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(Bergeron the face off master. Courtesy Lightning Official site)
It as might as well be Christmas morning for Bruins fans everywhere. Tonight is the season opener as the Boston Bruins take on the Tampa Bay Lightning. No matter how much the Grinch wants to, I mean Bettman wants to, steal this season from us. We finally have a full season of hockey ahead of us.

The first game of the season means fans will be able to see the Bruins new lines. The Bruins have a wealth of young talent and the young players have made Claude Julien's job much harder this season. Spoons, Soderberg, Paille, Smith, Caron, and Fraser where all battling for a slot on the third line with Chris Kelly guaranteed the job at center. It looks like Paille will stay on the merlot line with Campbell and Thornton.

So who won the two wing slots for the Bruins third line? It looks like Reilly Smith and Carl Soderberg, two new guys, have won the job. Smith was acquired in the Seguin trade to Dallas while Carl Soderberg decided to finally come to the NHL from Europe towards the end of last season. Unfortunately for Soderberg, a preseason injury means he will miss the first game of the season. Jordan Caron will replace him for tonight's game.

1) Stamkos. Could it be any more obvious on how to beat the Lightning? If you want to win you have to shut down the former 60 goal scorer. Tampa has a weak lineup making Stamkos all the more important to the team. To shut down Stamkos is to shut down the Tampa offense.

2) Goal tending. Tampa has one of the weakest goal tending tandems in the entire league. What a better way to start the season than against an awful goalie? The Bruins might be able to build the confidence of their scorers early in the season and maybe even the Power Play.

Projected Lines
Marchand-Bergeron-Eriksson
Lucic-Krejci-Iginla
Caron-Kelly-Smith
Paille-Campbell-Thornton

Boychuck-Chara 
Hamilton-Seidenberg
Krug-Mcquaid

Tuukka Rask 
 

Eric Goldmann 10/03/2013 02:37:00 PM Edit

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