Watch It: MSG-Plus Listen To It: 660 AM
The Last 10 Games: New Jersey is 7-2-1 and Boston is 6-4-0
Season Series: This will be the 3rd of 4 meetings this season. Boston has won both previous meetings.
Know Your Enemy: Days of Yorr
What We Think of the Bruins: While they aren’t #1 overall or even #1 in the conference, to me, they are the best team in the league.
The Big Story: We saw Boston just 2 weeks ago and the Devils went into that game playing decent hockey. By the end of that night the Bruins had put some serious doubt in our minds about the Devils. They took it to us for the better part of 60 minutes and really showed there was a serious gap between the two teams. So the question is, what’s changed? The Devils are once again playing decent hockey going into a matchup against the Bruins. Can we compete? Can we score goals? More importantly, can we stop Boston from scoring goals? It’s great to beat teams like Winnipeg and Edmonton but Boston starts a string of games against upper tier teams (Philly and the Rangers within the next week). We will certainly get an idea of exactly how good we are over the next week.
What I expect Tonight: I hope NJ is expecting the same team that they played 2 weeks ago. The one bad thing about the Bruins seems to be consistency. I said it in my preview last time that Boston has the ability to pump in 6 or 7 goals a night. They seem to be a team that at times can score at will one night and have the well dry up the other night. The Bruins are coming off a bad loss where Claude Julien sort of called out the Bruins play.
“Our guys are not competing as hard as they should, and because of that we’re just an ordinary hockey club right now.””
So I would hope the Devils are expecting a team out to prove to that they are more than just an ordinary hockey team, the one that can pump in 6 or 7 goals in a 60 minute span.
The Devils appear to be getting Adam Henrique back tonight which is good news but the Bruins appear to be getting Brad Marchand and Rich Peverley back tonight, which isn’t good news for us.
If the Devils are going to find success tonight, it’s going to need to come from Elias and Kovalchuk. Elias leads NJ with 44 points while Kovalchuk is right behind him with 40 points. However, Kovalchuk hasn’t made much noise against Boston in a long time (one goal on 21 shots and a minus-7 rating in his last eight games versus Boston) and Elias hasn’t done any better (one goal, one assist and a minus-9 rating in his last 11 matchups with the Bruins). Both have been huge reasons why the Devils are surging at the moment and MUST show up tonight.
The one thing I don’t want to see tonight are turnovers. We’ve been a little careless with the puck recently and while it hasn’t really hurt us, constantly turning the puck over to a team like the Bruins will end up hurting.