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Bruins vs Blackhawks 1/20/17 Preview

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If last time out in Detroit was supposed to be the straw that broke the camel’s back, I don’t know what tonight is...

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at Boston Bruins Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Just the Facts:

The Time: 7pm EST

The Place: TD Garden - Boston, Mass.

The Place to Watch: NESN, SN1, NHL Network, TVAS, CSN-CHI

The Place to Listen: 98.5 The Sports Hub, 720 WGN (Blackhawks)

The Stakes: Claude Julien’s life as a Bruin is hanging by the tiniest of threads and the B’s need to win if they want to see him behind the bench at least one more game (just don’t shut out the Hawks, or suffer the wrath of Jack Capuano). Meanwhile, the Hawks are the Hawks, sitting pretty with 61 points in the Central, second in the division and seem to be on their way to the postseason again.

Game Notes:

  • This is the first matchup this season between Boston and Chicago. Last time in the Windy City on Hockey Day in America in April, the Bruins almost made “it was 6-0” a thing, scoring four goals in a matter of the time spanning half a period. The comeback was cut short, however, falling, 6-4.
  • Will Matt Beleskey make his return to the lineup after leaving a game against the Sabres on December 3rd with a lower body injury? He traveled with the team to Detroit, unfortunately, but it may be a good sign that #39 might be ready to go tonight.
  • As David Backes made the connection earlier this week, will we see the Jekyll or Hyde version of the Bruins tonight?
  • The Blackhawks are 6-4-0 in their last 10 games. After starting off the 2017 calendar year on the wrong foot in the Winter Classic, the Hawks are 5-2-0 since then.
  • If there isn’t as potent a line combination as Artemi Panarin-Artem Anisimov-Patrick Kane in the NHL, I’m not sure what is. A combined 123 points this season so far, they are wreaking havoc on teams. Jonathan Toews is having a down year with just 22 points so far, but Marian Hossa is having an up year with 28 points on the season.
  • After practicing at BU’s Agganis Arena, coach Joel Quenneville said that Scott Darling will get the start at TD Garden tonight. It’s the Fathers’ Road Trip and Coach Q wanted to make sure he got a start.

Never 4get:

Anyone else missing guys like Johnny Boychuk right now? I sure am, and boy, was his “Johnny Rocket” something special.