RALEIGH, N.C. The Bruins held an optional morning skate at the RBC Center on Saturday morning, and are preparing for a Carolina Hurricanes team that contributed mightily to their 3-7 start to the season.
Carolina beat them in home and road tilts while outscoring the Bs 7-3, and one of the early low points of the season was the home loss to the Canes where Nathan Horton lost his cool in a fit of pique while going after Carolina defenseman Tim Gleason. The Bruins have obviously moved on since going 25-4-1 since the beginning of November, but walking into the RaleighDurham hockey rink stirred up the bad memories.
We know they beat us twice already. Theyre a tough team. We need to play well to get the win tonight, said Patrice Bergeron. Its been a long time since weve been here this season, and a lot has changed.
The Bruins took 16 penalties in the 4-1 loss to the Bruins at TD Garden, and showed clear signs of frustration early in the season when things werent coming easily to the Stanley Cup champs. It got to the point where Canes goaltender Cam Ward got in Zdeno Charas face following the defensemans fight with Carolina tough guy Jay Harrison -- and then had some choice words for the Bs captain following the game.
"The guy's 8 feet tall, and he's jumping a player. That doesn't translate as being very tough in my eyes," Ward told reporters following Carolinas 4-1 win in Boston back in October. "I'm emotional just like everybody else. When you see that happening to your own players, you wanna ... you know, I had some choice words, too, but it is what it is."
Wards postgame tirade also including him saying Im not gonna waste my time with Tuukka Rask to Fox Sports Carolina when the Bs goalie had approached him with some strong words during the team-wide scrum.
Bruins coach Claude Julien hopes his players keep those two losses to the Canes in the back of their minds now that Carolina is dwelling in the Eastern Conference basement. It would be easy to overlook a hockey club vying with the New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning for the claim as the worst team in the conference, but Julien knows they had Bostons number in October.
We didnt have a good start to the season and the last time we played these guys we were a pretty frustrated team as well, said Julien. At that point I know we crossed the line in a lot of areas and hopefully thats in the past. I know weve gotten better in a lot of areas.
Those are not the good times that we had at the beginning of the year. We need to hopefully redeem ourselves tonight after not playing well in the first two games.
Its expected Rask will get the start against the Hurricanes, so he can show his Carolina counterpart exactly why he should waste his time with the goaltender leading the NHL in goals against average and save percentage. It also appears that Zach Hamill will get scratched along with Steve Kampfer as Brad Marchand serves the third game of his suspension for low-bridging Sami Salo.
Here is the expected lineup for a game that might be a little more interesting than first expected: