The Blue Jackets are coming off a well executed 4-2 win against the Edmonton Oilers yesterday, so we can expect at least some sort of momentum to come through in their game tonight. Last time we played 'Lumbus was November 14th, a game the Bruins won 3-2 in overtime. It's obvious from that game that we had a little bit more trouble with the Blue Jackets than we probably should have.
Partly due to this identity crisis and partly due to his own lack of skill, Sergei Bobrovsky is not making anything better. Lately he's been making some pretty timely saves but overall he's got a .906 SV% and a 2.81 GAA. In the grande scheme of things, these stats are entirely lack luster. But in terms of how the team has been playing, he fits right in.
So all things considered, the Bruins should not have a hard time getting things past Columbus' defense or Bobrovsky. As such, we need to actually shoot on goal. As we've seen in the last few games, the Bruins have had some problems with keeping the puck in the attacking zone, creating plays and shooting the puck. When they manage to pull these things off, the result is beautiful. If the Bruins plan on winning this game, we're going to need to see them actually pull these things off. Which, as we saw in the third period of the Bruins Rangers game yesterday, we are fully capable of doing.
As long as the offense stays on top of it's game and the defense comes out flying and keeps it that way, this game should be much less stressful than the one we saw yesterday. Also, now that Tuukka has had time to get over the Red Wing debacle and has played a successful game, I'm not too worried about him tonight.
1. Loui Eriksson: Loui is a fast, reactive player who should easily be able to get around a struggling defense and lost offense. He's also been an offensive beast lately with 5 goals and 9 assists with a +7 rating.
2. Carl Soderberg: Soderberg has finally found his niche on this team and has been playing fantastically since he did. Just last game against the Rangers he came out with an assist on Brad Marchand's goal. Paired with a third line with something to prove and his speed, he could come up big tonight.
3. Patrice Bergeron: A lot of pressure has been on Saint Patrice lately to start scoring again because he's been on a slight offensive slump. Personally, I think he's doing just fine. But you know he definitely feels that external pressure and, although he never breaks under pressure, he's going to use it to his advantage tonight.
Score Prediction: 3-1 Bruins Win
Keep calm and Bergeron!