The Vancouver Canucks make their trip to TD Garden to take on the Big Bad Bruins. However, the year is not 2011 and this game is not a clash of the titans.
On Tuesday evening the Vancouver Canucks silenced the crowd in the nation’s capital with a shutout win over the Ottawa Senators. They held back a formidable Sens team that had Erik Karlsson returning to the lineup.
This time around, the boys in blue will be facing the Bruins in Beantown. Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, Alexander Edler (who is injured) and Chris Tanev are the only Canucks left from the 2011 roster. For the Bruins, Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara, David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, Adam McQuaid and Tuukka Rask are all that remain from their Stanley Cup season.
Last season, the Canucks lost 4-3 in their last visit to TD Garden. There is something so satisfying in hearing a silent crowd, especially this one. Bruins fans are loud and clear in their dislike of the Canucks. The feeling is mutual.
Although many faces have changed over the years, the dislike between these two teams is palpable. The Canucks did not beat the Bruins in either game last year. If there is any time to steal a win from the Bruins on the road, now is the time.
2017-18 Record: 1-2-1
2016-17 Record vs Bruins: 0-2-0
Goals For: 12
Goals Against: 13
Who’s on Offence
Alexander Burmistrov had a goal and an assist on Tuesday against the Senators. His line will make things tough for the Bruins on the power play and at even strength. For the time being, he has snagged a prime scoring spot from Bo Horvat and plans to make the most of it. On the other hand, Horvat will have to force his way back on to the power play.
What else can we say about Brock Boeser? He has four points in three games and the argument can be made that he should have never been sat to start the season. Boeser has an electrifying presence on the power play and does the little things well. Whether it is purposely creating a rebound for a tap in or giving a slower teammate the push that he needs to break up a two on one, Boeser is amazing.
Who’s on Defence
Troy Stecher generated a lot of offence last season, being on the ice for 44 goals at even strength. He has recently received more time on the power play and is looking to help boost the surging special teams unit.
Stecher had a highlight reel goal against the Dallas Stars last year, fooling Jamie Benn and sending the game to overtime. Canucks fans are hoping he can pot in a few more goals this year to help this offensively starved team.
Who’s in Net
Anders Nilsson shut out the Ottawa Senators and deserves the start. It is a better storyline for fans if Nilsson plays his old team in Buffalo, but the Canucks are trying to win games, not write stories. That is our job.
Daniel Sedin—Henrik Sedin—Markus Granlund
Sven Baertschi—Alex Burmistrov—Brock Boeser
Sam Gagner—Bo Hovat—Thomas Vanek
Derek Dorsett—Brandon Sutter—Jake Virtanen
Michael Del Zotto—Chris Tanev
Ben Hutton—Erik Gudbranson
Derrick Pouliot—Troy Stecher
2017-18 Record: 2-3-0
2016-17 Record vs Canucks: 2-0-0
Goals For: 14
Goals Against: 18
Injuries: Adam McQuaid (lower body, day to day), Ryan Spooner (lower body, 4-6 weeks), Noel Acciari (finger, day to day), Patrice Bergeron (lower body, day to day), David Backes (illness, day to day), Tuukka Rask (undisclosed, day to day)
Who’s on Offence
David Pastrnak is $40 million richer with his new six-year deal from the Bruins. The Czech winger has three goals and four points this season. Last year, Pastrnak hit 70 points, scoring 34 goals. He can pick apart defences easily with his smooth skating and lethal shot.
More from The Canuck Way
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- What to expect from newcomers Anthony Beauvillier, Aatu Räty
- Back to the future: How the skate uniforms became a regular Canucks’ feature night
- Canucks kick off 2023 with disappointing 6-2 loss to Islanders
- 2nd period penalty trouble sinks Canucks in 4-2 loss against Winnipeg
Brad Marchand is currently leading the Bruins offence, with three goals and six points. Known affectionately as “The Rat” by Canucks fans, Marchand will be getting under the Canucks’ skin. As a result, he is going to ride that line between dirty and clean play. Marchand scored 39 goals last year, with three coming from a hat trick against the Canucks.
Who’s on Defence
Charlie McAvoy has an excellent start to the season. The rookie from Long Island has a goal and four points so far. McAvoy was a staple on the blue line for Boston University and Team USA at the World Juniors. Unsurprisingly, he has been one of the brightest sparks for an aging Bruins defensive corps. He will get a shot on the top pairing with Bruins captain, Zdeno Chara.
Who’s in Net
Tuukka Rask likely gets the start for the Bruins. The Finnish netminder is off to a rough start with a 1-3 record, .882 save percentage and GAA of 3.3. This is a stark contrast to the .915 save percentage Rask posted last year. It is still early, but this is not the start he needs. Rask has been on a bit of decline and hopes to bounce back.
The goaltender may not even play against the Canucks after a collision at practice on Wednesday.
Brad Marchand—Patrice Bergeron*—Anders Bjork
Jake Debrusk—David Krejci—David Pastrnak
Tim Schaller—Sean Kuraly—David Backes*
Kenny Agostino—Riley Nash—Peter Cehlarik
Zdeno Chara—Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug—Brandon Carlo
Kevan Miller—Adam McQuaid*
Keys to Victory
- The wower play. It’s becoming a recurring theme around here, but the Canucks need to take advantage of their offensive weapons. Scoring on the power play is a good way to build momentum and more importantly, keep the home crowd quiet.
- Secondary scoring. The Canucks’ “second line” played very well in Ottawa last night, but they can’t always be the source of offence. It is time for the Sedin line and the Horvat line to contribute at even strength. A multi-pronged attack will be needed to fully put down the Bruins.
- Stay out of the penalty box. This game is going to be chippy and the Canucks don’t need to sink down to the Bruins’ level. Boston has a 21.1% success rate with the man advantage. Don’t give them what they want. Let them make a parade to the penalty box where the Canucks can punish them.
- Shut down the Boeser line. This job is for the Bruins top defensive pair and the Patrice Bergeron line. Going after the Canucks best source of offence will help keep the team at bay. Additionally, being strong on the penalty kill will be important to stop his dangerous unit.
- Strong Goaltending. The current results are not good enough. Some of this can be attributed to poor defensive coverage, but nothing breaks a team’s back more than a bad goal. The Canucks will come out shooting and the netminder needs to be ready.
- Brad Marchand. The little pest is the king of annoying and will throw someone off their game tonight. The more effective he is, the more power plays the Bruins will have at their advantage. Patrice Bergeron and David Backes may be back from injury, but Marchand will need to lead the charge.
3-2 Canucks. Boeser is a dominant force on the power play and at even strength. I don’t the think the Bruins will be able to contain him, even if Patrice Bergeron is making his return to the lineup. The Bruins goaltending will hurt them along with the parade to the penalty box. I think Bo Horvat gets the game winning goal.
3-2 Canucks. This team played well on the road against an elite Sens team. The Bruins are a mediocre team at this point, and the younger/faster Canucks should be able to escape Beantown with a sweet victory.
Boston is riddled with injury at a time where new players are still learning the system and forming chemistry. I think the Vancouver Canucks take it 4-2. They will score one on the power play – that Brock Boeser will wither assist on or score himself. Markus Granlund will also score his first goal five-on-five tonight. Sedins down to 10 minutes?
4-2 Canucks. The triple B line build on their chemistry and Bo Horvat plays his best game of the year. Markstrom gets the start.