For a non-conference match up with no geographic rivalry, the Boston Bruins have really annoyed me this season. First, Zdeno Chara beat Shea Weber in the NHL's hardest shot competition (when did Chara last shoot through the net?). Tim Thomas will probably deny Pekka Rinne his first Vezina Trophy (although, even if Thomas stunk, you know they'd find a way to shaft Pekka). They've even got the better Rask brother. And now, while they cruise to the postseason in their joke Conference, the Bruins comes to Nashville to threaten the Preds' playoff chances. No way, not even on your favorite holiday, Boston!
While you're getting ready for this one, listen in to Martin Erat's segment yesterday on the Thom Abraham Show, in which he talks about the Bruins, and responds to Ryan Suter's "pulling on the rope" comment:
Then follow after the jump for your keys to the game...
Keys to the Game
- The Bruins, much like the Predators, have a great goalie, a great defenseman, and some other guys who incidentally are on the ice. Neither team is impressive defensively or offensively--they just have a really, really good net minder. The little plays that disrupt goalies are doubly important today--screening, keeping your stick on the ice, battling for rebounds. All that said, both goalies will probably play horribly and the game will be decided 9-8.
- Skate away from Zdeno Chara. He can kill players without fear of reprisal from the NHL.
Nashville (subject to change)
Boston (my best guess)
For more on Chara's controversial hit: