Tonight the Bruins return to the TD Garden ice against the Nashville Predators for a rare Monday night tilt.  After playing 3 games in 4 days, ending with Vancouver Saturday night, I think it’s safe to say our livers could use a break but the grind that is an NHL season never lets up.  Instead, we should all be thankful for some B’s hockey after a depressing Monday back at work. 

After taking 4 of 6 points on the recent west coast road trip the Bruins enter tonight’s game having gone 6-0-2 in their last 8 games.  Surprisingly, coming off a great season last year Nashville enters tonight’s game with the same points (31) as the Bruins.  Boston also enters tonight with at least 2 games in hand on their divisional opponents.

Here are some takeaways from the past few games heading into tonight:

  • Brad Marchand is on fire.  He continues to put up points, drive opponents crazy (aka: Brandon Prust), and back up his talk with action.  I look for Marchand to carry that forward again tonight as he shows a leadership and “take charge” ability we haven’t seen before.  
  • Vancouver forward Brandon Prust’s response to his fine for spearing Brad Marchand in the giggles, “It’s the best money I’ve ever spent”, was fantastic.  I don’t like the dirt bag move but what a line.  I still think his spear warranted a suspension, but at least he owned being a dirt bag.  
  • The Bruins team game Saturday night in Vancouver was great to see.  After a heart breaking last second tying goal and eventual OT loss to Calgary less than 24 hours before the Bruins didn’t feel sorry for themselves and pack it in.  They came out hard, disciplined, and got a real convincing team win over Vancouver. 
  • To add to that, Tuukka Rask pitching a shutout after coming into the Calgary game cold off the bench shows his mental focus and preparation are where they should be.  He’s been great lately.  
  • We should get used to the roller coaster ride that is this Bruins team.  One night they’re so good, the next night there’s a brain cramp.  Great players like Bergeron, Krejci, and Marchand will always be consistent but there’s just a lot of youth and inexperience on the team right now to expect the consistency we crave.  But they’re close, and trending in a positive direction.  
  • Claude sent a message to his team Saturday night by scratching Jimmy Hayes, Dennis Seidenberg, and Colin Miller.  I do not necessarily like the move because I think you should let players work their way out of a funk, but you cannot argue with the results. The message is clear. It does not matter who you are.  If your game is crap you are going to sit.  Look for Jimmy Hayes to have a little extra jump tonight if he is back in the lineup.
  • Tonight’s battle with Nashville will be a great test for the Bruins offense.  Nashville’s D-Corp is loaded, led by Josi and Weber, and pose a real challenge for the B’s.  I’m looking forward to seeing how the forecheck pressures the Preds and if they can get enough traffic in front of the net.  
  • Don’t look past this game tonight.  Easy to do with that team from Montreal coming up Wednesday.  

Puck drops just after 7pm.  Don’t be late.