VANCOUVER CANUCKS vs BOSTON BRUINS
4:00PM PST TD GARDEN, BOSTON, MA
TV: SPORTSNET PACIFIC. RADIO: SN650.
OPPOSITION BLOG: STANLEY CUP OF CHOWDER
In what should be the toughest game of this road trip, the Canucks make their way into that most cursed of venues as they take on the Boston Bruins this afternoon. It’s a huge game not just because any time you take on one of the NHL’s upper echelon teams it’s big, but more importantly (yes, Broons fans, this is not about you at all) it’s who else is playing tonight that makes getting two points so important.
With Vegas in Tampa, the Flames hosting the Sharks and the Oilers and Coyotes squaring off, there’s the potential for seismic shifts in the Pacific Division standings tonight. Best case scenario for the Canucks boils down to Arizona knocking off the Oilers coupled with a Canucks win, which would put them 5 points clear of Edmonton for the division lead. And Vegas can leapfrog the Oilers with a win (at least temporarily) and move to within 2 of the Canucks should Vancouver fall to Boston. There’s also other Western Conference implications tonight, as Carolina is taking on St Louis (A Canucks win and Blues loss will see Vancouver just 3 points behind St Louis for the Conference lead), as well Nashville in Winnipeg and Chicago in Minnesota as those 4 teams battle to keep within striking distance of the Wild Card slots currently held by Calgary and Arizona. It’s safe to say we’re officially in scoreboard watching season and that feels pretty damn good after the way things went over the last 4 seasons.
The last time we saw the Canucks visit the Bruins the boys put on a show, putting 8 into the Boston net including 2 goal 2 assist performances from Bo Horvat and a pair plus an assist from former Bruin Loui Eriksson. The Canucks have won 6 of their last 10 against the Bruins, and despite the loss on Sunday, are playing some pretty confident hockey. One guy we’re expecting a big game from tonight is Adam Gaudette, who will be playing at home in front of family and friends. He’s overdue for a goal, so keep an eye on him tonight.
The keys to beating the Bruins? Well, you can do a lot by keeping that top line off the score sheet, but generally you need to play a pretty air tight defensive game. They’re one of the best teams in the NHL at capitalizing on other teams mistakes. Also, don’t bite on the shenanigans that come with Brad Marchand and the rest of these guys. Take the power plays and make sure that you connect on them. Is this a very good team? Yes. Is this a winnable game? Absolutely. And a win tonight goes a long way to serving notice that maybe, just maybe the Vancouver Canucks are back.
Canucks projected lineup
Injured: Tyler Motte (upper body), Micheal Ferland (upper body), Josh Leivo (fractured kneecap), Tyler Graovac (lower body), Tyler Motte (upper body), Micheal Ferland (upper body), Josh Leivo (fractured kneecap), Tyler Graovac (lower body)
Bruins projected lineup
No changes for the Canucks apart from Markstrom getting the start today. The Bruins have no one major out of the lineup at the moment.
GAME DAY CHATTER:
"This is a fun building to play in, really good opponent, these are the games we want to be in." -J.T. Miller on playing the Bruins in Boston. pic.twitter.com/AuXmipvS8O— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) February 4, 2020
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN:
Still the best damn band to ever come out of that god-forsaken state and I won’t hear any discussion on it because I’m right.