Game Day Preview: Bruins at Avalanche
Which version of the Bruins will show up to start their three-game road trip? Will it be the Bruins squad that thrived off of the youthful energy from Charlie McAvoy, Anders Bjork and Jake DeBrusk in their season-opening 4-3 win over the Nashville Predators? Or will it be the Bruins that laid an egg against the Colorado Avalanche during their Columbus Day matinee?
That question will be answered come the final buzzer in Denver for the second half of the home-and-home with the Avs. One thing that is confirmed, however, is that Patrice Bergeron will miss his third straight game with a lower-body injury.
Unlike this weekend where Bruce Cassidy didn’t like his team’s pace in the two practices leading up to the 4-0 stinker against the Avs 48 hours ago, the Bruins bench boss was pleased with how they returned to their up-tempo pace during Tuesday’s on-ice training session at Warrior Ice Arena. We’ll see if that helps the Black and Gold as they look for a little revenge against the Avalanche to start their three-game road trip.
Gametime: 9:30 pm
TV/Radio: NESN/98.5 The Sports Hub
Records: Bruins 1-1-0 (2 points), Avalanche 2-1-0 (4 points)
Location: Pepsi Center
Bruins projected lines
Brad Marchand-Riley Nash-David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk-David Krejci-Anders Bjork
Matt Beleskey-Ryan Spooner-Frank Vatrano
Tim Schaller-Sean Kuraly-Danton Heinen
Zdeno Chara-Brandon Carlo
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid
Kevan Miller-Charlie McAvoy
Avalanche projected lines
Sven Andrighetto-Nathan McKinnon-Mikko Rantanen
Nail Yakupov-Matt Duchene-Alexander Kerfoot
Gabriel Landeskog-J.T. Compher-Colin Wilson
Carl Soderberg-Tyson Jost-Blake Comeau
Patrik Nemeth-Tyson Barrie
Nikita Zadarov-Erik Johnson
Chris Bigras-Mark Barberio
– The rotating door to fill in for Bergeron as the top line center continues. First, it was Ryan Spooner with Brad Marchand at left wing and either Anders Bjork or David Pastrnak at right wing. Tonight, Riley Nash will get his opportunity to fill Bergeron’s void on the first line. The Bruins could use a spark as Cassidy continues to tinker with the lineup with the injuries to Bergeron, Noel Acciari (left index finger) and David Backes (diverticulitis) up front. Nash might be suited for a bottom-six role, but the injuries coupled with the team’s youth are forcing Cassidy’s hand in the early going. We’ll see if the former Cornell standout answers the call this evening, or if Cassidy will have to change up his lines once again.
– Entering Monday’s game, the Avs penalty kill had given up five goals in 10 opportunities. The Bruins, however, weren’t able to capitalize on that, going 0-for-4 as their power play performance was as stagnant as they were all afternoon. This is another area Cassidy put emphasis on during Tuesday’s practice as the power play units worked on puck movement and creating havoc in front of the goaltender. The Avs have been shorthanded 14 times this season, tied for fifth most in the league. Assuming that trend continues, the Bruins will have their opportunities, again, to convert with the man advantage. The B’s power play may very well be the x-factor in determining Wednesday’s outcome.