Okay. I'll admit it now. I am a little worried about Our Boys...just a little, though.
No, I'm not defecting to the Dark Side. I stil believe that there is enough talent in this squad to make some hay in the springtime. A lot of hay, in fact. But as the Hub rolls on, it keeps hitting potholes, something we know a little about here in the Commonwealth -- especially after our recent weather.
A perfectly good car, for instance, stands no chance against a mediocre Massachusetts pothole.
Now the question is whether the B's are in fact a trusty late model Honda (perhaps with a revamped engine and driver), ready for anything besides off-roading or a series of potholes. Or are the B's a restored WWII-era jeep (again with a revamped engine and driver), which always starts, will work through some really tough spots under fire, and always make it to the end of the road no matter its condition.
We all know that Injuries are common in the NHL. However, potential season-enders to Manny Fernandez and Patrice Bergeron
hurt big time.
Then, pile on a groin pull that took a red hot Tim Thomas
out of the lineup, and add stints on the suit squad for Aaron Ward, Glen Murray, Andrew Ference
, Andrew Alberts and Shawn Thornton
Far from a recipe for a sweet Christmas desert, all of that turns into a witch's brew designed to rob a good club of playoff points.
The antidote? A healthy dose of Providence Bruins, a touch of Vancouver Giants and just a bit of San Antonio Rampage.
Already this season, Tuukka Rask
had kept the B's in the hunt by filling in for Fernandez and then Thomas. Vladimir Sobotka, Petteri Nokelainen, Matt Hunwick and Matt Lashoff have played major roles filling in for missing or sitting Boston Bruins.
Oh, and beyond using his fists to protect his teammates a la Thornton, Milan Lucic
was had some downright Neely-esque moments.
And then there is Alex Auld when he came over from Texas, and who took over number one goaltending duties and kept Boston afloat with his puckstopping skills.
But, looking at the roster this morning and its dependence on some very young Bruins, one this is certain, if the B's continue to hit potholes (and lose players to injury), it will be incumbent on the bear cubs to fill in for the missing Bruins and help keep the B's in serious playoff contention while their elders come back from their necessary hibernation.Waiting on some news from Pitt. Hang on tight, True Believers...
Latest from Pittsburgh...Bochenski, Allen out. Auld starting.
Not much else from here over to the Running Recap. Go Bruins!3:32 p.m.
One more update -- kind've hard to figure the lines from the TV, but here's a good guess:Axelsson-Savard-Sturm
Chara-Wideman (sg) Auld
Lashoff-Ference (bg) Thomas