Pre-game Notes Round 1: Capitals vs. Bruins-Game Five 4/21/12

The Bruins and Capitals are all tied up in the series as we enter game five, today in Boston. One one team so far has been eliminated in the playoffs, with many other teams in the same deadlock as the B’s. The Bruins return to the Garden faithful and hope to find the offensive spark that has eluded them for much of this series. Julien is going to shake things up with the lines today, hoping to find a combination that will produce the results the team and the fans want. The twenty-two year old goaltender for the Capitals, Braden Holtby, has had a lot of stellar performances during the playoffs so far, so the Bruins will have to find his weak spot and throw a lot of good shots at net today. Last game, Holtby stopped 44 out of 45 shots. The Bruins have only scored before the Capitals once this series, and that was the thrilling OT goal by Chris Kelly in Game One.

In playoff hockey, lineup changes are bound to happen. Teams want to see results, so when the Bruins had practice earlier in the week, all four lines were changed. We know the Bruins have amazing depth in all of their forwards, with six 20+ goal scorers on the team, and many of these players setting new personal records (Chris Kelly and Benoit Pouliot for examples). Brad Marchand will be rejoining the Merlot Line, with Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton. Daniel Paille, who has been playing tremendous hockey, will move up to join Patrice Bergeron and Rich Peverley on the second line. Lucic and Krejci will be joined by Brian Rolston on the first line. Seguin moved down to the third line with Pouliot, Kelly, and Caron who has been a healthy scratch. No matter what Bruins fans, I think we can expect to see some great things from the Bruins today. I think the return to home ice will definitely help the Bruins regroup and refocus their strategy on getting passed blocked shots and Holtby. Everyone needs to put in their best effort (I’m talking 150%) if they want to succeed and win games.

Players to Watch: 

  • Braden Holtby: He really has been an incredible goaltender for the Capitals. He doesn’t usually give up rebounds, so the Bruins will have to have good shots on goal. The Capitals defense is usually right in front of the net, so the Bruins will have to get up close and personal if they want to get by their defense and score on Holtby. Holtby has stopped 148 shots in the past four games.
  • Brad Marchand: I think he will play really well with Campbell and Thornton today. They have a certain energy to them that is contagious and Marchand will pick up on that.
  • Nicklas Backstrom: He is back in the line up for the Capitals after being suspended for cross-checking Peverley in the face in Game 3. He will be well rested and ready to go for the Caps.
  • Brooks Laich: He leads the Capitals with seven points.
  • Rich Peverley: Has back to back goals in the past two games for the Bruins. He will be on the second line today providing the necessary speed to the second line with Paille and Bergeron.

Projected Lines: 

Lucic – Krejci – Rolston
Paille – Bergeron – Peverley
Pouliot  – Kelly – Seguin (or Caron)
Marchand – Campbell – Thornton

Chara – Seidenberg
Boychuk – Ference
Zanon – Corvo

Tim Thomas and his awesome ‘stache.

So there you have it. We can only hope and pray to St. Patrice that the Bruins made the necessary changes to find the offensive fire they need to vanquish these pesky Capitals on home ice at 3pm.



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