Just the facts
When: Tonight, 7 PM
Where: TD Garden - Boston, MA
How to follow: NBCSN, CBC, 98.5 The Sports Hub
Rival SBN site: Jackets Cannon
Know your enemy
- Goals: Matt Duchene, 3
- Assists: Matt Duchene, 4
- Points: Matt Duchene, 7
- Whew! Right back at it. Are you ready? Here’s the hoping the Bruins got a brief spell of rest on Wednesday, as the road to the Stanley Cup doesn’t get much easier with the Blue Jackets in town.
- Hilariously, Columbus hasn’t played a game in almost 10 days. They swept the Tampa Bay Lightning out of the first round back on April 16. A long rest, or too much rust? Let’s hope for the latter.
- This series should be a bit of a different animal for the Bruins. The Maple Leafs were skilled, but small and fast. The Blue Jackets are skilled, but play a bit of a heavier game. Bruce Cassidy will have plenty of decisions to make with his lineup: does he reunite the first line? Put David Backes back in the lineup? Change up the strategy? Time will tell.
- The Bruins, if they choose to keep the trio together, own the most talented single line in this series, but the Blue Jackets have some impressive firepower on their second line. Artemi Panarin is probably their best overall player, and he’s on the first line, but the second line of Ryan Dzingel - Matt Duchene - Cam Atkinson is pretty legit.
- The Bruins should see more physicality in this series than they did in the first round. The Blue Jackets appeared to make it a point to lay into Tampa, thinking it might make them a little more hesitant with the puck. However, they didn’t beat Tampa by pummeling them with hits. They beat them by limiting the time and space Tampa’s skill guys had with the puck, throwing them off their game in the process.
- The Bruins were 2-1-0 against Columbus in the regular season. They lost 7-4 in late March, in a game that saw them cut a 5-1 deficit into a 5-4 deficit before ultimately coming up short. They then beat Columbus 2-1 in OT on March 16 and pummeled them 6-2 in Columbus on April 2, at the time seriously damaging Columbus’ playoff hopes.
- Interestingly, all three of this season’s Bruins-Blue Jackets games came after the trade deadline, so the Bruins should be pretty familiar with this lineup. Two Jackets are former Bruins, and two of their bigger acquisitions are guys the Bruins saw frequently against Ottawa.
- Old buddy Adam McQuaid hasn’t played yet in the playoffs due to a suspected concussion he suffered in late March. The Bruins forwards are certainly glad that they don’t have to go into the corners with ol’ #54.
- David Savard is a guy to watch in this series. I watched most of the first-round series against Tampa, and he is a tough customer in his own zone. He plays physical when called upon, and is a smart player. Toward the end of one of Columbus’ wins, he managed to kill about 15 seconds off the clock on his own.
- The goalie match-up in this series should be superb. Sergei Bobrovsky was excellent in the first round, and Tuukka Rask ranged from steady to excellent himself. Figures that two teams with good goalies 22 goals in their three games this season.
See ya tonight!