Game Day Preview: 34. Boston Bruins @ Phoenix Coyotes

Coyotes
I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas. Now that the fat man in the red suit is out of the picture, it’s time for some Bruins hockey! Feels good, let me tell ya. I know that the time off is good for the team in the short run, but looking at that March schedule really fucks the team going forward. It’s been 11 days since the Philadelphia game and the Bruins have played 3 times. There was a 3 day stretch between the Montreal and Florida games where the Bruins were off and a 4 game stretch between the Florida and Phoenix games. The Bruins have 14 total days off in March and only one two-day break. I guess if you want to be a champion you have to go through those tough stretches and win hockey games. 

The Bruins left their fanbase on a high holiday note, beating down the Florida Panthers 8-0 and Brad Marchand scoring a hattrick. It was as magical as it can get in a hockey rink. It was like the Polar Express ofhockey, more or less.

hattrick
Also, Tuukka Rask was a beast.

But at this point, a game like that is more of an expectation than a treat isn’t it? There were 5 games in December (out of 10 played, 2 more left on the schedule) where the Bruins scored more than 4 goals and 1game where they allowed 3 or more. How unbelievable is that? 1 fucking game where a team scored more than 2 goals on the Bruins and Boston still won 5-3. Shit, even their two losses in December were a 2-1loss and a 2-0 loss. We can even go back to November where the Bruins scored 4 or more goals 10 times (out of 13 games played). 10! 

This team can score goals and stop pucks. I don’t know an easier way to say that. Need more proof (nope) then look at the goal differential (for all you nooblets, that’s goals scored vs. goals against) and the Bruins are a +56. The closest team to them? Detroit at +37 with Jimmy Howard having a career year in net (and on my fantasy hockey team). The Bruins are flying high this season and have been battling for the number one spot in the Eastern Conference since crawling out of the cellar in October. 

On the other side of the ice, the Phoenix Coyotes are, well, the Coyotes. They’re a playoff team who won’t really go anywhere because they’re not that good. They lost their, arguably, best player in Ilya Brygalov and filled that hole (which may or may not be humangees beeg) with Mike Smith. There’s a goaltender who strikes fear in the heart of opponents. Mike Fucking Smith. That may be the most generic name in the history of generic names.

Smith is having a pretty decent season too. He’s 15-10-3 in 28 games started with a 2.52 GAA and a save percentage of .920. Are they number that will blow you away? No. Are they numbers that indicate that a team is 10th in the Western Conference and riding two average goaltenders and have a lack of a scoring punch. The Coyotes leading goal scorer is Radim Vrbata with 16 goals then Ray Whitney with 12. That’s it.No other double digit goal scorers. Compare that to the Bruins 4 double digit scorers (Marchand [15], Seguin [14], Lucic [12] and Kelly [12]) and it goes to show the differences in these two teams. 

Phoenix is also having major trouble on their power play, ranked a paltry 27th overall. Their penalty kill is respectable, ranked 12th overall with an 83.3% success rate at killing penalties.  

Also, I completely forgot that Dennis Seidenberg was a Coyote at one time:

coyotes
More previewness after the jumpness...


Projected Lines

Peter Chiarelli stated that Rich Peverley will not play tonight and is listed day-to-day with a “minor chronic injury”. I would expect the same lines from Friday’s game. 

Milan Lucic – David Krejci – Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Tyler Seguin
Beniot Pouliot – Chris Kelly – Zach Hamill
Danny Paille – Greg Campbell – Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara – Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg – Joe Corvo
Andrew Ference – Adam McQuaid

Tim Thomas
Tuukka Rask


Ball Hyped Tournament

If you don’t know (or just forgot), Ball Hyped has been running an NCAA March Madness tournament with 64 sports blogs. We’re currently in the Elite 8 (or Great 8 or Super 8, et al) and we’re looking to head to the Final Four. Help us by voting for us!


Media

TV: NES
Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub
Puck Drop: 9pm
Online Feeds
: Here

links



Game Day Video

Boychuk and that stupid douche BizNasty throw it down in 2009.


LETS GO BRUINS! 

bWo 

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