Photo Credit: Matthew J. Lee (Globe Staff)
By: KG Follow me on Twitter: @kgbngblog
After going 1-1 in their first two games over the first six days of the NHL season, the Bruins are primed to potentially go on a three-game road win streak, but there are a lot of different pieces that need to fall into place for that to happen. The injury bug has revealed that the Bruins, who were thought to be a deeply skilled team, are actually not as deep as the media had initially predicted. With two top-six forwards out (Bergeron/Backes), there have been quite a bit of changing lines during games/practices that causes some confusion and unfamiliarity between lines. Bergeron’s injury is listed as day-to-day, and that is how Cassidy is handling it. Backes will be out longer due to illness. But where there is a will, there is a way. The B’s will have to play the next few games regardless of whether or not they are all healthy, and these are the breakdowns.
Wednesday, Oct. 11th – BOS@COL (2-1-0)
After a sad performance against last years worst team in the NHL, the B’s have the chance to bounce back and show their speed and possession skills against a still-in-rebuilding-mode team. The Bruins also have a team-wide, NHL best 62.7% faceoff win percentage, compared to Colorado’s league-worst 38.4%. With all the drama surrounding Matt Duchene, there should be no reason for the B’s to lose like they did. I expect a better game from Rask and company.
Prediction: 4 – 2 Boston
Saturday, Oct. 14th – BOS@ARZ (0-1-1)
Arizona is coming off back to back one goal loses, and one being in overtime. So two close games, but in their first, they blew a 4-1 lead (Mandatory 2013 reference) after leading by that score halfway through the second period. The ‘Yotes are relatively inexperienced, but without Backes/Bergeron, the Bruins are about the same level as Arizona in that department. The B’s will have to get lots of shots on net if they want to win. With both Louis Domingue and Antti Raanta playing backup roles on their former teams, neither has a solid footing as Arizona’s #1 choice. It is leaning towards Raanta, but time will tell who the B’s end up getting. If I had to bet, I would say Raanta gets the call against Boston.
Prediction: 3-2 Boston (OT)
Sunday, Oct. 15th – BOS@VGK (2-0-0)
One of the biggest surprises from the first few games was how Vegas has doubled their season win total from last year. They went 0-0-0 over the last 100 years the NHL has been around, but this year they are at 2-0-0 at the time that I am writing this. It’s almost as if they weren’t even playing this past couple of seasons.
Now for the real analysis. Vegas has been a decent team with really good goaltending. It can be expected that three-time Stanley Cup winner Marc-Andre Fleury would be good, but he is really showing why they chose him in the Expansion draft, and not picks/other players. He is a bonified number one goalie and plays like it. I expect the Bruins to be slow in the first period while trying to figure this new team out, but ultimately could break through and go off on the scoresheet with how inexperienced VGK is as a team. It would be sort of poetic if Malcolm Subban got the start against the Bruins, and unless they play him against Detroit on Friday, I believe that he may start. Both of the Knight’s games have been 2-1 so I will ride the recency bias. But I don’t think the B’s will let them have it in regulation.
Prediction: 2-1 Vegas Golden Knights (SO)
The Bruins have the potential of sweeping this three-game stretch, but if they aren’t careful, they may come back 1-4. They should beat all three teams, but remember, these are the Bruins we are talking about. After two games it is hard to accurately predict, but I believe my 2-1 call seems reasonable enough.
Sources: Hockey-db.com, NHL.com, dailyfaceoff.com
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