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PREVIEW: Jets fly into Boston, visit Bruins

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Boston is picking up steam, not letting a loss over the weekend take root in weekday games.

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Boston Bruins
63 + 37 = 100% awesome.
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Just The Facts:

What: The Winnipeg Jets (20-10-5, 45pts, 3rd in Central) visit the Boston Bruins (17-10-5, 39pts, 3rd in Atlantic)

When: 7:00 PM ET

Where: TD Garden, Boston, MA

Why do you care: The weekend loss to the Rangers hasn’t dragged the Bruins down, and their strong play continues; Winnipeg is going for their third win in a row after losing four of six.

Where to watch: NESN, TSN-3

Where to listen: 98.5 The Sports Hub

Preview

The Bruins recovered well from a frustrating loss to the Rangers on Saturday with strong wins on Monday against Columbus and against Buffalo on Tuesday. Keeping ahead of the East’s wild card teams (of which Columbus is one) is an important benchmark in any season, and though Buffalo may seem like a cakewalk ‘on paper’, it was a 1-0 game before two empty-netters iced it with under two minutes remaining.

Winnipeg is another step up the standings ladder - and in the debatably-more-challenging Western Conference no less, holding a six-point lead over Chicago to sit third in the Central Division. While they may average out (their possession stats paint a more middling picture) but, for the time being, the Jets are still a team to overcome. Watch for the Bruins to avoid allowing Winnipeg easy entries into the zone - it was surprising that Buffalo didn’t break through sooner, and they likely would have if not for stellar work by Anton Khudobin from puck-drop.

Players to Watch:

  • Who’s NOT to watch on the Bruins in the last two weeks?! The youth movement had fingerprints all over the Columbus game - hell, Charlie McAvoy had a Gordie Howe hat trick. DeBrusk has goals in consecutive games. Ryan Spooner has looked energized in his recent return, though he did play less than 12 minutes against Buffalo (as did both DeBrusk and Bjork, so it was likely a deployment choice by Cassidy).
  • In general, watch the Bruins’ wingers in this game. The blue-line trap was effective against Buffalo, and if that can continue - containing Winnipeg’s top scoring threats to dump-ins or turnovers - the B’s should be able to take the game.
  • Blake Wheeler is still underrated. Mark Scheifele is absolutely everywhere on the ice.
  • Winnipeg has not been able to enjoy the luxury of a more balanced lineup like the Bruions; coach Paul Maurice has had to lean a bit more heavily on his top line of Kyle Connor - Scheifele - Wheeler, who each play nearly 20 minutes in most games.

NEVER 4GET:

NESN’s old graphics, old tunes, and young Dale Arnold:
Feel free to skip to the last few minutes for player interviews, but wouldn’t hurt if you want to watch a bahn-burnah.