Tuesday, November 1st, 2011
TSN, Team 1200
The defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins are suffering from one of the worst cases of Stanley Cup Hangover in recent memory. They currently sit dead last in the Eastern Conference with a 3-7 record. They have lost 3 straight games, including two in a row to the rival Montreal Canadiens. They have been off since Saturday, and if they are going to get back in the race, they will be needing to start tonight.
The Senators, on the other hand, are the hottest team in the league and will be looking to extend their winning streak to 7 games. Before the season started, by the prognostications around the league you would have thought that they wouldn’t win 7 games all year, yet alone in a row. They will be without Daniel Alfredsson for the second straight game with his (officially acknowledged) concussion, as well as Kaspars Daugavins. The Daug scored his first NHL goal on Sunday (the game winner), but was returned to Bingo for some dental surgery.
Jason Spezza‘s 6 game scoring streak was snapped against the Leafs, so the NHL’s second leading scorer will be looking to start a new one. The defense corps has rounded into shape and seems to be stepping up to carry the club. All 6 regulars are doing their jobs most nights and it is a big reason for the success of the team. Expect Zenon Konopka to get back into the lineup and Nikita Filatov to get more ice time than he did Sunday.
Expect the starting goaltenders to be Craig Anderson for the Senators and Tim Thomas for the Bruins.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
David Rundblad, D (OTT) – Every game the rookie defeseman grows by leaps and bounds. The 110 foot pass to spring Colin Greening for a breakaway goal on Sunday was highlight reel material. His confidence with the puck and play without it is starting to reach the expectations heaped on him heading into the season.
Tyler Seguin, C (BOS) – As much as the Bruins have struggled, Seguin has thrived. The second year forward leads his club in goals (4) assists (6) and points (10), as well as +/- (+7). The Bruins have only scored 22 goals, and Seguin has been in on 45% of them.
KEYS TO A SENATORS VICTORY
1. Play a Full 60 – The Senators have won 6 in a row, but arguabley they have yet to play a complete game. They have either had the lead and coughed it up, or had to play catchup. They need to find consistency to make the streak continue.
2. Play Whistle to Whistle – The Bruins play their best when they can mix it up after the whistle. The Senators can not fall into their trap, and if they can avoid the extra-curricular activities after the whistle, it should frustrate the Bruins and give the Senators power play opportunities.
3. Good First 10 Minutes – The Bruins will be desparate, and will come out that way in front of their home fans. If the Senators can stem the tide early on, the Bruins could implode and their fans turn on them quickly.
This is the second of four straight divisional games where they will play each one of their Northeast rivals. They are one for one so far, and making it two for two tonight will go a long way to proving that they are for real.
Thanks for reading and as always, comments are welcomed.
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