Causeway gameday! Boston Bruins take on Banks and Conway

ANAHEIM, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Sami Vatanen
ANAHEIM, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Sami Vatanen /

Hope nobody has to go to work early on Thursday.  The Boston Bruins start a 3 game West Coast swing tonight with a stop at Disneyland…er, wait, no sorry…with a stop in Anaheim against the Ducks.

If there are two teams who could be deemed close to identical, it’s the Boston Bruins and the Anaheim Ducks.  Both teams have had their fair share of adversity faced this season, and both teams are not where their fans would expect them to be.

The similarities are incredible.  The Ducks are at .500 (7-7-3, 17 points), and sit 6th in the Pacific Division.  The Bruins are at .500 (6-6-4, 16 points), and sit 6th in the Atlantic Division.  Each team has earned 1 point for each game played.  Both teams also have a fairly similar goal differential this season (Anaheim:  48 GF – 50 GA; Boston:  44 GF – 51 GA).

RALEIGH, NC – OCTOBER 29: Elias Lindholm
RALEIGH, NC – OCTOBER 29: Elias Lindholm /

The biggest similarity, however, is how injured both teams have been to start the season.  The Bruins injuries have been documented here at Causeway Crowd ad nauseum.  Krejci, Spooner, McQuaid, Marchand, Backes, etc.  The Ducks have likewise been bitten by the injury bug.  Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler, Cam Fowler, Patrick Eaves, all missing significant time with various injuries.  It wouldn’t surprise me at all if we saw an Adam Banks or Charlie Conway call-up to fill the line-up gaps.

Both the Ducks and the Bruins made the playoffs last season, with the Ducks making it to the Western Conference Finals.  Yet both are currently on the outside looking in nearly a quarter of the way into the season.  Absent a turnaround by either team that includes getting healthy, the playoffs may be out of reach for both.


Be sure to stop by your local Dunkin’ and get yourself a Box o’ Joe, because it’s going to be a late one.  The puck drop at the Honda Center is scheduled for 10:00 pm tonight.  Slightly better than the 10:30 pm puck drops that happen for most California games (like Thursday and Saturday will be).  The game will be on NESN for local viewers, and 98.5 The Sports Hub for the listening audience.

What to watch for

These lines get funkier every game it seems.  According to the Bruins Twitter page, David Krejci has finally shed his non-contact jersey.  This means he actually participated in practice, and word is, he is a gametime decision for tonight’s tilt.  The Bruins need him back in the worst way, especially given the anticipated absence of Brad Marchand and Anders Bjork.  That home-and-home sweep by Toronto stings even more now, because it caused Marchand and Bjork to get nicked-up.

Peter Cehlarik and Kenny Agostino were both call-ups for the trip, and both could slot in if Krejci can’t go tonight.  If Krejci does come back, I imagine one of those two or Szwarz will be in the press box.  Szwarz if they want Krejci to resume the center position; one of the other two if he plays wing to get back to full-strength.  In 6 games in Providence, Cehlarik has decent numbers (3-3–6).  Agostino had one assist in 5 games in Boston earlier this year, and has 9 points in 8 games in Providence.

Next: Bruins prediction: Chara will be moved

The Bruins are coming off their second negative sweep of a home-and-home series this year.  A team that is having identity troubles already keeps having to change personnel, which does not help the situation.  A 3 game road trip against solid teams is not exactly what the doctor ordered.  But in positive news, happy birthday to Kevan Miller, who turns 30 today.  Maybe a birthday goal or three big guy?