Boston Bruins look to down the Caunuckleheads in Vancouver

BOSTON - OCTOBER 6: The Boston Bruins 2011 Stanley Cup banner rises next to the 1972 banner. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON - OCTOBER 6: The Boston Bruins 2011 Stanley Cup banner rises next to the 1972 banner. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images) /

The Vancouver Canucks may have one of the best rookies in the NHL, but the Boston Bruins have several rookies that do their jobs.  Which set up will prevail?

Tonight’s game between the Boston Bruins and the Vancouver Canucks marks the second meeting between the teams this season.  In October, when the Bruins were playing inconsistent, subpar hockey, the Bruins laid a 2011-style beatdown on the Canucks in Boston, defeating them 6-3.

Boston Bruins
BOSTON – JUNE 18: Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas and Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara head out with the Stanley Cup from the TD Garden as throngs of fans who gathered to watch, cheered them on. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images) /

That game was Patrice Bergeron’s season debut, and he started his campaign off with a bang, notching a goal and 3 assists.  Bergeron hasn’t taken his foot off the gas since that point, and currently finds himself widely discussed as a Hart Trophy candidate as league MVP.  In his 50 games played this season, Bergeron has 27 goals and 24 assists, for 51 points.  He’s currently on pace for a 41 goals, 36 assist season.  If he keeps up this pace, the goal total and point total would be career highs.

After the Patriots lost the Super Bowl, the Canucks FanSided blog, The Canuck Way, decided to chirp us, as they tend to do from time to time.  We obviously reminded them that they have very short memories, because last we checked, the Bruins beat them in 2010-2011, and the Canucks have basically gone nowhere since.  And in terms of “what have you done for me lately,” the Bruins sit 2nd in the entire Eastern Conference at 35-12-8 (78 points), whereas the Canucks are 14th in the Western Conference at 22-30-6 (50 points).

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Time to invest in some coffee Bruins fans.  Tonight’s game starts a five game roadtrip, with the first 3 games in Western Canada.  Monday and Tuesday’s games are 4:00 pm and 9:00 pm starts, but tonight’s game is scheduled for a 10:00 pm puck drop at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia.  Grab your Dunkin’ folks, it’s gonna be a late one.

What to watch for

As mentioned before, Patrice Bergeron is having a stellar year for the Bruins.  In his last 19 games, Bergeron has 17 goals and 10 assists, arguably one of the best offensive stretches of his career.  But the thing to watch with Bergeron is who is on the ice with him.  Marchand is a no-brainer, but last game, David Pastrnak was demoted down the lineup.  Bruce Cassidy was trying to send the young winger a message, and hopefully it was received.

Canucks rookie Brock Boeser is having a Calder Trophy caliber season, with 27 goals and 22 assists in 54 games.  If it weren’t for the unreal season being put together by Mathew Barzal for the Islanders, I think Boeser would be a shoo-in.  Once you get beyond Boeser, though, there isn’t much depth in the Canucks arsenal.  Thomas Vanek and the Sedin twins are the next highest point getters, and none of them have more than 30 points.

Next: Looking back at 5 bad Bruins trades

The Bruins have had several days off since their last game against the Calgary Flames on Tuesday.  That means we’ll see #1 netminder Tuukka Rask in the crease tonight, who slowly but surely is working way into Vezina Trophy consideration.  Kevan Miller won’t be suiting up, and Jordan Szwarz was recalled on an emergency basis to serve as an extra forward.