By: Drew Johnson | Follow Me On Twitter: @doobshmoob
A Boston Bruins team that has lost four of its six starting defensemen to injuries is set to take on the Stars in Dallas on Friday night. Boston most recently dropped their date with the Colorado Avalanche. A 3-2 lead turned into a 6-3 loss, and the Bruins have most likely spent a fair share of their Thursday watching film.
Meanwhile, the Stars are coming off a loss of their own with the Columbus Blue Jackets claiming a 2-1 victory over the team. Dallas has not played since Monday so they will hope that their freshness can put an end to the two-game slide they a currently enduring.
Jake DeBrusk notched two goals on Wednesday and now has four tallies in his last four games. Combined with his two most recent helpers, that’s six points in five games. David Krejci, who centers DeBrusk on the second line, is on a five-game point streak with seven assists in that span. Though he hasn’t scored a goal since Oct. 23rd, with DeBrusk now finding his game, there is hope that Krejci will receive the same quality assists that he has dished out thus far.
Before his streak was broken against Colorado, Torey Krug had a four-game point streak with five assists to start the month of November. He is still searching for his first goal of the 2018-19 campaign, but with time on the top defensive unit this weekend, Krug will likely find the back of the net sooner rather than later.
Alexander Radulov is currently on a tear, ranked fourth on the team in production despite only appearing in eight of Dallas’ 18 games thus far. During that time he has notched six goals and six assists for 12 total points, more recently scoring three goals and two assists in his last five games.
Former Bruin Tyler Seguin is in the house which always comes with a hint of resentment for Boston fans – whether that is toward the player or the decision made years ago to trade him. Seguin has only managed three points in his last six games. The Bruins were able to keep him off the scoresheet in their first meeting with Dallas this season; a game the boys in black and gold won 2-1 in overtime.
Anders Bjork has continued to struggle. Though he clearly has the speed and offensive skill to contribute to Boston’s attempt to pressure their opponents, the youngster has lacked execution and thus only has three points in 16 games. The Bruins’ depth, in general, has been lackluster. A skilled young winger like Bjork could very well grab the shovel and starting digging Boston’s bottom-two lines out of the hole they’ve found themselves in.
Bruins vs. Stars Outlook
The Bruins are battered and bruised on the blue line. Jakub Zboril and Connor Clifton will be making their NHL debuts on Friday. Clifton will be getting minutes on the top pair with Krug while Zboril will be delegated third-pair duties with Steven Kampfer. This bumps Jeremy Lauzon up the second pair with Matt Grzelcyk.
The Stars need more production from their first line, especially Seguin who leads his team in assists and points so far this season. They will also need their depth to step up with a number of players out with injuries including John Klingberg, Marc Methot, and Devin Shore.
Meanwhile, Boston defense is a huge concern. Three rookies who weren’t expected to get much time – if any – at the NHL level this season now have a heavy workload on their shoulders. This means Tuukka Rask, who will be starting for the first time since his leave of absence, will need to bring his best performance of the season thus far.