Here’s your Boston Hockey Now Boston Bruins Game Day Preview:
Boston Bruins (19-3-0, 38 pts) vs Colorado Avalanche (13-7-1, 27 pts)
TIME: 7 P.M. ET,
TV: NESN, NHL Network, ESPN+
Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub
The Boston Bruins are excited to have the reigning Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche coming to town to provide another test for one of the NHL’s best this season.
“They’re at the top of the mountain. They are an exceptional team with a lot of really special players,” said Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery. “It’s always fun to play against those teams to see where you’re at.”
Clearly the Avalanche have lost some players from last season’s Cup-winning group and the B’s have added a few pieces that now have them atop the league standings, but this Colorado group still has Nathan MacKinnon, Cale Makar and plenty of other weapons that can do damage. The difference is that the Boston Bruins are even more high-powered than the Avalanche averaging a full half-goal more than Colorado while also boasting a potential Vezina Trophy candidate in Linus Ullmark.
Montgomery was tight-lipped on which goalie is going to play for the Black and Gold, but we’d bank on it being Ullmark (2.00 goals against average and .935 save percentage) against the high-powered Avalanche at this point.
Boston Bruins Notes
-Boston Bruins winger Taylor Hall is coming off a two-goal performance against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night and has performed well since being slotted on the third line with Charlie Coyle and Trent Frederic. It’s something that really illustrates just how deep the Boston Bruins lineup is this season.
“It was the season after he was MVP that I first coached in the league [and] you could tell he was an elite player,” said Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery. “Coming here, I was excited to work with him because he is older now, as far as where he is, his maturity in his game. And what’s important to him now is winning. He wants to win a Cup. He wants to be in a dressing room that values winning, that has that pedigree, and I think it shows in the way he is playing.
“He is very accepting of the fact that I’m using him on the third line and we’re using him on the second power play because that is what’s best for the Boston Bruins. I can’t say enough about his exemplary attitude. He’s still getting 15 minutes a night, and some nights he’s getting 16, 17 depending on special teams.”
–With Tuesday night’s win over Tampa Bay, the Bruins improved to 13-0-0 at home and became the fifth team in NHL history to reach 20 consecutive home wins (regular season and playoffs), joining the 1975-76 Flyers (24), 2011-12 Red Wings (23), 1984-85 Flyers (20), and 1929-30 Bruins (20).
–Anton Stralman was placed on waivers ahead of Tuesday night’s win over the Lightning and cleared waivers earlier this week. The 36-year-old defenseman has not reported to AHL Providence, however, and is around the team working out on his own while formulating what’s next for him.
–Craig Smith is day-to-day with an upper body injury for a Boston Bruins team that’s getting pretty healthy at this point.
Colorado Avalanche Notes
-Nathan MacKinnon is coming in red-hot after finishing with two goals and five points in a 6-4 win over the Buffalo Sabres earlier this week. MacKinnon has a team-leading five goals and 12 points in 16 career games against the Black and Gold.
-The two teams will renew acquaintances again quickly as the Boston Bruins will hit the road and play the Avalanche at Ball Arena next Wednesday night.
Boston Bruins Lineup:
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jake DeBrusk
Pavel Zacha-David Krejci-David Pastrnak
Taylor Hall-Charlie Coyle-Trent Frederic
Nick Foligno-Tomas Nosek-AJ Greer
Matt Grzelcyk-Charlie McAvoy
Hampus Lindholm-Brandon Carlo
Derek Forbort-Connor Clifton
Colorado Avalanche Lineup:
Artturi Lehkonon-Nathan MacKinnon-Mikko Rantanen
Andrew Cogliano-JT Compher-Logan O’Connor
Andrew Galchenyuk-Alex Newhook-Jean-Luc Foudy
Anton Blidh-Jayson Megna-Dylan Hunt
Devon Toews-Cale Makar
Samuel Girard-Andreas Englund
Jacob MacDonald-Erik Johnson