As part of Hockey Day in America festivities, the Boston Bruins (35-19-2) take on the Minnesota Wild (25-24-9) in their one meeting this season at 3 p.m. nationwide on NBC.
The Bruins and Wild don’t meet up very often. This is their only game this season. Their last meeting was more than a year ago, Jan. 6, 2011, in Boston. The Bruins lost that one 3-1.
Do you remember back in the earlier stages of this season when Minnesota came, seemingly out of nowhere, and was suddenly at or near the top of the overall standings? It seems as if those glory days are over now. The Wild now sit 12th in the West and bring a seven-game losing streak in with them today. They are also playing the second part of back-to-back games, having been shut out last night against the still-hot St. Louis Blues (the Bruins’ next opponents). In fact, a lot of the frustration within the Wild organization sounds pretty similar to the Bruins as of late.
The Bs are looking for improved consistency. Their recent pattern is a win followed by a loss, followed by a win, followed by a loss and the team still has not won two consecutive games since January. If this recent pattern holds, though, that could portend well. Coach Claude Julien certainly seems to understand what is happening and has ideas for how to change things:
“There’s a lot in our game that has to be better. The commitment to play the way we can and the work we put behind it and the enthusiasm. Enthusiasm creates energy and we haven’t had that in a while. When we have in spurts, against certain teams, it makes a big difference so we have to find that again and get ourselves geared up to head in the right direction…It’s just a matter of us righting the ship here and getting our focus at doing the little things right again. It’s not just one area, it’s many many areas.”
There is no morning skate before today’s game, so there isn’t much advanced knowledge of who will be minding net for Boston. It could go either way, but something tells me that they’ll tie in to Hockey Day in America by spotlighting one of the very few Americans on the team and go with Tim Thomas. (Other games on today have spotlighted American players, like Buffalo’s Ryan Miller, Pittsburgh’s Brent Johnson and Chicago’s Patrick Kane.)
Tune in at 3 p.m. on NBC.