|Patriots Offensive Line Problems Beginning to Resurface||Bartkowski Won’t Face Suspension for hit on Gionta||TJ Oshie and Bruins Weekly Roundup||Notes and Observations Week 16: Patriots Escape from New York with 17-16 Win; Clinch First Round Bye.|
The road trip continues tonight for the Black and Gold, as the Bruins (29-24-11) make their third stop on their current seven-game trip, this time in Toronto to face the lowly Maple Leafs (20-33-12). These two teams should know each other pretty well by now, having faced each other four times already, including less than a week ago, last Thursday in Boston.
Most of the Bruins news in the last 48 hours has revolved around the condition of center Marc Savard, arguably the team’s best player. Unless you’ve been living under a rock since Sunday, you have probably seen the hit to the head that Savard suffered in Sunday’s 2-1 loss to the Penguins. Savard, who lost consciousness at the time, was carted off the ice on a stretcher, and has since been diagnosed with a grade two concussion. He has been flown back to Boston to rest, and a timetable for his return to action has not been determined.
Colin Campbell, the NHL’s disciplinary head honcho, is expected to rule on the hit and the potential suspension of Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke as early as today. According to a radio interview yesterday however, Campbell was quoted as saying that he has determined the hit was not with the elbow, but instead with the shoulder. Boston hosts Pittsburgh next Thursday at TD Garden in what should be a game that old time hockey fans should circle on their calendars.
But the injury woes don’t stop there for the bruised Bruins. It was learned at this morning’s team skate that captain Zdeno Chara sustained a lower body injury in Sunday’s game as well, and will be out of action tonight against Toronto. Chara is just one of four Bruins who has yet to miss a game this season. To fill the void, Boston has called up defenseman Jeff Penner from Providence. Penner will make his NHL debut tonight.
So, after all that good news, let’s take a closer look at tonight’s matchup with the Leafs, the Eastern Conference’s cellar dwellers…