Another day, another bout of injury news for the Bruins. Just getting absolutely hosed by the hockey gods early into the 2017 campaign. Seems like every day that the Bruins are issuing an injury update on a new key player. Now, is the loss of Ryan Spooner completely detrimental? Absolutely not. Ryan Spooner is a prime example of a player that has “all the tools”, and no “toolbox”. He’s above average to good skating ability. He’s got decent vision, hands, and produces on powerplay.
Ryan’s biggest issue is his head. There are times in which he is invisible for games at a time. He seems to get rattled easily from coaching, and is completely unwilling to sacrifice his body to make plays. Spooner is slotting in as the B’s third line center and generally on the second powerplay unit. Occasionally, he looks like an elite player and will slot in to play on the top powerplay. Not overly concerned with the loss of him, but it takes out a player that has at least shown a small ability to score at decent clip.
This was mentioned briefly yesterday as it broke in the afternoon, but with today being a game-day I wanted to address it. This is worrisome. The Bruins go as far as Tuukka Rask takes them. It’s that simple. Rask is the most over-scrutinized athlete in Boston. The guy is easily a top 10 goalie in the NHL. He finished 2016 with 65 games played, tied for the most in the NHL for goalies. Part of this is how unreliable Bruins backup goalies have been the past year. Backup Anton Khudobin finished 2016 with an underwhelming .904 save %, and a 2.64 goals against average. These numbers are respectable considering he started the year 0-5, and was sent to Providence to find his game.
So far, it looks like Rask will miss at least this next game as Bruce Cassidy confirmed that he will be out this evening.
Nothing too special with the lineup tonight. Bergeron is still listed as a game time decision, so someone else may have to step into that top line center role. Backes will be making his season debut, after recovering from Diverticulitis. Will be good to have both (hopefully) back in the lineup.
D. Sedin-H. Sedin-Granlund
The Canucks come in with a 1-2-1 record so far. They are a team expected to finish in the bottom 10 of the league, if not bottom 5. They do have some quality young players mixed in with Hall of Fame veterans. Bo Horvat is one to keep an eye on as young lethal goal scoring center, and Brock Boeser who currently leads the Canucks in points at 4.
Overall, we’re going to need a full 60 minute effort from the boys to wrap up 2 points. While Vancouver definitely sucks, they are a team who can compete with anyone on any given night. It also helps to have two future Hall of Famers (Sedins) on your top line. Despite all this, I think the Bruins find their game and pull out a 3-1 victory in front of the TD Garden crowd.
Quickly before I go, remember how excited I was that Cehlarik was called up yesterday? I certainly do:
Let’s go B’s!!!!!!