If you asked me before the road trip what would make this successful, I would have told you that the Bruins would need to take four points home. That’s already happen so overall? Successful road trip.
But here’s the thing: Everything from here on out is basically an important game. Let’s take a look at the playoff standings.
The last wild card spot is currently a log jam between Boston, New York Islanders, Florida and Toronto. You can even throw Philadelphia into the mix, but the Flyers have 63 points and have some catching up to do. Luckily for the Bruins, the Flyers are in their February swoon so there’s not much to worry about.
So between the last wild card spot and the Atlantic Division – every game is important. A win tonight vaults Boston into the third spot in the Atlantic Division and closes the gap between Montreal to a paltry four points.
And that brings us to Dallas.
I haven’t paid attention to the Stars a lot this season and that’s a shock coming from such a Tyler Seguin mark. I don’t really have a good reason, but let me tell you how shocked I was to see that Dallas is basically out of the playoffs at this point. They have 58 points and would need a nice winning streak to catch St. Louis or Calgary.
So what’s Dallas’ downfall?
Their goaltending! For years it has been obvious to everyone who isn’t named James Nill that the Stars’ defense and goaltending is a bucket of petrified donkey dicks. Goal differential puts the Stars at minus 25. To add on to that, among goalies who have played 20 or more games, Kari Lehtonen is ranked 35th overall in GAA at 2.86 and 38th in SV% at .903. Antti Niemi has been even worse and the bad thing for the Stars?
They’re both locked up with No Trade Clauses for next season at a combined cap hit of $10.4M.
Stars fanse right now:
Maybe Tuukka Rask isn’t so bad you guys!
He’s On Fire
I threw a very large Frank Vatrano party when I talked about the Bruins under Cassidy. Here’s what I wrote from my last recap:
Vatrano has been a monster in his last five games for the Bruins. He’s netted 3 goals, has assisted 3 times and is shooting about 16%. He’s been a perfect fit on the Bruins third line because:
- It allows Ryan Spooner to have a legitimate scoring threat to pass to.
- Allows Vatrano to go up against weaker defensive pairings who he can exploit in space.
- Allows the Bruins to tailor any matchups where they can roll out three lines that have a scoring threat on it.
While Vatrano was injured, the Bruins didn’t have the luxury of doing number three. Their third line was a mish-mash of Matt Beleskeys, Jimmy Hayeses and Austin Czarniks. Vatrano at 23 is already better than anything Boston has rolled out on their third line this season and potentially the past few seasons. If I was given the choice of one person to shoot below the dots, I’m going to pick Vatrano 9 out of 10 times. That seems to be his sweet spot and it makes the Bruins a more dangerous team than they have been.
Light Him On Fire.
I….I actually don’t have anything for this. The Bruins are playing really well right now.
Who To Watch
The man is cruising towards a second straight 30 goal season. He scored #26 against the Kings on Thursday night and should play well against old pal TyTy.
Marchand career vs Dallas: 7 games played, 4 goals, 4 assists, 8 points, 16% shooting percentage.
Speaking of my long lost love:
Fuck, I mentioned the trade. Ah well.
Seguin is having a “down year” for Tyler Seguin, but still has 59 points and is 7th in the league in points. Seguin has done this with Jamie Been being in and out of the lineup for various injuries.
Seguin career versus Boston: 6 games played, 3 goals, 2 assists, 5 points, 12.5% shooting percent.
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Time for some dope ass Sunday morning music: