After a successful game against the New York Rangers the Bruins now have to go up against the Winnipeg Jets. The Jets are no Rangers but they are on their way to becoming contenders. The Jets have ex-Bruins Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart who have become key contributors in different ways. Mark Stuart is an alternate captain for the Jets and is a very solid defense man. Blake Wheeler has looked more like that scoring power forward type winger that everyone wanted him to be here in Boston. The Jets are coming off of a 4-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators and the Bruins are coming off of a 3-1 victory over the Rangers. Just like last game there are key points to beating this young Jets team.
1) Lucic. Lucic played great against the Rangers being everything everyone wants him to be. He played tough and physical while also putting up a goal. I will be the first to admit that I thought Lucic was going to stumble out onto that ice a fat mess and that speedy guys like Del Zotto where going to skate circles around him. If Lucic can keep this play up then the Bruins can win just about any game against anyone.
2) Keep to the short shifts. Claude Julien might not be the best coach but he is a good one. Claude knows that his guys are tired and to put it bluntly, out of shape. To counter this Claude is keeping the shifts short and making sure people change lines when they have to. Claude will need to do this against the Jets who are young and speedy.
3) Do not be afraid to shoot. Dougie Hamilton did not necessarily make huge rookie mistakes in his first game. But you could tell he had the same problem as Tyler Seguin in his rookie season. Dougie was afraid to just flat out shoot the puck. On the power play and on regular ice time situations Dougie did not want to shoot it and tried to make awkward passes. At this point Dougie struggling offensively is perfectly fine. It's when Dougie starts letting guys blow by him and get easy break away advantages that Dougie becomes a problem. But that did not happen in game one and I don't expect it to happen against the Jets.
4) Power Play. The Bruins power play has struggled ever since Marc Savard went down with his concussions. Now that Horton is back, Seguin is becoming elite, and we have Dougie on offense the power play needs to start producing. Whither this means bringing in a coach for the power play or trying new formations it has to start to work. The Bruins penalty kill looked great as usual and should not be a problem in this game.
I think the Bruins will win this game (Don't worry Bruins fans, I knocked on wood) and on a more personal note I want to see Evander Kane hit hard and hit a lot because of his picture during the lockout which if you have not seen is posted below.
|("Hello?" "Yes, hello, this is every hockey fan outside of Winnipeg calling to say we hate you now. Bye.")|