Though the new guys at Boston Bruins morning skate dominated the headlines, there’s also the small matter of the game against the New Jersey Devils tonight to deal with as well. Jaromir Jagr and Kaspars Daugavins are scheduled to make their debuts as Bruins this evening and Wade Redden is en route to Boston as well.
Obviously, the appearance of new guy 68 on the ice was the big deal this morning. (He was also seen at TD Garden last night, despite a basketball game being in progress, with his gear in tow. He then decided to stick around and watch the game because why not?) Even more interesting was where he was placed in morning skate lines–not on the first line with countryman and admirer David Krejci, but on the second line to fill the gap left by the injured Patrice Bergeron, who has no timetable for his return. However, coach Claude Julien said that Bergeron “sounded positive, sounded good.” So, the plan right now is to move Tyler Seguin into the center role and have him winged by Brad Marchand and Jagr. Recall that Seguin was actually drafted as a center, despite also playing wing.
Further on the injury line, Chris Kelly and Adam McQuaid were both spotted at morning skate, doing some work with the strength coach. In Kelly’s case, it will be a matter of days until his return to the lineup. The injury, he said, isn’t as bad as he originally thought.
Okay, now that the big storylines from morning skate are all covered, here’s what this team has to look forward to this evening. When these two teams last met at the end of January, it took a shootout to find the decision and a Marchand shootout goal is what cracked it. Nathan Horton also scored in regulation to get the Bruins on the board, helped out by Krejci and Milan Lucic, but that was it. It was a 2-1 game, not exactly a huge offensive explosion, which may be what people want to happen now that Jagr is along for the ride. But even if it’s not a goal-scoring festival for Boston, the odds are in their favor. They have won all but one of the last 10 games with New Jersey and outscored the Devils by a 33-14 margin.
Though Anton Khudobin dazzled fans by making 47 saves in the Bruins’ most recent game and then charmingly explaining that he is not a cat post-game, Tuukka Rask may get the nod in net tonight. He’s had a bit more rest now and has a good record against New Jersey: 2-1-1, 1.18 goals-against average.
Note that, inside New England, tonight’s game will not be on NESN. It will be on NESNplus. Consult your TV provider’s guide for channel number. Outside New England, the game will be on NHL Network at 7 p.m.