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Preview: Bruins head to the desert for a date with the Coyotes


Boston Bruins v Arizona Coyotes Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images

Just the facts

When: Tonight, 9 PM

Where: Gila River Arena - Glendale, AZ

How to follow: NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub

Rival SBN site: Five for Howling

Know your enemy

  • 10-27-4, 24 PTS, last in the Central Division
  • Clayton Keller: 16G-17A-33PTS; Phil Kessel: 5G-22A-27PTS; Shayne Gostibehere: 7G-19A-26PTS
  • Karel Vejmelka: 6-16-1, 3.40 GAA, .901 save percentage

Game notes

  • Catch the fever: it’s Bruins! Coyotes! Friday night! And there’s a blizzard coming to the Boston area, so...yeah. Definitely the perfect tone-setter for desert hockey.
  • The Coyotes are the second-worst team in the NHL (slightly ahead of the Montreal Canadiens, which rules). They’re 4-5-1 in their last ten games and have lost three games in a row, getting outscored 17-6.
  • You know who rules? Phil Kessel, who is quietly plying his trade out in the desert. He went and won two Cups in Pittsburgh, got sent out to Arizona and just kept producing. He’s scored 20+ goals in 12 of the last 13 seasons and has played 941 games in a row. He and Keith Yandle are going to get in a “who retires first” game of chicken.
  • Speaking of random former Bruins, the Coyotes have a couple others: Loui Eriksson, who really fell off a cliff after leaving Boston, and Riley Nash, who also fell off a cliff after leaving Boston.
  • We’ll get a look at Jakob Chychrun tonight, the much-desired defenseman who is reportedly on the Bruins’ list. He’s also on the list of about a dozen other teams, so...yeah.
  • While Linus Ullmark played well in Colorado, I’d expect Tuukka Rask to get the start tonight.
  • The Coyotes, who have been a mess of a franchise for a while, are reportedly considering playing their games at Arizona State University’s 5,000-seat arena for a few years due to a dispute over their current arena. While considering ASU is normally a good idea in all parts of life, that’s kind of sad; Brad Marchand had thoughts on the matter:

Sheesh. Didn’t know the B’s started the game up 1-0.

See ya tonight!