Game 17: Boston Bruins vs. Ottawa Senators
Thursday, February 28th, 7pm, TD Garden, Boston
TV: NESN Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub
After a week-plus of playing what most would consider mediocre opponents (at best), the Bruins are back home tomorrow night and have a formidable opponent waiting for them in the Ottawa Senators. While many might have counted the team out after star defenseman Erik Karlsson was lost for the year with a sliced Achilles tendon, they have responded by winning five games in a row and have been getting contributions from everyone on the roster despite continuing to deal with numerous injuries. They sit tied with the Bruins in the Northeast Division with 26 points (B’s still have four games in hand) and would love nothing more to extend their own win streak to six games while ending Boston’s at four in the process.
The road has been a friendly place to the Boston Bruins so far this year. With a 4-1 win over the New York Islanders last night in Long Island, the Black and Gold wrapped up their current five game tour taking eight of a possible ten points, and also improved their season road record to 8-1-1, which is second only to the Chicago Blackhawks (8-0-2, who also haven’t lost in regulation nevermind on the road). Adam McQuaid, Brad Marchand and David Krejci had goals for the Bruins and Tuukka Rask stopped 36 shots en route to the victory.
Over the past week or so rumors have been flying that a new realignment plan was being put forth by the NHL, similar to what was brought to the table in December of 2011 and eventually rejected by the Players’ Association. The initial NHL realignment plan had four separate conferences but didn’t seem to address playoff concerns as two of the four groups would only have seven teams, making the odds of earning a postseason spot higher there assuming the top four teams from each conference make it.
Today the picture got a little clearer though, as numerous hockey outlets got their hands on a memo that was sent out to all 30 teams with some further details. Keep in mind that this is still in the negotiation stages so far and nothing is final, but let’s take a look at how things could shake out.
Game 16: Boston Bruins vs. New York Islanders
Tuesday, February 26th, 7:30pm, Nassau Coliseum, Long Island
TV: NESN, NBC Sports Network Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub
Tomorrow night the Bruins will bring their current five game road trip to a close at the Nassau Coliseum, but also embark on a rough schedule for the remainder of the season that has a two day break between games only once more. Winners of their last three in a row, Boston faces the Islanders for the second time this season looking to improve on their league best winning percentage.
The past few Bruins seasons have been fun to watch, especially for those fans that followed the team during the dark, dark Mike O‘Connell era (which mercifully ended in 2006). Most of the success from the current Peter Chiarelli era is due to his hiring of defensive-minded coach Claude Julien and the risk he took on Tim Thomas, which we all know paid off in a big, big way.
On June 24th, 2006 Chiarelli somehow flipped Andrew Raycroft for Tuukka Rask, who was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of the ‘05 draft. At the time they thought some dude named Justin Pogge (LOL) was their goaltender of the future, despite the fact that 20 year old Rask was named top goalie of the 2005 World Juniors.