Here we go again. In what is sure to be a physical, emotionally charged tilt, the Bruins (35-16-3) go head to head with the Vancouver Canucks (27-21-9) at the Garden tonight for the first time since January 7th, 2012. 

This will be the last of two meetings this season between the Canucks and the Bruins. The Bruins are looking to break their losing streak against the Canucks, who we have not managed to beat since game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals and who beat us 6-2 the last time we saw them this season. This game holds special important in that respect, since we definitely do not want to lose to them once again on home ice, especially not this close to the Olympics.

Tonight's game will be the last game we see Chara in before the Olympic break, since he is leaving the team early to carry the flag for Slovakia in the opening ceremonies. Outside of this, we won't be seeing McQuaid or Warsofsky in quite yet, although you can expect to see Warsofsky next game.

Bruins Projected Line Up

Lucic-Krejci-Iginla
Marchand-Bergeron-Smith
Kelly-Soderberg-Eriksson
Thornton-Campbell-Paille

Chara-Hamilton
Bartkowski-Boychuk
Krug-Miller

Team Stats

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Team: Since the last time we saw them, the Canucks have definitely been struggling. They just got their hot tempered, kind of idiotic coach back after a 15 day suspension following his attempt to break into the Flames locker room during their January 18th game. The Canucks are coming into this game after a 2-0 loss to the Red Wings and with a 3-7-0 record in their last 10 games. They are barely clinging to a wild card spot for the playoffs. At this point they are fourth in the Pacific Division with 63 points, a full 10 points behind the Bruins.They have a -7 goal differential. They average 2.51 GA/game (12th overall) and 2.44 GF/game (23rd overall). Their power play is absolutely atrocious with a 13.6 conversion rate (29th overall). On the opposite side of the coin, their penalty kill is fantastic, ranking 4th overall with an 85.3% success rate. 

Players: Offensively the Canucks have been entirely inconsistent. In their last five games they have scored 12 goals (ranging from 0 goals against the Red Wings to 5 against the Coyotes) while allowing 19 goals (ranging from the Red Wing's 2 goals to Chicago's 5). Only 10 of their players have positive ratings on the ice, ranging from Alberts' +1 to Santorelli's +9. The others range from even (4 players) to Edler's -18. Strangely enough, the Sedin twins are tied for first on the team with 40 points each (59th overall) while Kesler is in the first with 19 goals (35th overall). 

Goalie: I'm expecting to see Luongo in net tonight so expect so Luongo chants and if/when we score some more "Where's Luongo"'s coming from the stands. And maybe rightly so because, despite being chosen for the Canadian Olympic team, he's been just okay this season. He's appeared in 39 games with a 19-13-6 record. He has a 2.30 GAA (22nd overall) and a .920 SV% (24th overall). 

Of Note: There is literally nothing to note about this team right now. They just aren't doing well, plain and simple. 

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Team: The Bruins are on during quite well recently and should honestly not have too much trouble with the Canucks tonight. But as we know all too well, you can never quite tell with the Bruins. We're coming into this game after a 4-0 win against the Oilers and with a 7-2-1 record in our last 10 games. We're of course still first in Atlantic Division with 73 points. We have a +45 goal differential with an average of 2.15 GA/game (still 2nd in the league) and an average of  3.02 GF/game (5th in the league). Our penalty kill shouldn't even be a concern this game since the Canucks literally have no idea how to handle a power play. But in any case, our kill has an 82.8% success rate (12th overall). Our power play is going to need to step it up though despite it having a 20.5% conversion rate (6th overall). 

Players: 19 of our guys have positive ratings ranging from Campbell's +1 to Bergeron's +23. The others range from even to Kelly's -1. Krejci still leads the team with 46 points (30th in the league) while Reilly Smith leads the team with 18 goals (44th in the league).

Goalie: Tuukka Rask will get the start tonight. He's played in 41 games with an 24-13-3 record. He has a 2.12 GAA (14th in the league) and a .928 SV% (9th in the league).  

Of Note: Dougie Hamilton is on a two game win point streak with two goals. Soderberg has a two goals and three assists in a 4 game point streak. 

Score Prediction: 3-1 Bruins Win

Until after the game,
Keep calm and Bergeron!
 


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