It's the 2010-2011 Stanley Cup Finals, Game Whatever. Hope you're all ready for this one. I know I am, to the point where I'll be braving the MBTA to get into snowy Boston.
Last game, without David Krejci, was one of the best Bruins games this year. It'll be a tough act to follow, but at least we get this game at home before hitting the road again.
The Hated Vancouver Canucks, 5th in the West, 71 Points
Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Zack Kassian
Brandon McMillian - Linden Vey - Derek Dorsett
Chris Higgins - Shawn Matthias - Radim Vrbata
Ronalds Kenins - Bo Horvat - Jannik Hansen
"The Canucks are a shadow of their former selves" is a bit overblown, as they're currently 2nd in the Pacific and having a fairly nice bounceback year. Still, man, I'll be honest, I'd probably have serious problems identifying most of these guys aside from the top line, Vrbata, and Matthias.
Regardless of who I could pick out of a line-up, it's been working to some extent: +14 goal differential isn't anything to sneeze at, and it's not like the Canucks have had super goaltending or something.
Dan Hamhuis - Yannick Weber
Ryan Stanton - Adam Clendening
Luca Sbisa - Alex Biega
"Okay, c'mon, seriously, are these NHL Create-A-Players?"
"They beat the Bruins on the road trip."
"So did Edmonton, Calgary, and my Create-A-Team."
And In Net:
Eddie Lack (probably starting)
Ryan Miller is hurt, but luckily he hasn't left:
"I just stuck around to say what a piece of sh--"
"Yeah, yeah," says a resigned Bruins fanbase, "We know, Ryan. Didn't you used to play for a different obnoxious team?"
Resurgent Reinjured Boston Bruins, 8th in the East, 67 Points
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Reilly Smith
Milan Lucic - Ryan Spooner - David Pastrnak
Daniel Paille - Carl Soderberg - Loui Eriksson
Brian Ferlin - Chris Kelly - Jordan Caron
Extras: Gregory Campbell, Craig Cunningham
Forward lines come with the usual caveat that Claude's been rotating people, and now David Krejci's out so that kinda stinks. Also, going by morning skate on these, so I fully expect Campbell to be back in by gametime (UPDATE: NOPE, he's out a week). And no, don't ask me what Jordan Caron did to get himself back into the rotation. I have no idea
Zdeno Chara - Dougie Hamilton
Matt Bartkowski - Dennis Seidenberg
Torey Krug - Adam McQuaid
Not so quietly, this configuration has brightened up the Bruins performance on the back end. It turns out that if you're going to play two rather immobile shot-blockers, splitting them up might be a good idea!
And In Net:
Tuukka Rask (starter)
Would be kinda good if Svedberg got a start sometime soon, but somehow I doubt it's this game. Especially since Rask just skated off first.
Anyway, making this two in a row would be swell. Every point counts, especially with Krejci out until basically playoff time.