Causeway gameday! Boston Bruins like a well “Oiled” machine

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 05: Connor McDavid
BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 05: Connor McDavid /

The Boston Bruins have now won four games in a row, and they’re playing their best hockey of the season.  Can they continue to ride the momentum and climb the standings?

It’s such a good feeling to be able to write these Causeway gameday posts now and not have to say that the Boston Bruins are looking for back-to-back wins.  In fact, recently, it’s been the complete opposite; we’ve been able to sing the team’s praises, and comment about victory and not defeat.  The team now sits at 10-7-4, 24 points, and they’re only 1 point behind the Red Wings for a playoff spot, with 3 games in hand.

Boston Bruins
BOSTON, MA – NOVEMBER 18: Pittsburgh Penguins Center Sidney Crosby (87) gives a fist pump after scoring a goal. During the Pittsburgh Penguins game against the Boston Bruins on November 24, 2017 at TD Bank Garden in Boston, MA. (Photo by Michael Tureski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

The Bruins are coming off a win against the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins.  The 4-3 game realistically should have been a 4-2 game, if not for the referees and the NHL stepping in to help their golden boy, Sidney Crosby.  Last I checked, when the puck goes in after the whistle blows, that isn’t a goal.  Well, at least it isn’t a goal for 30 other teams and the hundreds of other players in the league.  And for all those other players, a slash would have been called if they whacked the goalie like Sid did on the play.  But the Bruins got the win, so I digress.

Tonight, the reigning Hart Trophy winner Connor McDavid and the–disappointing, I guess is the best word–Edmonton Oilers (8-13-2, 18 points) come to Boston.  I’ll be honest, I picked the Edmonton Oilers to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup Final in my 2017-2018 NHL season prediction post.  Hey, at least it looks like I was right about one of those teams…


Well, it’s definitely not the usual gametime for NHL games.  Puck drop is scheduled for 5:00 pm in today’s game at the TD Garden in Boston, MA, or 3:00 pm Edmonton time.  Perhaps the NHL is catering to the Edmonton audience, because 3:00 pm sounds a bit more like a start time for an NHL game.  The game will be televised locally on NESN.  For those who want to listen, turn the dial to 98.5 The Sports Hub.

What to watch for

Without a doubt, the number 1 thing to watch for is…the number 1 goalie.  Head coach Bruce Cassidy announced that the Bruins would be starting struggling goalie Tuukka Rask in today’s game against the Oilers.

Boston Bruins
BOSTON, MA – NOVEMBER 24: Kevan Miller /

Anton Khudobin has been an absolute revelation for the team.  He has backstopped the team in every game of their current 4 game win streak.  He is 7-0-2 with a .932 save percentage and 2.22 GAA.  But, thinking forward, the Bruins play the red-hot Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday.  So starting Rask against the struggling Oilers makes sense.  Perhaps a quality win today can get Rask’s confidence up a bit.  Then, you throw out the hot-hand in Khudobin against the hot team.  Great player management there.

Next: Predicting the Bruins next recall

The other thing to watch for is Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.  The two were an absolutely terrifying duo last season.  However, head coach Todd McClellan has separated them in the lineup recently.  Perhaps this may be why the team is 2nd to last in the Western Conference in goals scored, behind only San Jose.