Bruins Look To Rebound From Loss With a Win in Washington
Boston Bruins (14-3-2) at Washington Capitals (8-11-1)
Still not sure what to make of the Bruins performance against the Canadiens this past Sunday. On the one hand, they played weak defense and that last goal on Rask was really inexcusable, on the other hand if the officials call the cross check on Seguin, the Bruins go on a power play, they don't lose Chara for 17 minutes and we're talking about a different game. I did however enjoy Claude Julien's postgame comments on the continued unpunished embellishment from Montreal, look it up if you haven't seen it, definitely worth a watch.
Boston ended it's six game win streak with that 4-3 loss Sunday as the Caps are coming off a 3-0 shutout over Winnipeg, they have won six of their last nine. Washington is only 3-9-1 against teams not in the Southeast division, this isn't surprising considering the Caps sit at 14th in the conference and the only team from their division who currently qualifies for the playoffs are the Hurricanes, and that is only because the top team from each division gets the 1-2-3 spots on the conference (cannot wait for that new realignment).
The Good News
Hopefully the Bruins are angry about what happened Sunday, I know most Boston fans are. The B's are the kind of teams that thrives with a flame lit under their butts, so let's see if they can come out firing on all cylinders and looking for a little redemption against the team that killed their post season dreams last year.
Tuukka Rask will get the start for the Bruins tonight, he hasn't given fans many reasons to get excited for "Tuukkamania" lately, but he still has the ability and skill to stop a team like the Capitals.
After an amazing streak, the NHL's number one penalty kill allowed three goals over the weekend. The Bruins also have the best face off win percentage in the league, thanks in large part to Patrice Bergeron. These stats give Boston the tools they need to win, as long as they stay strong in the neutral zone and play strong and smart.
The Bad News
The Bruins tend to be their own worst enemy. There is no reason the B's shouldn't win this match unless they let Braden Holtby and Caps, who ended their season last year, get in their heads. Stupid turnovers and penalties can give Washington the edge they need to beat Boston should these lapses in judgment be allowed.
It sounds obvious, but the Bruins play best when they play "Bruins Hockey". Smart, tight, nothing fancy, physical and aggressive, no more excuses as we approach the half way mark of the season. I'll give this one to the Bruins by two.
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Verizon Center, Washington, D.C 7 pm
Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub
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