By: Mandi Mahoney | Check me out on twitter @phoneymahoney
The Bruins came out flying against Columbus, notching a 3-2 in overtime during game 1. They played like the Bruins team we had been waiting for, and never saw, during the first round series against Toronto. Goaltender Tuukka Rask was fantastic, and was only beaten by two total fluke goals: one that was deflected so many times that it was reminiscent of Larry Bird playing Michael Jordan for his Big Mac in the classic McDonald’s commercial, and one that hit the twin after deflecting off Pierre-Luc Dubois’ gluteus maximus.
It was the epitome of a playoff game and the atmosphere in the Garden was intense; the place was absolutely rocking. The Bruins came to play, and while the Blue Jackets didn’t make their best showing of the season, they were still a very worthy opponent. If Boston thinks this series is going to be a cakewalk, they are sorely mistaken. Columbus has some elite talent and those players won’t be silent for long. It should not be forgotten that this is the team that swept the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Speaking of silence, the chirping has already begun:
Pre-Game And Series Notes
Where / when: TD Garden, Boston, at 8:00PM.
The series: Bruins lead series 1-0
Last game: Boston, 3-2 OT
BOS: Brad Marchand, 9 points; Charlie Coyle, 5 goals
CBJ: Matt Duchene, 7 points, 3 goals
BOS: Tuukka Rask, 5-3, .927 save percentage, 2.25 goals against average
CBJ: Sergei Bobrovsky, 4-1, .929 save percentage, 2.17 goals against average
The Bruins’ lineup will likely include the usual suspects, as David Krejci was on the ice during the morning skate. Krejci may be deferring to playoff hero Charlie Coyle during power play faceoffs as he sustained some sort of upper body injury when former Bruin and Blue Jackets fourth liner Riley Nash checked him during game 1.
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk – David Krejci – Danton Heinen
Marcus Johansson – Charlie Coyle – Chris Wagner
Joakim Nordstrom – Sean Kuraly – Noel Acciari
Zdeno Chara – Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug – Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk – Connor Clifton
BOS INJURIES: Kevan Miller (lower body), John Moore (upper body)
Columbus is likely to roll the following lines – though deadline acquisition Ryan Dzingel appears to be questionable for tonight. According to the Blue Jackets’ Instagram, he will be in the lineup this evening. If he isn’t, expect to see Alexander Wennberg instead. We’ll see what happens there.
Artemi Panarin – Pierre-Luc Dubois – Oliver Bjorkstrand
Ryan Dzingel – Matt Duchene – Cam Atkinson
Alexander Texier – Nick Foligno – Josh Anderson
Riley Nash – Boone Jenner – Brandon Dubinsky
Zach Werenski – Seth Jones
Dean Kukan – David Savard
Adam Clendening – Scott Harrington
CBJ INJURIES: Ryan Murray (upper body), Adam McQuaid (head), Markus Nuttivaara (upper body), Vladislav Gavrikov (immigration issue)
Keys To The Game
If the Bruins want to come out on top, they’re going to need to continue to create traffic in front of Bobrovsky and put as many pucks on net as possible in order to create rebounds. They cannot let themselves be pushed to the perimeter, and they must bring their physical game. The Blue Jackets have a little bit of everything in their lineup, and the Bruins will need to be ready for it. Speed and physicality are going to be big factors throughout the series.
Boston hasn’t had much rest since their first round series went to seven games, and the Blue Jackets should be fairly refreshed, having enjoyed nine days off after vanquishing the Lightning in a quick four games. Hopefully the Jackets are a little bit demoralized after their rusty showing on Thursday (don’t bet on it), and the Bruins can continue to capitalize on the momentum they’ve built over their last three games. The only thing anyone knows about this series is that it’s going to be a lot of fun. With any luck, we will enjoy the result as much as we’re enjoying the journey.