Gameday Matchup: Boston Bruins vs. Vancouver Canucks

Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

A deep dislike for one another might be the only thing the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks have in common these days.

Heading into their second meeting of the season tonight, the Canucks are in a free-fall and are just hoping to keep footing in one of the two wild card spots in the Western Conference. They’ve lost four in a row but still hold a one point lead over the Phoenix Coyotes, though the desert dogs have two games in hand.

Meanwhile, the Bruins are coasting. They are second in the Eastern Conference with 73 points and hold a four point lead over Atlantic Division foes the Tampa Bay Lightning. They come into tonight’s game with a 7-2-1 record and look to stay hot entering the Olympic break.

Three Keys For A Bruins Victory

1.) Tuukka Time. Keep netminder Tuukka Rask clean and he’ll do the rest. Statistically, he’s one of the best in the business and all he needs is a clear line of sight on the puck. He can take it from there.

2.) Drop the Hammer. The Bruins are a physical team and that often works to their advantage so long as they remain disciplined. Their style can grind down a team and get under their skin. If they press the struggling Canucks, they could see more than a few turnovers come their way.

3.) Teach Me How to Dougie. Defenseman Dougie Hamilton has been hot of late, scoring goals in his last two games. Continuing his hot ways will surely elevate the B’s and keep them on the winning track.

Three Keys For A Canucks Victory

1.) High Energy. It’s no secret that the Canucks are beat up right now. They have injuries permeating the roster and it’s showing in their struggles. If they can bring the energy early and often, it will give them a much better chance at walking out of Beantown with the all-important two points.

2.) Early Start. You know how else you get things going for you in a huge road game? Get on the board first. Statistically, most teams are more likely to win if they get on the board first. Not only that, but it would move all the momentum into the Canucks’ corner and they can use as much as they can muster.

3.) Bobby Lou, Where Are You? Goaltender Roberto Luongo needs to be at his best, especially with only a few games left before the break. If the Canucks are to stay in the playoff hunt, it’ll be on the back of their No. 1 goalie.

Prediction: 3-2 Bruins

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