Boston Bruins: B’s and Blue Jackets in the same boat.


Sep 23, 2014; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Boston Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller (86) crashes in Boston Bruins goalie Niklas Svedberg (72) net during the second period at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Bruins have had terrible luck when it’s come to the injury bug this year. The Bruins keep losing key players and bad times. If you watched the Bruins/Blues game the other night, you know what I mean. NESN broadcasted a view of the injured players up on the ninth level. It looked like half an Olympic hockey team was up there. Adam McQuaid was finally getting back into his stride as being a much needed presence is injured again. He broke his thumb in the second period and is expected to be out until after the New Year.

Brad Marchand is day to day, and may play against Columbus. Zdeno Chara is still out with his knee. David Warsofsky is still battling his groin injury, and Dougie Hamilton is questionable as he’s got the flu. (The B’s just sent Zach Trotman down, and they may either ask him to come back or offer Chris Casto a shot at the NHL.)

The news isn’t all bleak in Boston. Kevan Miller will be ready to get back on the ice for Friday night’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Blue Jackets can understand the Bruins situation, as they’ve been in the same boat the Black and Gold have been.

Nathan Horton is out with his back problem, and he’s likely to be on a Marc Savard type long-term injury reserve contract. There are doubts he’ll be able to play another NHL game. That’s a tragedy for Horton and his family, a disaster for the Columbus Blue Jackets, and an ugly feeling for anyone who has ever been a friend to the Black and Gold. Nathan Horton saved the Bruins post season on two separate occasions during the 2011 Stanley Cup run. His being blindsided by Aaron Rome in game three was the ‘Hulkamania’ moment that got the Bruins re-energized thanks to individual efforts from Rich Peverley (who also may never play hockey again) and Shawn Thornton (who will likely never play for Boston again).

The Bruins and the Blue Jackets have more in common than a laundry list of injured players. They are both blue-collar teams that play honest, defensive minded hockey. They both know what it’s like to take a severe shellacking in a game, and both know how important is to come back fighting. The Bruins are on a two game win streak after seeing one of their worst Canadian road trips in recent memory. The Blue Jackets were handed a severe 5-0 drubbing at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings. The Blue Jackets are 2-5-1 for the month of November, and they’re already playing desperate hockey.

They do have a few things in common. Both teams are playing with a pack of smaller players. Both squads have blooded half a dozen or so AHL players. Both teams share the misfortune of  having terrible periods in their games (The B’s the second, the Blue Jackets the third). The B’s and Blue Jackets have an equal mix of solid veterans and young talent, and both teams acquired new blood during the off season.

The Bruins have had better luck managing their injuries than the Blue Jackets have. Some could argue that thanks to Peter Chiarelli, the Bruins Providence talent pool has been enough to sustain the B’s. Others could argue that the B’s had a more merciful schedule during the injury drought in Boston. No matter how you see it, two teams with a lot in common will be taking each other on in Columbus on Friday night.