from the afformentioned quartet, but fans should at least be excited to see the potential of this club after they all had a strong training camp.

    – Including the players who are making their NHL debut tonight, the Bruins have 10 players who are 25 or under traveling with the team for the opening road trip. The other six include Spooner, Pastrnak, Torey Krug, Colin Miller, Tim Schaller and Joe Morrow. Both Morrow and Schaller are likely healthy scratches for opening night.

    The youth is in full force and two points are on the line. The Bruins are hoping to get back to the playoffs. Avoiding an early slump like their 0-3-0 start last year would be a good first step.

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    Tim Rosenthal

    Tim Rosenthal serves as the Managing Editor of Bruins Daily. He started contributing videos to the site in 2010 before fully coming on board during the Bruins' Stanley Cup run in 2011. His bylines over the last decade have been featured on Boston.com, FoxSports.com, College Hockey News, Patch and Inside Hockey. You can follow Tim on Twitter @_TimRosenthal.


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