39. Winnipeg Thrashers, err, Jets at Boston Bruins – Marchandless Game 1 of 5

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I swear, I won’t talk about Marchand. I’m not going to do it, it’s been talked about to death and I don’t feel like grabbing my baseball bat and beating that dead horse. 

honey
Nope. Throw all the honey badgers you want at me, I’m still not going to talk about it. I’m not going to talk about his low-bridge hit on Sami Salo. I’m not going to talk about his 5 game suspension. I’m not going to talk about the creepy guy under the DOY watermark in the honey badger hit (actually, I may later, wtf). You can throw whatever it is you want at me about Marchand, which can include his awesome blog onESPN or whatever gifs you want. 

dance
Nope, refuse to do it. I don’t care if the guy has moves like Jagger, moves like Jagr or moves on Jager.  

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Fine! Last night the word came down from the NHL that Brad Marchand will be suspended for a low-bridge hit on Sami Salo. The number of games suspended: Five, which is still 3 games less than the number of Canucks players trying to punch Shawn Thornton in a scrum. I think that’s all I really want to comment about when it comes to Marchand. Head through our archives, that past few days we’ve killed the topic,brought it back to life, banged it’s mouth and then killed it again.

Oh, there’s a hockey game tonight....

Coming off of “Clownfest 2012″, the Bruins can finally focus on hockey (as can the Boston media). They’re “welcoming” in the Winnipeg Jets to the TD Garden tonight. The last time these two teams faced off,Winnipeg won 2-1 because Ondrej Pavelec stood on his head. Pavelec made 39 of 40 stops in that game and stopped 11 shots on the Bruins power play. The Bruins did not look good during that game, but it was also the second game of a two game back-to-back road trip and they beat a (at the time) first place Pittsburgh team in a playoff-esque hockey game. It was obvious to those who watched the Pens/B’s matchupthat whoever was coming the next night wasn’t going to get a 100% hockey team. 

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To be fair, it seems that Winnipeg has lucked out this season when playing Boston. Their first meeting happened a day after the Bruins played Detroit in the NHL’s brand new Thanksgiving game (or Black Friday game?). The Bruins pulled out a 4-2 lead as Chris Kelly went into Superman mode and scored a short handed and even strength goal in the second period to give Boston a 3-2 lead. The next time the Bruins and Jets squared off was after the aforementioned Pittsburgh game.

So tonight is the first night that the Jets will face the Bruins while the Bruins get a day off in between games. Of course, Marchand will be getting plenty of rest…well when we’re not playing Gears 3 at 2am. Work on those head shots Brado. 

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Winnipeg, surprisingly, still has something to play for as they are only 1 point out of 8th place in the Eastern Conference. It’s possible that GM Kevin Cheveldayoff will be sending the city of Pittsburgh one big ass ‘Thank You’ card because no one on that team can stay healthy (see: Crosby, Neal, Staal, Letang, etc). 

During the Marchand suspension, expect to see Beniot Pouliot take his place. Normally there would be a little heasitation to stick Pouliot up there, but the last time the LOD 2000 line played together, they registereda total on 9 points. This was also when Boston curb-stompped Calgary so everyone was getting a point. Everyone except Zach Hamill that is. Poor bastard. 

These next 5 games will really say something about this team. Brad Marchand is currently the team’s third leading scorer, behind Tyler Seguin and Patrice Bergeron. He’s also tied for the team lead in goals with16. As much as a pest or a “rat” as he is, he’s also a good offensive player and will be sorely missed. It’s during this stretch where the team will need Tyler Seguin to step up the most. Seguin has definitely cooled off from the start of the season where anytime he touched the puck it was in the back of the net. 

HBSeguin
If Boston is going to win throughout these five games, they’ll need ‘The Kid’ to do as much dirty work as he can. He’s not the only one though. The first line (which is really just placement on a line-up card considering the argument can be made that the Legion of Doom line is the first line) needs to get going. Plain and simple. Yes, their chemistry has been thrown off a little as of late and yes Milan Lucic was thrown out of Saturday’s game (which the NHL has rescinded) but it’s time to get that line chugging once again. 

I think the Bruins will take most of their frustrations out on Winnipeg tonight, which doesn’t bode well for whoever is stuck between their pipes. 


Projected Lines

I think Tuukka Rask gets the start tonight. Timmy hasn’t looked fantastic in his starts lately while Tuukka has looked phenomenal. 

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

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

Tuukka Rask
Tim Thomas


Media

Puck Drop: 7pm
TV: NESN
Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub
Online Feeds: Here

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Do You Know The Enemy?

Arctic Ice Hockey

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Game Day Video

Anze Kopitar of the LA Kings tries to cut off Sedin’s head



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