Tuukka Rask is back! First goalie on the ice this morning, he seems to be recovered from a concussion. Let’s hope so! Also, Danton Heinen is great.
Just The Facts:
When: 7:00 PM EST
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Why do you care: The B’s need a win to keep themselves afloat in the playoff picture. Yes, it’s early - but, notice how Ottawa is second in the Atlantic Division with just five regulation wins? THAT COULD BE US, YOU GUYS.
Where to put your eyes: NESN, FS-W
Where to put your ears: 98.5 The Sports Hub
- Rask’s Recovery is Remarkable. (Couldn’t help myself, sorry.)
- Heinen’s breakout game against San Jose bodes well for the kid. His net-front drive on his first career goal was textbook give-and-go. Great stuff.
- Injuries are still an issue on special teams - no Adam McQuaid for the penalty kill, or Ryan Spooner for the power play, will make things difficult against a top-tier team.
- Possession by the B’s has dropped over the last few weeks (CF% @ 50.29), so it would seem that their control of play is slipping. This is an area that is affected by coach Bruce Cassidy’s dump-and-chase, where possession isn’t exactly continuous, but it’s still concerning as it takes more time and effort to generate scoring chances.
- Expect lots of minutes for the core. Wearing down Drew Doughty and Jonathan Quick should be a priority early for the energy lines, but as the game continues Butch should look to his thoroughbreds.
If the B’s want to earn a playoff spot, this game is a good litmus test for their determination to do so.