When the Boston Bruins face the Philadelphia Flyers in a 1 p.m. matinee, it could be a first for Tuukka Rask if he is tapped to be in net after taking a night off recently. He hasn’t been in against Philadelphia since the 2010 playoffs and we shall speak no more of what happened in that series.
But this is a new season and it could be a new beginning for Rask and the Bruins against a struggling Flyers squad. Currently below the big bold line for the Eastern Conference playoff run and holding an 11-13-1 record, there is even speculation that coach Peter Laviolette‘s job might be in jeopardy. That recently-held goal festival against the Pittsburgh Penguins, which Pittsburgh won 5-4, involved the Flyers blowing a three-goal lead. Plus, last time the Bruins and Flyers met, Jaromir Jagr was on their lineup. My, how things change.
In an interesting twist from last year, the Bruins are doing a great job in the afternoon games they’ve played until now. When the start time is 1 p.m., they have a 3-0-0 record. They were also 3-0-1 in the season series against Philly last year.
Nathan Horton‘s 2011-12 season ended early because of a bad hit by Tom Sestito in a game against Philadelphia in late January 2012, but now Sestito has been traded to the Vancouver Canucks and Horton is back in the lineup, doing well. He has 11 goals and five assists in 28 games played against Philadelphia. David Krejci, who is missing a front tooth after taking a stick to the face against the Toronto Maple Leafs, is good at providing helpers against the Flyers–he has 14 to go with three goals in 19 games.
A perhaps unexpectedly good Bruin against the Flyers is none other than Chris Kelly, who’s put up eight goals and five assists in 27 games played. He could stand to be more productive since he’s part of the struggling third line. Speaking of line three: Jordan Caron might be inserted into the lineup and if he is, it could be with Kelly and Rich Peverley (four goals, six assists versus Philly).
On the productive second line, Tyler Seguin has four goals and three assists and Brad Marchand‘s production is the reverse of that, but Seguin has played seven games while Marchand has been in 10. Their elder linemate Patrice Bergeron has eight goals and 13 assists in 27 games.
In this game, it will be important for the Bruins not only to have a good start, but to not panic–they were called the No-Panic Bruins after their most recent win–and to have a good third period. The game will be shown on NESN and NHL Network.