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PREVIEW: St. Louis Blues visit Boston Bruins

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A test of the Mostly Optimistic (Bruins) vs the Mostly Pessimistic (Blues) versions of a similar team.

NHL: Boston Bruins at St. Louis Blues
Donato has some ground to gain on the Bruins roster, having moved up and down the lineup in the last few weeks.
Joe Puetz-USA TODAY Sports

PREVIEW

Just the Facts

Who: The better-on-paper St. Louis Blues are playing their fifth game in eight days, visiting a Boston team that's coming back home to play for a second consecutive day.

What: The Bruins have points in 6 of 8 games in January and has the league’s second-best power-play effectiveness - yet have allowed the most shorthanded goals in the league. St. Louis has won 3 of their last 5 games, including a convincing 4-1 win against the Washington Capitals.

When: 7:00 PM

Where: TD Garden, Boston, MA

How to watch: SN360, SNE, SNW, SNP, FS-MW, NESN

Rival SBN site: St. Louis Game Time

Know Your Enemy

Team Leaders

Goals: David Perron, 17

Assists: Ryan O’Reilly, 25

Points: O’Reilly, 45

Game Notes

  • Probably doesn’t need to be said, but fatigue is going to be a factor. It’s not just a back-to-back for Boston, it’s an away/home B2B. Travel is tiring.
  • Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko has heated up of late, scoring 5 points in his last 5 games. He’s tracking behind (in points, anyways) from what St. Louis fans could reasonably expect. Unless he goes on a tear in the second half, he’s due to finish in the mid-60s for points, the second year in a row he wasn’t in the mid-70s since playing for his $7.5M contract.
  • The Blues have experienced similar issues as the Bruins over the last few games - they have two losses in January, despite controlling large swaths of time with the puck and getting more shots on net in those games.
  • Boston has two more games before their bye week. By giving up ground to Montreal and losing to Philly last night, the Bruins are tied with Montreal in points and only retain the third seed in the Atlantic only because they’ve played one less game. It’s time for the B’s to congeal... and then they call up a player that has barely been in the NHL since last season in...
  • Peter Cehlarik, who actually played a solid game against Philadelphia. He took an early penalty, sure, but he recoverd from eagerness and put himself in a great place to score a goal - which he did. He also racked up more than 17:30 of ice time, of which nearly 4:30 was power play time. It was good to see him more than ready to pounce on rebounds from other shots and playing a bit of bumper on the PP.
  • It would be reasonable to expect Tuukka Rask in net for Boston, given Jaroslav Halak starting in goal last night in Philly. We’ll take a look later today, but don’t count on hearing morning skate lineups on the second morning of a back-to-back game.

NEVER FORGET

Go retro with this segment from the 1970 Stanley Cup Final between these two teams.