The eyes of the world will be watching Boston, and watching the Bruins organization as they take the ice representing their city. The Bruins are ready for that kind of responsibility.
“It’s going to go on for a few days, weeks and possibly months. We all feel for the people that have been affected by this. It was a sad and emotional day for all of us,” said Zdeno Chara. “We just have to support each other. We can all play for each other, and maybe during these tough times, help people cheer.”
Every coach, every player on the Bruins and every member of their organization has endured the same last three days of horror as the fans filling the seats at TD Garden, and all will be sharing in the same strong emotions. Bruins players have the unique opportunity to play an inspiring brand of hockey, making fans smile while they show the rest of the world how strong their community is.
“We have the ability to help people heal and give them a reason to smile again by representing our city properly,” said coach Claude Julien. “We have an opportunity to make our city proud and we’re all in for it. Hopefully we can do that tonight. We’ve got a good group of guys here that we’re fortunate to have on our team that care a lot for what’s happened. There’s no doubt that it’s affected us individually, personally. Certainly would like to be a group that can do something that can really help this city get through it.
"At the end of the day, you want to make sure you do the right thing; and the right thing is to play the best game you can tonight. That’s important for us.”
There is no doubt about the level of emotions that will be coursing through everybody’s veins once things get going at the TD Garden tonight for the Boston Bruins.
There’s also little doubting how ready, willing and able the Bruins are to represent their city as they’ve done so unfailingly over the last several years.
PLAYER NEEDING HIS TIRES PUMPED: Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron have been out with concussions, and will be looking to get their bearings and their confidence back in what’s expected to be an incredibly emotional night of hockey. Bergeron has been out for 15 days and Marchand has missed just a week with varying levels of concussions, but both have been medically cleared to play and are eager to jump back in. The only question is how long It takes to get them back running at full capacity.
DRESSING ROOM MANTRA HEADED INTO THE GAME: “We’ve got a good group of guys here that we’re fortunate to have on our team that care a lot for what’s happened. There’s no doubt that it’s affected us individually and personally. Certainly we would like to be a group that can do something that can really help this city get though it.” –Claude Julien, talking about the mission for the Bruins players headed for Wednesday night and the rest of their season.
KEY MATCHUP: The Bruins will be putting David Krejci and Jaromir Jagr together for the first time, and will be also be reuniting the line with Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin. That means both Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton have been busted down to roles on the third and fourth line, and it becomes more of a merit-based system of playing time for coach Claude Julien as he holds “auditions” for spots on the playoff roster. That’s the kind of system that should have all of the players breathing fire each time out.
STAT TO WATCH: 80 – the number of tickets the players purchased to make that sure that the first responders to Marathon Monday’s disaster had seats for Wednesday night’s game and were properly recognized between periods.
INJURIES: Both forwards Patrice Bergeron (concussion) and Brad Marchand (concussion) have been cleared to play, and will be back in the Bruins’ lineup. Carl Soderberg will be held out of the lineup for Wednesday night, but it’s expected that he may be playing against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday night. Buffalo has defensemen Tyler Myers (leg), defenseman Alexander Sulzer (leg) and forward Ville Leino (upper body) all sidelined with injuries.
GOALTENDING MATCH-UP: Anton Khudobin has been excellent against the Buffalo Sabres this season with a 2-1 record, a .936 save percentage and a 1.68 goals against average. Ryan Miller is expected to get the start for the Buffalo Sabres, and has some astounding lifetime numbers against the Boston Bruins during his divisional battles against them. He’s 24-8-7 with a .919 save percentage and 2.53 goals against average through his career against the Black and Gold.