After a brief stop at home, the 18-25-9 Hurricanes are in Boston to face the 32-14-2 Bruins. In the last Canes / B’s preview, KP likened this pairing to a boxing match and I agree. I will not be parading around the ring in a bikini holding up a sign, but trust me, it’s round 4! (Also trust me when I say saving you from that bikini image is the kindest thing I could ever do for you dear readers. You can thank me later.)
Normally a fourth match-up between conference rivals would not draw so much attention, but the Canes have beaten the 2011 Stanley Cup Boston Bruins three times so far this season. That is not a typo. If you need to refresh your memory on the colorful contests, check out rounds 1-3.
I know nothing about boxing except a couple of sweaty guys with really shiny pants get into a ring and beat the crap out of each other. I am sure there will be fisticuffs tonight, but let’s leave the shiny pants at home. In addition to leaving those trunks in Raleigh, the Canes have also left Chad LaRose who has “flu-like symptons.” The team is sticking with the “flu-flu” story and Chad does not reportedly have the “Skinner Flu” or the “Pronger Flu.” How about a roll call of the rest who remain in the hockey hospital ward? Boucher? Check! Pitkanen? Check!
Making his way back into the lineup tonight is veteran blueliner Jaroslav Spacek. He has been recovering from a facial injury and wearing a cage. No word on whether he will wear that or his regular lid with a shield tonight, but Derek Joslin will be the healthy extra. Spacek practiced with Jamie McBain yesterday.
The Canes will need all the defense they can muster against the mighty Bruins who will be throwing the usual suspects of Zdeno Chara, Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand into the ring. Winger Nathan Horton has been injured and has not been announced as part of the lineup.
Cam Ward will get his fourth start in the series and the other end will be anchored by the animated and feisty Finn, Tuukka Rask.
Working hard to beat the goaltender will be Jeff Skinner who is on a three game point streak with two goals and one helper. Riley Nash stays along for the ride and Drayson Bowman has been called up from Charlotte. It will be interesting to see how the line combinations work out as Coach Muller experimented and reunited the “Finns and Skinns” line in Tuesday’s game against the Isles. Regardless of where he is slotted, Jussi Jokinen is still two helpers away from 200 for the Hurricanes. There is no better time to make it happen guys.
Keys to the game:
- Broken record time people. Play 60 minutes. 40 are not enough. Neither are 20. 57.3 are not going to do. 60 MINUTES!
- The fellas need to keep their cool. The Bruins are going to do everything in their power to agitate the boys from Carolina. Don’t let them suck you in guys! Stick up for your teammates when needed but no bad penalties!
- This key requires help from the B’s. DON’T BREAK THE HURRICANES! We can’t afford any more injuries and I can’t think of a team more likely to bully our boys around (Well maybe the Flyers…)
- Oh yeah. Mr. Chara. Please leave that new stick and 108.8 mph shot at home. Thanks!
The Canes have never beaten the Bruins four times in a season. Can we make history? Forget a TKO. I prefer a knock out.
If you love that dirty water, Causeway Crowd is our Boston Bruins sister site. While I like the song, all I can say is LET’S GO CANES! Truth be told, I have laryngitis and can’t say this. Throw out an extra cheer for this Caniac tonight please! Puck drops at 7pm.
Thanks for stopping by. Do you think the author will make it through the night without calling Brad Marchand a weasel? Follow her on the Twitter machine at @Esbee92 and find out! What they heck. Follow us all: @CardiacCaneFS, @peacelovepuck, @caniac176 and @southerndraw81. We’ll be your Facebook friend at CardiacCane and we won’t even make you look at our vacation photos.
Topics: Boston Bruins, Brad Marchand, Brian Boucher, Cam Ward, Chad LaRose, Derek Joslin, Drayson Bowman, Eastern Conference Matchup, Finns And Skinns, Jaroslav Spacek, Jeff Skinner, Joni Pitkanen, Jussi Jokinen, Kirk Muller, Milan Lucic, Milestones, Riley Nash, Tuukka Rask, Zdeno Chara