Causeway gameday! Howlin’ good time for Boston Bruins

GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 14: Jake DeBrusk /

The Boston Bruins weren’t able to repeat their early success against the Predators on Monday.  Can they bounce back against the ‘Yotes?

The Boston Bruins may have lost on Monday night.  And yes, losses are bad in any sport.  But the team did something that had been missing for a portion of the season:  they showed heart.  The team went down 4-0 against a tough Nashville Predators team.  Rather than close up shop and move onto the next game, the team fought back, and got back to a 4-3 score, before the game ended 5-3 in favor of Nashville.

Boston Bruins
NASHVILLE, TN – DECEMBER 04: Linesman Shandor Alphonso (52) separates Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban (76) and Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) during the NHL game between the Nashville Predators and the Boston Bruins, held on December 4, 2017, at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

This team that is finally starting to get fully healthy is really starting to impress on the ice.  Veteran leaders are doing what their supposed to do, in leading by example.  The Charlie McAvoy – Zdeno Chara defense pairing is a match made in heaven.  Young players like Danton Heinen and Noel Acciari are fulfilling their roles on the team.  Top-six forward Jake DeBrusk is close to a return, as is tough-guy Adam McQuaid on the back-end.

The Bruins currently sit at 12-9-4, 28 points, and are 4th in the Atlantic Division.  They have 4 games in hand over the Montreal Canadiens, who are in 3rd at 13-13-3, 29 points, and 4 games in hand over Toronto Maple Leafs at 18-10-1, 37 points.  The Tampa Bay Lightning are likely out of reach, but could this team catch Montreal or Toronto and be in the Top-3 of the Division come playoff time?  Absolutely.

The Arizona Coyotes (7-18-5, 19 points) come to town tonight.  The Bruins won the first matchup between the teams back in October.  Since then, Arizona has been in the basement of the NHL all season.  However, they have been playing better hockey as of late.  They have only 7 wins, and 5 of those are in their last 10 games (5-3-2).  Those 5 wins have been against good teams, in New Jersey, Los Angeles, Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa.  Young future stars like Clayton Keller, Max Domi, and Anthony Duclair can all be difference makers in any game, so containing them is a priority.

More from Causeway Crowd


The game tonight takes place on Causeway Street at the TD Garden in Boston, MA.  For the Coyotes and their fans, puck drop is at 4:00 pm.  For the Bruins, puck drop is at 7:00 pm.  I always wondered what it would be like to be a Bruins fan living on the West Coast, missing almost every first period of the game because puck drop is during the work day.  Whatever, fire me.  I’m watching the Bruins.  Oh, yeah, the game will be on NESN and 98.5 The Sports Hub.

What to watch for

A lot of the talk in Boston sports has revolved around the Bruins lineup.  The team is playing so well right now, the question becomes:  when a player comes back from injury, who sits?  Head coach Bruce Cassidy considers it a good problem to have, and I would agree because it increases the competition level of the team and the players.  But when it comes to chemistry, that is an intangible factor that can be explained or planned for.

Jake DeBrusk is nearing a return, and I would imagine he would resume a Top-6 role based upon his play prior to his injury.  He plays a fast and strong game, and he’s learned from his earlier mistakes of being a bit too loosey-goosey with defensive coverage.  But if he comes back, who then sits?

If Ryan Spooner is injured and can’t play, the decision is easy.  You keep sitting Frank Vatrano and Matt Beleskey, and slot DeBrusk in.  Speaking of Matt Beleskey, can we PLEASE put him on waivers already?  But if Spooner’s good to go, what do you do?

Can’t sit Danton Heinen, he’s been a consistent ball of energy in the lineup and has 13 points this season.  But the 4th line of Tim Schaller-Sean Kuraly-Noel Acciari has been bringing fond memories of the old Merlot Line of Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton, so you can’t break that up, can you?.  Riley Nash has been a do-everything, play anywhere guy for the team…how do you sit him down?

I’ll tell you one thing:  I don’t envy Bruce Cassidy right now, having to make decisions like this.  I think if anyone sits it would be Sean Kuraly, and Nash would move down to 4th line center, making room for DeBrusk in the Top-9 at least.  But seriously, what a problem to have!

Next: Bruins Week 9 Round-Up

Oh, and as we’ve stated before, the goalie controversy is done, Tuukka Rask is the #1 goaltender.  Anton Khudobin got yanked from the last game, and Tuukka came in and almost cleaned up the pieces to a win.  Having won the team’s trust back, it was already announced that he’ll be in net tonight for the Bruins.