On Tuesday night, the Boston Bruins will take on the New Jersey Devils at TD Garden in Boston. The Bruins got a well-earned road win last night by defeating the Carolina Hurricanes 5-3. Now, the Bruins turn their focus to a Devils team who have started the season just as hot as the Bruins.
After making it to the Stanley Cup Finals last year, the Devils have seemed to pick up right where they left off. Both of these teams have come out of the gate playing very good hockey and even though we’re only a week into the season, this game will be another very hard fought game between two great teams.
Last season, the Bruins completely dominated the season series with the Devils. The Bruins won all four games that they played and outscored the Devils eighteen to eight. Two of the games were decided by one goal, and the other two games were blow out wins by the Bruins 6-1 and 4-1. I have a gut feeling that this game tonight will not be one of those blow out games like last year.
Both teams have come into this season losing arguably their best players from last year. Tim Thomas from the Bruins and Zach Parise for the Devils. Both players left their teams for completely different reasons. Tim Thomas has decided to take a year off from hockey. After a long Stanley Cup run in 2011, and another very productive season last year, he has decided that he has missed out on time with his family and friends and felt he needed a break. On a completely different side of the spectrum, Zach Parise was a free agent after last season’s Stanley Cup run. Devils fans would have hoped that making it to the finals would have been enough to keep the All-Star in New Jersey for many more years. However: he had different plans to move elsewhere. Parise signed a monstrous deal with the Minnesota Wild in the summer worth a total $98 million over 13 years.
Clearly, both teams have moved on just fine from losing their stars. Tuukka Rask has stepped in very nicely for the Bruins so far, playing just as well as Tim Thomas, leaving no doubt that he will remain the Bruins goalie for the future. And the Devils have plenty of other weapons on their team to make them very dangerous in the East. Patrick Elias and Ilya Kovalchuk both have started this season very well and the Devils will look to them to the to pick up the scoring in Parise’s absence.
I believe that this game will be a battle of the goalies. Martin Brodeur, arguably one of the best goalies of all time versus one of the league best upcoming talents in Tuukka Rask. Both goalies will be well rested coming into this game. Rask was given the day off yesterday, and is on three days rest and Brodeur also had a day off to yesterday. I think this will be a low scoring game with the Bruins pulling it out in the third period. The Bruins also come into tonight’s game looking to keep their perfect record on home ice this season. It will be a very tough game for both sides but one thing I do know is that it will be a great one to watch!