Just the Facts:
Game Time: 7:00 PM, TD Garden. TV Broadcast: NESN, NHLN. Radio Broadcast: 98.5 The Sports Hub
Rival SB Nation Site: St. Louis Game Time
Alexander Steen - David Backes - T.J. Oshie
Vladimir Tarasenko - Jaden Schwartz - Vladimir Sobotka
Brenden Morrow - Derek Roy - Chris Stewart
Magnus Paajarvi - Maxim Lapierre - Ryan Reaves
Jay Bouwmeester - Alex Pietrangelo
Ian Cole - Roman Polak
Barret Jackman - Kevin Shattenkirk
Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Jarome Iginla
Loui Eriksson - Patrice Bergeron - Brad Marchand
Reilly Smith - Chris Kelly - Carl Soderberg
Daniel Paille - Gregory Campbell - Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara - Dougie Hamilton
Johnny Boychuk - Matt Bartkowski
Kevan Miller - Torey Krug
Tonight's going to be a big one. With Dennis Seidenberg injured and Adam McQuaid still out, the Bruins will ice four rookie defenseman, as Kevan Miller joined the team yesterday from Providence. Meanwhile, the Blues have four Olympians on their defense. Hilarious. Also terrifying.
So the Blues are a pretty good team. They're three points ahead of the Bruins in the league standings, and they're built solid from front to back. Alex Steen is leading the league in goals. David Backes will be representing the great country of the United States of America in Sochi. Their second line brings an old friend, Vladimir Sobotka, back to the TD Garden, where three years ago he scored his first goal as a Blue. (MEMORIES.) Sobotka is playing with two rookies, Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko, who have had solid starts to their career.
On D, as previously mentioned, there are four olympians; Bouwmeester and Pietrangelo, who might even be paired up for Canada, Shattenkirk, a good american kid and former BU Terrier; and Roman Polak (don't open that door.)
And in goal? Jaro Halak, he who slew the Pens and Caps in the 2010 playoffs. This is a team that scores in droves and doesn't allow too many in turn. They've got the highest goal differential in the league. They're scoring at a rate of 3.40 goals per game - good for second highest in the league. Will the Bruins, who have the fewest goals allowed per game, be able to shut them down tonight?
With their level of inexperience on D, it looks like Tuukka Rask is going to have to have another lights-out game. We'll see.
Last time these two teams met at TD Garden, Blake Wheeler was still a Bruin. Erik Johnson was still a Blue, and TJ Oshie creamed David Krejci with a perfectly clean check that left Krejci out for a few games. AND, Andrew Ference fought David Backes, in the most sunshine-and-rainbows-and-puppies hockey fight in the history of ever. Amazing.
Oh goodness this is so delightful I don't know what to do with it