The Bruins had their final home-cooked meal for their latest homestand on Monday night, a rare homestand that included seven games in less than two weeks, played on TD Garden ice. The ingredients of hard work, great penalty-killing, and effective scoring resulted in five tasty victories, with a sour taste left behind in their mouths with two losses to Carolina Hurricanes and the Anaheim Ducks. It was a time to welcome back the Bruins’ all-time winning goaltenders, Tuukka Rask, following a lengthy recuperation from hip surgery. In a press conference following Boston’s loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Monday, coach Bruce Cassidy stated: “Tuukka is not some guy off the street who’s never played. He’s got a resume in this league, and an extremely good one. We believe he’ll find his game and we’ll have a great one-two punch.”
The rollercoaster return of his first four games, resulted in a seemingly unimpressive 2-2, with a 4.28 goals-against-average, while surrendering 14 goals, and a poor .844 save percentage. The numbers are not indicative of the veteran Rask’s capabilities, something the Bruins totally understand, and they have noted they intend to give Rask all the support and time he needs. In a press conference following Boston’s loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Monday, coach Cassidy stated: “Tuukka is not some guy off the street who’s never played. He’s got a resume in this league, and an extremely good one. We believe he’ll find his game and we’ll have a great one-two punch.”
Boston took to the road for the next three games which are all against Central Division teams, they started last night (Wednesday) in Colorado, taking on the high-scoring Avalanche, who at press time were riding a 16-game undefeated streak on home ice, and a 7-game regular season win streak. There is no lack of scoring with Colorado’s solid, top offensive players, Nathan MacKinnon, Nazem Kadri and Mikko Rantanen. Linus Ullmark was expected in net for Boston’s Wednesday (10:00pm) match. Ullmark has posted wins in his last seven outings. He has also performed well since joining the Bs, boasting a 2.55 goals-against-average, and healthy save percentage of .915, to go along with his impressive 14-5-0 record coming into last night’s game. Next up for Boston will be a power switch on Friday (7:00pm) as they visit Arizona to face the struggling Coyotes who are total power opposites of Colorado. The Coyotes are in last place in the Central, having lost three games in a row, they are also last in the Western Conference overall, having won just ten of their 41 games played. Boston closes out their brief road trip with a Sunday (7:00pm) game versus the Dallas Stars who are streaking with four wins in a row, currently holding strong in the middle of the Central Division. The locals will return to TD Garden ice on Tuesday, February 1, to take on the NHL’s newest team, the Seattle Kraken with a 7:00pm puck drop before the break.
Coach Cassidy recently addressed several injury question marks for Boston’s lineup: Nick Foligno will not travel with the team, and questionable were Matt Grzelcyk (game time decision), and Anton Blidh (upper body). Defenseman John Moore will not travel with the team.