We all know the result of Friday’s game at Gillette Stadium. Now that the Winter Classic is over, I think it is safe to say that Bruin fans are more than happy to put that one behind them and would much prefer to focus on the games ahead. There are some big games on Boston’s radar and I will walk you through the next 3.
Everyone already knows that the Washington Capitals are a offensive powerhouse, with a decent defensive core. Washington currently sits atop the Eastern conference and 1 point behind the Dallas Stars for the league lead with 59 points. With a record of 28-7-3, Washington is tied for least goals against per game with 2.16 GA, (tied with the Los Angeles Kings). The Caps are also 2nd in power play percentage (1st is Boston) with a percentage of 25.6%. One thing to note, although Boston is the best on the power play, Washington has a penalty kill percentage of 84.7%.
Boston might have some challenges with goaltender Braden Holtby. Holtby has the most wins in the NHL, and is 2nd for goals against average (GAA) with a 1.92. Holtby has victories over Boston in 8 of his 10 career meetings with the Bruins. Although, Washington’s best defensemen, John Carlson is injured and may miss Tuesday’s game. Also, forward Jay Beagle will be out after going through hand surgery. This game will showcase Boston’s defence and offence.
New Jersey Devils
After the Washington game, Boston will have a one day break to travel to New Jersey to begin a 5 game road trip. Of course, Boston will face the Eastern conference’s best team, to a team that is a mere one point ahead of the black and gold. New Jersey is a team right now that is on the fence. One move and they could be in the hole, another and they could make the playoffs. Cory Schneider has a GAA of 2.10 and a SV% of .927%. If the Devils had a full roster, they may give Boston a challenge. But they don’t. New Jersey has 3 players on the IR. Ryane Clowe, Patrik Elias, and Jacob Josefson. Also, Mike Cammalleri has an undisclosed injury and will most likely be sidelined for this game.
Boston just picked up a win over New Jersey back in December by a score of 2-1. If they could play a solid game in New Jersey, then a good result may come out of it.
Game 3. First one went to Ottawa 3-1, second went to Boston, 7-3 in possibly the best game played by the Bruins throughout the entire season up to this point. Now the first affair didn’t go Boston’s way. Only one goal came through from David Krejci in the second period, who would eventually get injured later on in the game. Two days later, the Bruins played their first game without Krejci and had an excellent result. Jimmy Hayes earned his first career NHL hat trick. Matt Beleskey and Patrice Bergeron scored the other four goals, two to the each of them. Tuukka Rask stopped 29 of the 32 shots put on him.
It sure was an old school Bruins hockey game.
Following these three games the Bruins play the following teams.
- Jan.11 at New York Rangers
- Jan.13 at Philadelphia
- Jan.15 at Buffalo
- Jan.16 vs Toronto
- Jan.19 at Montreal in the rematch
NOTE: Brad Marchand will return from his 3-game suspension to face the Senators in Ottawa.
Still with Krejci and Marchand missing, the next few games will prove to be a real test for the team, especially to Claude Julien and his coaching staff.