By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj
The first month of the 2019-20 NHL season is just about to finish and the Boston Bruins will look to come out victorious in the final game tonight against the San Jose Sharks. This past weekend, the Bruins won both games in their first back-to-back of the season, defeating the St. Louis Blues 3-0 on Saturday and the New York Rangers on Sunday. Boston is now second in the Atlantic Division with an 8-1-2 record.
San Jose made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals last season before losing to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion St. Louis Blues, but have come off to a slow October start, performing at a record of 4-7-1 through the opening twelve games. The Sharks have lost two straight games and have an abysmal 2-5-1 record on the road.
BOS: Tuukka Rask 5-0-1 1.48 GAA .952 SV% Last Game: 26 Saves in 3-0 win vs STL
SJS: Martin Jones (Likely) 2-5-1 3.39 GAA .892 SV% Last Game: Pulled after 1 Goal on 7 Shots vs OTT
Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand was awarded the First Star of the Week for this past week for his 3-5-8 stat-sheet over the past three games. At the moment, Marchand is in the midst of a career-high ten-game point streak where he has scored seven goals and thirteen assists for twenty points on the campaign. The Bruins winger dominated in Boston’s last time out, scoring two goals and adding three assists in a 7-4 on Sunday night.
Brent Burns may be one of the only bright spots of the San Jose Sharks so far this year, scoring 2-10-12 totals in the opening twelve games including a three-game point streak. Burns has four multi-point nights this season and in his most recent game against the Ottawa Senators, piled up two assists in the loss.
David Pastrnak’s five-game goal streak came to an end in Sunday’s win over the New York Rangers, but instead, the 23-year-old force dominated with five assists to help add to the first-line’s 13-point night. Pastrnak’s night boosted his season to 11-12-23 numbers in only eleven games, giving him the league-lead in goals and points.
Martin Jones, believe it or not, was apart of the Boston Bruins for just about four days back in 2015 when he was sent from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for Milan Lucic. Only days after the move, Don Sweeney flipped Jones to the Sharks for Sean Kuraly and a 2016 1st Round Pick (Trent Frederic). Now, in the last five years in San Jose, Martin Jones has been their number one netminder. However, this season, he is off to a terrible 2-5-1 start with a 3.39 goals-against-average and a .892 save percentage. Jones has not done well enough to help give the Sharks wins early on.
Jake DeBrusk will be getting his center, David Krejci, back on his line tonight after Krejci missed numerous games over the past week or so due to an upper-body injury. This season, DeBrusk has not been the same DeBrusk that nearly hit the 30-goal mark in 2018-19. In 11 games, Jake only has 1-3-4 numbers and has just not been able to find his groove. The hope is that with Krejci back, the young winger can come back to life.
Joe Thornton is another former Bruin that is returning to Boston tonight, but he isn’t having the very best October, either. The 40-year-old forward has zero goals and four assists in twelve games and is bringing along a -6 rating as well. Thornton is averaging around the 14-minute mark of time on ice, as rumors begin to surface that this may be his final season as an NHL player. Only time will tell, but right now, he needs to be better in order for San Jose to be better.
- F Patrice Bergeron is two assists away (498) from 500 career NHL assists
- D Torey Krug is four points away (296) from 300 career NHL points
- F Patrice Bergeron is one shot away (3087) from passing John Bucyk (3087) for sole possession of 3rd-most shots in Bruins history
San Jose Sharks:
- No notable milestones can be reached tonight
Bruins vs Sharks Outlook:
With the Boston Bruins atop of the NHL’s power rankings to start the year, they are continuing right from where they started in regards to last year’s Eastern Conference Championship. The Bruins are one of the top teams in the league’s standings and a win over San Jose tonight will bring their record to an impressive 9-1-2.
In 2018-19, the two teams played twice over the course of the 82-game season, with the Bruins coming out victorious in both outings. Within the span of just over a week, Boston defeated the Sharks in an electric, 6-5 win in San Jose – a game where Joe Thornton scored a hat-trick, and then went on to win 4-1 on home ice the very next week.
The Bruins’ power-play is still near the very top of the National Hockey League and for a Sharks penalty-kill that ranks number one, (93.2%), they will need to be perfect tonight in order to cool down Boston. This is one of those games that specialty-team coaches dream of. The winning side of the specialty team battle could win the momentum and possibly win the game.
David Krejci (upper-body) returns to the lineup while Joakim Nordstrom (infection in elbow) and Par Lindholm (upper-body) are out.
The Bruins are also hosting Hockey Fights Cancer presented by Beth Israel Lahey Health. “Mighty Quinn”, the three-year-old boy that struck the hearts of Charlie Coyle and Bruins fans will drop the ceremonial puck before the official faceoff. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00pm EST from Boston, Massachusetts.