Players: 15 of the 28 players have negative ratings on the ice ranging from Milan Michalek's horrendous -19 to Matt Kasian's -1. The other 13 range from being even (0) to Kyle Turris's +15. Erik Karlsson leads the team in points with 37 off 10 goals and 27 assists in 39 games while Jared Cowen brings up the rear with 6 points in 36 games off 3 goals and 3 assists. Of note, Erik Karlsson leads the league for first in goals amongst defensemen with 10.
Goalie: Robin Lehner will get the start tonight. He's played in 18 games with a 5-8-3 record. He has a 2.54 GAA and a .926 SV%. Lehner has a real problem with control in his crease. Each of the 5 goals he let up in his last start was caused by him making swift, darting movements in an attempt to make acrobatic saves and then not being able to correct for them. He is also weak on his gloved side as 3 of the 5 goals allowed last game slipped right by him there.
Players: 17 of the 28 players have positive ratings on the ice ranging from Jarome Iginla's +15 to Daniel Paille's +1. The other 11 range from even (0) to Jordan Caron's -7. David Krejci leads the team in points with 32 points in 37 games off 7 goals and 25 assists with Gregory Campbell bringing up the rear with 6 points off 2 goals and 4 assists in 37 games. Of note, Ryan Spooner has 4 assists in his last two games.
Goalie: Tuukka Rask will get the start tonight. He's played in 29 games with a 19-8-2 record. He has a 1.87 GAA and a .936 SV%.
Keys to Tonight's Game
2. Offense: This is not an offensive team we can take lightly. If we plan on winning, we need to watch Erik Karlsson, Bobby Ryan (17 G, 17 A) and Jason Spezza (11 G, 19 A) because they are the driving force behind Ottawa's offensive. Bobby Ryan and Jason Spezza are big boys so my advice would be pair them up with some of our big guys (Lucic with Ryan Spezza and Chara or Boychuk against Bobby Ryan for example) to counteract any size advantages those three might have. The Senators also have a tendency to turn the puck over on a frequent basis so we need to take advantage of this early on and make good use of our back check.
3. Physicality: The Ottawa Senators are a big group of guys who usually are not afraid of using their berth to their advantage. The Bruins aren't either and as such our physicality is going to be huge tonight. The game is going to come down to who can out muscle who in those key puck battles in the corners. The corners are where the Bruins shine so I'm not too worried, but they need to be sure to not let that physicality slip.
My Three Players to Watch
2. Reilly Smith: Smith has obviously been an offensive force for us recently and I don't think tonight will be any different. His speed is going to come in handy against the more lumbering Senators in making plays and driving to the net. He's also got great hockey sense so I feel like he's going to read Lehner's weaknesses and use them to his advantage. He's also been crucial on our ever improving power play, which may also come in handy tonight.
3. Our Merlot Line: The Merlot line is almost back together! With Paille back in the line up tonight, some of our sorely missed chemistry coming from our energy line will have been restored. I'm interested in seeing not only how that line adjusts to Paille being back but how effective they're going to be in creating that energy and competing against the larger Senators without our favorite fighter.
Score Prediction: 4-2 Bruins Win
Keep calm and Bergeron!