Pre-game notes. Penguins vs. Bruins 2/4/2012

If you spent the majority of today in a haze, confused and demanding to know what went wrong last night, you’re not the only one. I’m not even sure any of us watched the Bruins play last night. Lets keep thinking and hoping that last night was an elaborate prank by Jack Edwards. At this point its better  just to let last night go, let the Hurricanes plan their parade for winning a game, and move on. Keep calm and Bergeron.

If you’re not excited about tomorrows matinee game, you’re insane. This is going to be an amazing, hard-fought, chippy game. A real hockey game, not ice dancing or whatever the hell was going on last night. Shot at Jeff Skinner slightly intended.

Pittsburgh is currently 5th in the Conference with 62 points and before Wednesdays loss to the Leafs, they were riding an 8 game winning streak. So in other words, they’re good. This might be exactly what the Bruins need. A game that they know is going to be tough, a game that is actually going to challenge them. This is a game they can’t head into already lazy. If they bring the same inconsistent play to tomorrow’s game like they did last night, you might as well shut off the TV and do something productive with your life.

Players to watch:

Evgeni Malkin-  When he isn’t cooking pierogies with the cardboard cutout Alyonka Larionov, he’s scoring goals. A lot of goals. Second in the league with 27, look for him to have Timmy break-dancing in his crease all afternoon. If the Bruins defense breaks down in their zone, cover your eyes because Geno is deadly with the puck.

James Neal- You know whats worse than having one player on a team that is second in goal scoring? Having two. Yeah, thats right ladies and gentlemen, James Neal is also second with 27 goals. That’s just lovely right? Basically an offensive nightmare on our hands. With a defense that fades in and out, be afraid when either of these two take the ice.

Marc-Andre Fleury- This guy is as wacky as the day is long. Nothing bad to say about him. He’s awesome, plain and simple. He also could be a problem, considering the funk the Bruins offense seems to be in. Recall how we couldn’t score on Cam Ward last night. Are you recalling? Okay now wipe away the tears and think about this, he’s 33rd in goals against average. The Bruins didn’t score once. Fleury is 10th in the same category. He’s been known to make dramatic saves, similar to the ones Timmy makes, and isn’t afraid to get aggressive when he feels threatened.

I’ve saved the best for last. This particular man is not watched for his athletic prowess or defensive capabilities, he’s watched for a different reason. You all know who I’m talking about. Matt Cooke.  Sure, he’s changed and cut down on his penalty minutes but he’s still one of the most hated men in Boston. Everyone is waiting with bated breath for him to do something so they can jump up screaming “DID YOU SEE THAT? HE SNEEZED IN BERGERONS DIRECTION. HE’S DIRTY. LITERALLY. HE’S TRYING TO GET HIM SICK. SUSSSSSPEND HIMMMMM”

So now that we’ve covered everything that could ruin our chances of winning tomorrow, there’s really one thing the Bruins need to focus on to capture these two points. Start playing Bruins hockey again. You know what kind of hockey I’m talking about. Not allowing those goal scoring speed demons within 10 feet of Timmy. Goals just raining down against Fleury. Playing right on the edge without going over it. If the Bruins can get back to that kind of hockey, we’re good as gold.

Projected Lines:

Lucic – Krejci – Peverley

Marchand – Bergeron – Seguin

Pouliot – Kelly – Hamill

Paille – Campbell – Thornton

Chara – Boychuk

Seidenberg – Corvo

McQuaid – Ference

Timmy in net? I think so.

Final thought: Is it time for Nathan Horton to come back yet?



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