(Photo Courtesy of Joshua Bemis )
By: Jen Stasio Coombe | Follow Me On Twitter @hockeygirl2976
Providence Bruins enter week four with seven games behind them. They have 69 games left to erase the 7-point spread that separates them from first place in the Atlantic Division. Those numbers are completely obtainable for Providence, especially if we see a continuation of the improvement from last weekend. This is the first regular season weekend without a Friday game for the Bruins. Saturday will see them facing the Thunderbirds just down the road in Springfield and Sunday will be back at home against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
(Photo Courtesy of Jen Staio Coombe)
Saturday, October 27th Providence Bruins vs. Springfield Thunderbirds (AWAY)
The MassMutual Center will once again host our Providence Bruins as they take on the Springfield Thunderbirds this Saturday. Pre-season saw these two teams go head to head twice, once in Providence and the second time in Springfield. These two games were won by the Bruins with a score of 3-2 both times.
The regular season has not been so kind. The Bruins and T-Birds have met only once, but that match-up saw the Bruins lose with a final score of 3-6. More numerous than goals in that game were the penalties that plagued both sides, as the Bruins racked up eight and the Thunderbirds seven. Each team had six power-play opportunities, and both only scored on one of them.
I would put the possibility of the Bruins walking away with the win this weekend slightly in their favor. This season they have won two of the three matches against the T-Birds, but only fifty percent of them when at the MassMutual Center. Previous seasons saw a very similar pattern in the statistics, with the winner in most matches being anyone’s best guess. The fan in me says the Bruins will win. The realist in me tempers that with the statistics and we land on my initial verdict of slightly better than 50% odds of the Bruins taking the two points on Saturday night. Helpful, right?
(Photo Courtesy of Bridgeport Sound Tigers)
Sunday, October 28th Providence Bruins vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers (HOME)
Sunday’s Matinee sees Providence host the Bridgeport Sound Tigers once again. Expect something a little different this time around though as ‘Pink In The Rink’ returns. The annual ‘Pink In The Rink’ event supports Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation and will include the players donning special pink sweaters that will be auctioned off after the game.
While adding a touch of pink to our Bruins may not be everyone’s favorite part of Sunday, the game will most definitely satisfy all. Meeting the Sound Tigers twice last weekend gave us a good look at what we may see on Sunday.
Both games were physical, hard-fought and not short on action. We saw a battle for the win on Friday only to have Providence lose a few seconds into overtime. While Saturday was a scoring frenzy for the Bruins allowing them to skate away with a solid 5-2 victory. The common theme in both nights was penalties, which did not thrill the Providence coaching staff.
This weekend I would expect both teams to come in charged up and ready to break the tie. The Sound Tigers will be eager to capture a win, while the Bruins will be looking to extend their ‘at-home win-streak’ against said Tigers to five. This high level of anticipation will no doubt lead to higher shots on goal and set the fate of these games solidly in the hands of the goaltenders. With a combined save percentage of .854, McIntyre and Vladar will both be looking to improve upon that. My best guess is a lot of shots on goal, probably not a very high scoring game, but very active and physical. Penalties have been an issue of late, and Jay Leach mentioned he was planning on addressing that this week during practice. That being said, with heightened emotions involved it will be interesting to see how the Baby B’s react on Sunday.
(Photo Courtesy of Providence Bruins)
My picks to watch this weekend:
Colby Cave – Yes, I will be watching others, but with his current scoring streak (3 goals against the Sound Tigers last weekend alone), my eyes will be focused to see what he can pull off this weekend.
On The Blue Line:
Frederic/Hughes – Both seemed much more on their game last weekend. They were attentive and engaged throughout, and each of them made a case that they may be offensive defensemen after all. Time will tell.
Dan Vladar – Having met the Sound Tigers last weekend with an admittedly lacking performance, I want to see how he bounces back.
(Photo Courtesy of Jen Stasio Coombe)
Cheers to week four, pink sweaters in Providence, and best of luck to our Baby B’s. I will catch up with you next week and until then, feel free to message me on twitter with any questions or comments and as always, take some time to check out the other great articles by the incredible team here at Blackngoldhockey.com. Now Go Get Hockey With It!