Heading into tonight’s game against the Ottawa Senators, I still advocate for the philosophy of not actually telling the Boston Bruins all the various things that are at stake. Maybe it would help them do better than they did in their second attempt to–well, you know–against the Carolina Hurricanes, which went over about as well as New Coke. Suffice it to say that, with a win tonight, Boston could do some good things. With a loss, they would do some bad things. There, that’s specific enough, isn’t it?
Let’s focus instead on some good news coming out of today’s morning skate. Actually, there are a few hopeful pieces of news. First of all, the oft-disappointing Andrew Ference will be a healthy scratch tonight, which does go to show that sometimes, players who aren’t performing up to their expectations get a little rest to try to cool down their overheated engine. (That being said, can we get Milan Lucic in the press box for a game or two?) Dougie Hamilton will come back in after two games of rest himself.
Brad Marchand was also back on the ice, though he was working with Jordan Caron and Jay Pandolfo, which was kind of a sign that he’s not going to play tonight. That was later definitely confirmed. It does seem rather soon for the concussed Marchand to try to work back into the lineup, especially considering that players have to be out for a week after being diagnosed with one, at least from what I recall. That issue came up with Patrice Bergeron, who was actually slotted onto the top line for today’s skate work and sounds like he’s basically ready to come back, but is putting the decision in the right hands: the ones of people with medical degrees and his best interest at heart.
Could ‘PB37′ return this evening? It’s entirely possible. If he does, he’ll have missed as many days as he did the last time he was concussed. Look for the definite decision to come closer to the game’s start time.
Also, hey, it’s Daniel Paille‘s birthday. He’s the big 2-9–and if he isn’t given this year’s Seventh Player Award later this month as a belated birthday present of sorts, then it will be a crying shame.
On the goaltending side, Tuukka Rask may get the start this evening. He left the ice first and has a really good 1.21 goals-against average. Plus, he’s won his four career starts against the Sens. Goals-against averages can be deceiving, though. Ottawa’s Craig Anderson has a 1.53, but when he faces Boston, it skyrockets to 4.20 in his last eight games.
Let’s see what the Bruins can do this evening starting at 7 p.m.