By: Michael Rudd | Follow me on Twitter @Bosmike808.
Whenever the Bruins play the Dallas Stars, it brings back memories of going to my first NHL game. The Bruins won, of course, but Dallas put up a fight, and I don’t mean with their play on the ice. That version of the Dallas Stars featured Mike Ribero, Steve Ott, and Sean Avery. The current Dallas club is in first place in the Central Division, but they still carry that old physical identity.
Dallas is also on the second half of a back-to-back after dropping their first game in regulation to the Senators. Not to be outdone, the Bruins are currently first in the Atlantic Division. The Bruins are also looking for their second three-game winning streak of the season. Banking points now, especially with so many key players out, will pay dividends all the way to April. So, let’s jump in and get a closer look at this game.
Three Players To Watch
The first Dallas player to watch is forward Jason Robertson. No training camp, no problem. As one of the game’s youngest rising stars, Robertson is tied for the team lead in points with seven in six games. Anytime he’s on the ice, he is a threat to score. Next up is Tyler Seguin. Rumors of Seguin’s decline have been greatly exaggerated. After missing all but three games during the 2020-21 season, Seguin looked like a shell of himself. However, with six points in six games, Seguin he’s back to being the elite offensive player we know he can be. The final Dallas Star to watch is Jamie Benn. Benn isn’t on here because he’s going for his second Art Ross. No, Benn is on here because he will use an opponent’s spine as a stick rack while punching another simultaneously. What Benn has lost in scoring touch, he more than makes up for with his physical play on the ice. Every Bruin player better have his head on a swivel when Benn is on the ice.
The first Bruin to watch is Taylor Hall. With four points in his last two games, Hall looks to be turning around his slow start. We know Hall and Krejci played well together before, so hopefully, this is a sign of that chemistry returning. Next up is already a fan favorite, A.J. Greer. After being a healthy scratch, reportedly for a maintenance day, look for Greer to be rested and ready. Greer willcrucial a key part of Boston’s response to the Stars’ physical style. Hopefully, he can prevent guys like Benn from taking any extra liberties with the Bruins’ star players. Finally, we have Hampus Lindholm as the last Bruin to watch. Boston coach Jim Montgomery said, “He’s a complete stud. He’s been a stud since day one, and we’re lucky to have him.” Lindholm will look to live up to such high praise by shutting down a potent Dallas attack.
With Scott Wedgewood taking the loss against Ottawa, the Bruins will face Jake Oettinger. In four stars so far this season, Oettinger has a record of 4-0, allowing just five goals in that span. Some good news is Oettinger allowed the most goals in his last game with two goals against. The former B.U. standout is a budding star at the position, and he might find himself in the Vezina conversation if he keeps playing like this.
After seeing work in four straight games, expect Linus Ullmark to get the night off. That means the Bruins will counter one rising goalie star with another, Jeremy Swayman. Unfortunately, Swayman hasn’t had the same early-season success, Swayman has allowed nine goals with a 1-1 reco in two gamesrd. The good news is this isn’t the first time these two goalies have faced off. In their previous NCAA meetings, Swayman won two of three games. The only time Swayman and Oettinger have played against each other in the NHL was a relief appearance by Swayman in a game Ullmark took the loss.
Tonight also marks the annual Hockey Fights Cancer Night at the Garden. The Bruins will don special lavender warm-up jerseys and lavender tape on their sticks. In addition, to show their support for the cause, the Bruins coaching staff will wear lavender ties and pins. There will also be a ceremonial puck drop with 15-year-old cancer survivor Mayah White.
There you have it, just about all you could want to know heading into tonight’s game. This should be a fun one as the two division leaders look to take their place among this year’s cup contenders. Don’t forget puck drop is at 7 p.m. So, until next time stay safe out there, and let’s go, Bruins.