I hate west coast start times. Even if 9:30 EST is a pretty good start time (well, I guess better than 10:30), I still hate it. I'm an old ass man, I'm usually hitting the sheets by the time 10ish rolls around – especially if there's nothing good to watch. I can't commit and tell you that I'll watch the whole thing, but I'm going to give it the old college try.
Okay, back to hockey. Iginla returns home since he left Calgary for
Boston Pittsburgh last season. I'm sure Iginla has all the feels tonight and, hey, maybe those feels will make him have a good game. As good as Iginla has been, he hasn't been as prominent on the score sheet as we would have hoped – er, in the goal department of the score sheet.
Back to the ice tonight, no idea what kind of defensive group the Bruins are going to use tonight. There hasn't been an AHL call-up yet, so it looks like Johnny Boychuk and Kevan Miller will be good to go. That's a relief given that Dougie Hamilton is out for the rest of the road trip. Of course, these quotes came from Boychuk yesterday so maybe he shouldn't be going tonight:
“It was all right; it didn’t feel awesome,” Boychuk said after the brief practice. “I haven’t skated in five days or so, but at least I got back on the ice and moved around a little. It’s still pretty stiff. It’s been loosening up every day. We’ll see how it feels (today). It’s getting better every day, and that’s all I can ask for.”
If Boychuk isn't ready to go, I don't see the point in rushing him back for a regular season game. At this point, it's a given that Boston will make the playoffs. Despite a competitive Atlantic Division, Boston will easily grab one of the FIVE spots the ATL will probably occupy come playoff time (top three seeds and/or two wild card spots). As of today, Carolina is the closest Metro team to the wild card and they are four points behind Toronto.
What the Bruins should be worried about is rushing their defensemen back from injury too quickly and something happening where Boychuk tweaks his back and is out longer. I'd rather have him out there at full health than half health and risk an(other) injury.
On the Flames side, it's like a former Bruin party. The Flames employ Joe Colborne, Lane MacDermid, Brian McGrattan and Dennis Wideman (though he is currently on the IR). I was hoping that Johnny Gaudreau would make an appearance tonight, but he hasn't seen any NHL time yet this season. For those who are unaware, Gaudreau played his college puck at Boston College and was drafted 104th overall by Calgary.
I think it also needs to be said that Calgary has the best uniforms in the NHL. They're my favorite set ever and I've loved every incarnation of the Flames uniforms, including the black horse head jersey (which I own). When I have a little bit of cash laying around I'm going to get a legend stitched on it too:
Okay, let's run down the outs:
Chris Kelly: Broken Ankle; 4-6 weeks
Shawn Thornton: Upcoming suspension
Adam McQuaid: Groin (I think), IR
Dougie Hamilton: Lower body, out for the road trip
Loui Eriksson: Concussion, no timetable for return
Johnny Boychuk – Lower back, day to day (may return tonight)
Add to this there's a nice bout of the flu going around the team.
Milan Lucic – David Krejci – Jarome Iginla
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Reilly Smith
Carl Söderberg – Ryan Spooner – Matt Fraser
Jordan Caron – Greg Campbell – Dan Paille
Zdeno Chara – Matt Bartkowski
Dennis Seidenberg – Dancing Train Hat Guy
Blades – Noodle Armed Ice Girl Who Throws Foil Wrapped T-Shirts
Puck Drop: 9:30pm EST
Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub
Know The Enemy
The Flames put this together when Iginla left the Flames last March.