Pre-game notes: Devils vs. Bruins 3/1/2012

We’re officially in the dog days of hockey, and tonights game is a must win. Not for any reason other than the fact that Ottawa now has a stranglehold on the Bruins, one point out of first place in the division. Four games in hand or not, giving up first place to Ottawa is going to hurt. Those four games aren’t going to matter if we lose them all. Not asking for much tonight except for a full sixty minute effort after that piss poor performance on Tuesday.

The New Jersey Devils are a hot team right now. After a relatively slow start, the Devils are only 5 points out of second place in the Atlantic division. Forget about them catching up to the Rangers, its not going to happen. They’re coming into town tonight after being shutout by King Lundqvist and the Rangers on Monday. The Bruins have won three out of the four games in the series so the Devils will be looking to take at least one game. That and the B’s vastly out scored them in the last two meetings, including the 6-1 win for the Bruins on January 4th.

Bruins players to watch/cry over:

Joe Corvo has been nonexistent for a while now, and I don’t know how much longer the defense can carry him. The Bruins are not in a position anymore where mistakes can be made. He hasn’t reached Wideman status in the sense that games are lost because of him, but its not far off. Too many horrendous turnovers and bad passes, its almost unbearable to watch him. Hopefully with his roster spot on the line, he’ll start showing up.

Greg Zanon is playing his first game tonight with the Bruins since being traded from Minnesota. He’s a big body, resembles a serial killer, and isn’t afraid of blocking shots. He’s what Chiarelli referred to as a “warrior-type” defenseman. The defense has admittedly improved in recent games, but having this guy in the mix is going to make it even better. He seems like the kind of guy that gives 100% and sacrifices himself to help get the win.

Projected Lines:

Marchand-Bergeron-Seguin

Lucic-Kelly-Krejci

Pouliot-Rolston-Caron

Paille-Campbell-Thornton

Chara-Seidenberg

Corvo-Zanon

McQuaid-Ference

Scratches: Nathan Horton (concussion), Rich Peverley (knee injury), Boychuk (concussion), Maxime Sauve, Mike Mottau

Final Thoughts:

  • Don’t be surprised if we find out eventually that Chara is injured. The way he’s been playing lately gives the impression that he is suffering from an injury. He’s something like -8 for the month of February and isn’t skating like he usually does. The Bruins don’t need any more injuries but this one seems obvious
  • The offense as a whole is going through a serious slump. They need one really good game, with solid plays and pucks that actually go in and they’ll be fine. The only player that has been playing the same is Patrice Bergeron. Everyone needs to get back to their old selves.
  • This shouldn’t surprise anyone but Shanahan is an absolute inconsistent ass. We as a hockey fan base can agree on that. Didn’t see the Smyth hit but the Nystrom hit on Letang was questionable. Its hard to say where Nystrom made contact but it appears to be to the head. Shanahan decided that there won’t even be hearings concerning the two hits. Please stop, you’re embarrassing yourself.
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