Record: 31-26-12 (8th in East)
The Bruins are right in the thick of a playoff spot, and if they want to stay there they are going to need a open up a decent lead (or maintain the three point one they currently have) over the Rangers then a win could do them some good.
For some ungodly reason Mark Recchi has been playing some outstanding hockey lately. I probably shouldn't preface his name with a phrase like that, but it's almost like the guy goes through one stretch a year where he makes you doubt how old he is and just how valuable he can really be to a team looking to crack the playoff cut. Over the last six games, Rech has three multi-point efforts to bring his overall line to three goals and three helpers. I hate to say it, as he has burned the Pens on occasion in the past, but keep an eye on him.
Another guy currently playing out of his mind is Patrice Bergeron. I've always liked the guy and felt wicked bad when, early in the 2007-08 season, Philly's Randy Jones left a big mark on his young career with a devastating crash into the boards. So while I am happy to see Bergeron picking up four goals and three assists over the last five games, I wouldn't mind if he took a game off from his tear. Just for tonight. Just to be a pal.
Of course the story of tonight's game is overshadowed by the previously posted Matt Cooke retaliation concerns. For what it's worth, Colin Campbell will be on hand for the game, likely keeping a very close eye on how the events take course. I somehow imagine him walking into each locker room before the game and providing a friendly remember about headhunting, flying elbows, late hits, hits to the back, etc. The list goes on.
Boston head coach Claude Julien is keeping his game plan simple, stating the Bruins' priority is to "win the game." Sounds like solid advice for a team looking to play some postseason hockey. The Penguins on the other hand, more specifically Sidney Crosby, are prepared for whatever the Bruins will throw at them. While admitting it may get chippy, I'm sure Sid is quietly making an effort to keep his head up at all times tonight. There has been some talk, specifically made from personalities around the Boston area, that suggests Crosby should keep his head up after what happened to Marc Savard. But we all know -- or I should say, HOPE -- that unless Steve Downie magically tosses on a Bruins jersey for tonight's game, then I think Sid can at least take "cheap shots" out of the Boston repertoire.
At least you'd hope.
Puck and thread at 7:00. Stop by and tune in sooner in case Cooke and _______ look to get this over with early on.