This Sunday the Boston Bruins (8-2-2) are in Canada to take on the Winnipeg Jets (5-7-1) and it just so happens that today is “Hockey Day in America”, so maybe this game could’ve been in Boston?
Anyway, the Bruins will be looking to move on from a horrific 3rd period versus the Buffalo Sabres that saw the B’s give up 3 unanswered goals on their way to a 4-2 loss and their 2nd loss in as many games.
Head coach Claude Julien believes in his team and wasn’t putting much stock into the rare late-game collapse, “Lets not read too much into one period because we competed well for two,” Julien said . “We don’t expect our team to be perfect.”
I don’t expect the Bruins to be perfect either but I also don’t like 3rd period collapses against divisional opponents. I know they are in good shape but its a short season and every game matters just a bit more. Need to win games you should win and you can’t afford to give many away. On that note, B’s assistant captain Patrice Bergeron just thinks they need to learn from it ,”We had a good 40 minutes and then we sat back and came out flat and we need to learn from it,” said Bergeron. “We need to make sure we realize that we need to play for 60 minutes and the team’s that do good in this league do have some let downs.”
The core of this team has been together for awhile and they’ve won a good chunk of games together, so they know what it takes. Under Julien’s leadership the B’s have shown a great ability to bounce back and I believe they will tonight against the Jets play by playing a good road game for three periods instead of two.
Bruins leading goal scorer, Brad Marchand, feels the same way I do. “It’s huge, right now there’s no time to focus on games we’ve played in the past and our record right now is more about making sure we come out better and have a stronger game,” Marchand said. “We can’t lose a third game in a row. It’s a huge game and we really have to get back on track.”
I agree, they can’t and shouldn’t lose a third game in a row, however things will be a bit tougher for the B’s who will be without top left-winger Milan Lucic who returned to Boston for “personal reasons”. Recently signed veteran, Jay Pandolfo, will take Lucic’s roster spot and is expected to play on the 4th line with Shawn Thornton and Gregory Campbell.
If you want a further breakdown of the B’s lines for tonight’s game check out Causeway Crowd’s editor, Andrew Thompson’s breaking down of the new formations.
Final Score Prediction: Bruins win 3-2 in a tightly contested game against a Jets team that will be without its leading scorer, Tobias Enstrom, who is out hurt.
(All quotes used in this article were taken from BostonBruins.com.)