On Tuesday evening the best two teams in the Eastern Conference will clash for the second time this season. Henrik Lundqvist and the first-place New York Rangers will travel to Boston to take on the defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins at the TD Garden. Boston is coming of a thrilling come-from-behind victory against the Nashville Predators on Saturday afternoon, whilst the Rangers come to the Hub fresh off the heels of a 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
Tonight’s Line-Up (Subject To Change):
Scratches– …… Bodnarchuk (Healthy) , Hennessy (Healthy) ,Horton (Concussion)
NEWS & NOTES
– Immediately following Tuesday’s contest, the Black and Gold will depart on an 11-day, six-game road trip that will feature stops in Minnesota, St. Louis and Buffalo, amongst others. This road swing, coinciding with the NHL trade deadline only thirteen days from now has lead many to believe that Peter Chiarelli will be looking to make any necessary improvements to his squad sooner rather than later. Thus providing the new players with an opportunity to gel with their new teammates during an extended period of time together. As we saw just one year ago, Chiarelli made moves to acquire Rich Peverley, Chris Kelly and Tomas Kaberle at the onset of a six-game roadie that would see Boston post an astounding 6-0-0 record and kickstart their run to a championship.
– In the wake of recently demoting youngsters Zach Hamill and Steven Kampfer, Bruins’ GM Peter Chiarelli has opted to call-up a new set of AHLers to bring along for his team’s upcoming road swing. The first of which is defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk. While building an AHL resume of over 250 games played, the 5’11″ blueliner has only appeared in five NHL contests, all of which coming in the 2009-’10 season. The second promotion was given to Brockton, MA native and veteran AHLer Josh Hennessy. The 6’0″ forward is the leading scorer for the P-Bruins this season with 15 goals and 15 assists in 49 games played.
– Tonight will mark the second meeting of the season between these two Original Six franchises. The Blueshirts took home a victory in Boston back on January 21 when Marian Gaborik scored in overtime with only three seconds left on the clock. These two Eastern Conference powerhouses will meet twice more this season, with both games to be played at Madison Square Garden.
– Reports over the past twenty four hours have suggested that Columbus Blue Jackets’ star and Canadian Olympic forward Rick Nash has been put on the trade market, by GM Scott Howson. A perennial all-star, the Blue Jackets’ captain has proven himself as one of the NHL’s elite talents throughout his nine-year career in the league. Now, while I would not be shocked if a deal were to be made that removed the 6’4″ 220-pounder out of Ohio’s capital city, I sincerely doubt that his destination will be Boston. There is no question that Peter Chiarelli has the necessary assets to make such a deal, but his willingness to part with the plethora of young talent that it would take to get Nash into a Black and Gold sweater is still yet to be determined. For example, any sort of trade that would bring a player of Nash’s caliber to the Hub would have to look something like this:
To Boston: Rick Nash, Curtis Sanford
To Columbus: David Krejci, Tuukka Rask, Steven Kampfer, 1st Round Draft Pick
Now my question to you is this, would you feel comfortable giving up your inconsistent but highly skilled top-line center, future franchise goaltender and a first round selection for a proven all-star with 45-50 goal potential?
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About the Author: Boston Bruins writer for Hockey Independent. Have written for The Hockey Guys and SB Nation Boston. Follow me on Twitter @_BWoodward or shoot me an email at BWoodward.HI@gmail.com.