The Boston Bruins travel to Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets for game number 4 of the season as well as the first road test for the Bruins. The Bruins are looking to bounce back after suffering a 2-0 blanking by Jean Sebastien Gigure and the red hot Colorado Avalanche. After losing their season opener, the Blue Jackets have won two consecutive games, giving them a record of 2-1 on the season.
Tuukka Rask will be in net for the Bruins and has looked better than amazing through the Bruins first 3 games. Rask has given up a total of 3 goals in his 3 starts, saving a total of 85 shots out of 88 attempts, good for a save percentage of .966 and a goals against average of 1.01.
In net for the Blue Jackets will be Sergei Bobrovsky. In his 3 starts, Bobrovsky supports a record of 2-1 and has given up 7 goals on 88 shots faced. This is good for a save percentage of .920 with a goals against average of 2.27. Bobrovsky has struggled so far in this very early season and is looking to build off a year which was his best yet in the NHL.
The expected line combinations for the Bruins are; Lucic-Krejci-Iginla, Marchand-Bergeron-Eriksson, Caron-Kelly-Smith, Paille-Campbell-Thornton. The expected defensive combinations are; Chara-Boychuk, Bartkowski-Seidenberg, Krug-McQuaid. Several sources are indicating that Dougie Hamilton will be a healthy scratch for today's game.
Some keys to the game for the Bruins:
1) Establish position in front of the net.
The Bruins struggled on Thursday against the Avalanche with establishing position in front of Gigure. Gigure gave up a great deal of rebounds, however, the Bruins struggled to get to those rebounds in front of the net as they were outstrengthed. The Bruins need to fight harder and give a bit ore effort to get to the rebounds
2) Keep those feet moving
Like the Avalanche, the Blue Jackets are a team which speed. The Bruins put themselves in vulnerable position by getting caught with "cement feet". You have to be constantly moving and skating or otherwise the fast teams will beat you with their speed. This also allows you to get to loose pucks quicker and it allows you to get into a better position defensively, especially on those attempted odd man rushes.
3) Give Tuukka more help
Rask has faced alot of shots early on. While the Bruins do appear to be imposing a strategy which opens things up in Rask so he could see the puck better, you don't want your goalie to have to face a high number of shots game in and game out, no matter how easy they are. Minimize the amount of work he has to do and don't just give teams shots, make them earn them.
This should be a great battle.