Game Day Preview: Bruins vs. Jets
With two games left before the Christmas Break, the Bruins look to keep the momentum going as one of the hottest teams in the National Hockey League. Thursday night, they welcome a skilled and improved Winnipeg Jets squad to TD Garden.
David Krejci will miss his third straight game due to an upper-body injury. Adam McQuaid will have to wait for at least one more game before returning from his tibia injury suffered in October.
There may be a few more joining Krejci and McQuaid on Level 9 for Thursday’s inter-conference matchup. Riley Nash, Ryan Spooner and Brad Marchand all missed Thursday’s morning skate at TD Garden – all are game-time decisions.
Depending on circumstances, general manager Don Sweeney may have to make his first recall from Providence since promoting Jordan Szwarz on Nov. 25. Frank Vatrano and Paul Postma are both possibilities if the Bruins are short another man or two. Follow Bruins Daily on Twitter for more updates as the situation progresses.
Looking for affordable parking and a quick in and out for Bruins-Jets? Head over Constitution Wharf (1 Constitution Rd.) – a short walk to TD Garden – to take advantage of their $15 rate, while avoiding traffic and construction on Causeway St. Tell them Bruins Daily sent you!
Gametime: 7:00 p.m.
TV/Radio: NESN/98.5 The Sports Hub
Records: Bruins 17-10-5 (39 points), Jets 20-10-5 (45 points)
Location: TD Garden
Bruins projected lines
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk-Ryan Spooner-Anders Bjork
Danton Heinen-Riley Nash-David Backes
Tim Schaller-Sean Kuraly-Noel Acciari
Zdeno Chara-Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug-Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk-Kevan Miller
Jets projected lines
Kyle Connor-Mark Scheifele-Blake Wheeler
Nikolaj Ehlers-Bryan Little-Patrik Laine
Andrew Copp-Adam Lowry-Brandon Tanev
Mathieu Perrault-Matt Hendricks-Joel Armia
Josh Morrisey-Jacob Trouba
Dmitry Kulikov-Tyler Myers
Ben Chariot-Tucker Poolman
– Any busy slate that includes a pair of back to backs always brings a challenge to any team. With their recent back-to-back wins over the Blue Jackets and Sabres behind them, the Bruins come into Thursday having little time to prepare for the high-octane Jets after a needed day off on Wednesday. There are plenty of challenges in maintaining balance with little practice time. The Bruins have done a good job maintaining that balance during a hectic two weeks.
“You’re kind of playing and then resting when you’re not playing because there are so many games in such a short period. When things are going well, you stay in that sort of mindset and not getting those practices in. But when you’re dialed in kind of the way that we’ve been playing for each other and doing all the little things in the games, you need to get it,” David Backes said about the 7-game-in-11-day stretch.
“Coach [Cassidy] has managed that really well for the last couple of weeks. The execution stumbles a little bit at times, but when you focus, we’re all professionals here and we can make plays and put it on the tape. We were able to do that against Columbus, not so much in Buffalo – but they were a little harder and had pressure in our face. We’re facing another team tonight that flies and is in your face and they can make you pay in a hurry if you don’t execute.”
– Speaking of the Jets, they are also near the end of their pre-Christmas break schedule crunch. Thursday marks their fifth game in eight nights – and second of three on the road. Both teams will have heavy legs. We’ll see which team fights through fatigue and prevails in the second to last game before the three-day break.
Update: The Bruins recalled Colby Cave on an emergency basis. This marks Cave’s first career callup. The 22-year-old – a teammate of Jake DeBrusk during their junior hockey days – has 14 points in 25 games in his third season with the Providence Bruins.