Causeway gameday! Limping Boston Bruins host Canucks

VANCOUVER, BC - MARCH 13: Zdeno Chara
VANCOUVER, BC - MARCH 13: Zdeno Chara /

It’s been 3 full days since the Boston Bruins last suited up for a game.  Normally, a layoff like this would be good for a team.  However, this layoff came with just as much bad news as good news.

I think it’s fair to say that every Boston Bruins fan thinks fondly of the month of June 2011.  The Bruins snapping a 29-year championship drought brought joy to a fan base that had been suffering in mediocrity-land.  And, the fact that it involved defeating the finger-biting Vancouver Canucks in the process made it that much sweeter.

Boston Bruins
VANCOUVER, BC – JUNE 01: Alex Burrows /

However, we are now 6 1/2 years removed from that Bruins’ championship run.  Most of the team members that lifted Lord Stanley’s Cup are no longer in Boston.  Claude Julien was sacked, and now coaches the Montreal Canadiens.  A Bruins team that used to be comprised of veteran grinders has been replaced with youth, speed, and skill.  My, how the tables have turned.

I’m going to chalk the Bruins slow start up to growing pains.  First, the team has been without leaders Patrice Bergeron and David Backes.  The team features a roster with nearly 1/3 of its skaters having less than a full year’s worth of NHL experience.  The team has the talent to make some noise; it’s just a matter of channeling that talent, developing chemistry, and playing some defense.


The Bruins finally return home after an up-and-down 3 game road trip.  The Bruins looked great in one game, and listless in the others.  Perhaps sleeping in their own beds since Sunday’s game in Vegas, and doing some chores around David Backes’ house, will do them some good.  The game time is 7:00 pm at the TD Garden in Boston, MA.  The game will be televised on NESN, and for the audiophile readers, broadcast on 98.5 The Sports Hub.

What to watch for…

More from Causeway Crowd

Head coach Bruce Cassidy has been tasked with trying to mold an incredibly young roster.  This has obviously led to him making regular lineup changes to see what pieces fit.   There is a chance that both Bergeron and Backes could return to the lineup tonight, which would be a huge boost to the offense (and defense for that matter).

Adam McQuaid took a brutal Colin Miller slapper off the knee in Sunday’s game.  He missed practice on Tuesday, but apparently was a full participant yesterday.  However, the defense pairings were changed up a bit by Cassidy, perhaps to solidify what has been some weak defensive play.

The Bruins were not so lucky when it came to the injury to Ryan Spooner.  He has been diagnosed with a right adducter groin tear, and he will be out 4-6 weeks.  If Bergeron is still out tonight and in future games, the Bruins will be without 2 of their top 3 centers.  Not exactly an exciting prospect.

Also, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that everyone in Boston isn’t on a whale-watch (get it?), but on a Tuukka-watch.  He was helped off the ice yesterday during practice after a collision with Anders Bjork.  Right now, no word on what if any injury he suffered.  Zane McIntyre was reported recalled in the middle of the night.  Take that information for what it’s worth.

Here are what the practice lines looked like yesterday:

Next: Cassidy re-shuffles defense

The Canucks were a team that not many people had faith in this season.  The Sporting News predicted a 2nd to last place finish in the division, just above the expansion Golden Knights.  These are the types of games the Bruins cannot afford to lose:  at home, on 3 days rest, against a weak out-of-conference opponent.