|Notes and Observations Week 16: Patriots Escape from New York with 17-16 Win; Clinch First Round Bye.||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Win By Less Than a FOOT||Panic Mode in Full Effect, Minutemen are Struggling||Patriots Survive Gritty Challenge From Jets|
The Bruins (12-8-2) look to right the ship Wednesday in the City of Brotherly Love, sparking up the heated rivalry between the B’s and the Philadelphia Flyers (15-6-4).
This will of course be the first meeting of these two squads since last spring’s epic collapse by Boston and miraculous comeback by Philly, climbing back from a 3-0 series deficit and 3-0 Game 7 deficit, only to see the Flyers take both the series and the decisive Game 7, 4-3.
But enough about that. Both teams have lost their last two games, and so both want to get back to their winning ways Wednesday.
Let’s roll on in to pregame notes time, to get you ready for Wednesday’s action at the Wells Fargo Center…
- This will mark the first game for Boston without defenseman Matt Hunwick. The young blueliner was traded Monday to Colorado, in exchange for former Boston University defenseman Colby Cohen. Cohen has reported to Providence to get started, while Adam McQuaid will rejoin Boston and play on the team’s third defensive pairing.
- Hunwick’s departure takes his salary off the books for GM Peter Chiarelli, leaving enough room to activate center Marc Savard. Savard, who has been sidelined with post-concussion syndrome, hasn’t seen game action since that famous Game 7 collapse against Philly last May. He won’t make his return Wednesday evening, but could be back on the ice later this week, either against Tampa on Thursday or in Toronto Saturday.
- Also returning to the Bruins lineup are forwards David Krejci and Jordan Caron. Both had been fighting the flu, causing them to miss game action the past few contests, but both are expected to play Wednesday evening.
- The Bruins are 1-3-1 in their last five games, having been outscored by their opponents 15-8. Philadelphia lost two back-to-back games over the weekend by way of the shootout, falling to Calgary on Friday and New Jersey Saturday. Despite their recent swoon, the Flyers remain tied atop the Atlantic Division standings with their in-state rivals, the surging Pittsburgh Penguins, winners of nine of their last ten games.
- The Flyers currently lead the Eastern Conference with 3.44 goals per game. However, their power play lately hasn’t had much success, notching just two goals in their last 33 chances with the man advantage.
- On the injury front for Philadelphia, agitator Daniel Carcillo will be a game-time decision Wednesday evening, as he tries to make his way back from a sprained left MCL. Goaltender Michael Leighton is also working his way back, beginning a conditioning stint with the team’s AHL affiliate this week. Also, winger Ian Laperriere remains out with post-concussion syndrome, a case so bad that it’s said that he is contemplating retirement. He remains on long-term injured reserve.
- Leading the scoring for Philly is centerman Mike Richards (9G, 16A), followed by wingers Claude Giroux (12G, 11A), Ville Leino (5G, 14A), and center Jeff Carter (11G, 8A).
- Without Leighton, the Flyers have called on youngster Sergei Bobrovsky to shoulder much of the workload early on this season. Bobrovsky is 12-3-2 thus far, with a 2.19GAA. Backing up Bobrovsky is Brian Boucher (3-3-2, 2.57GAA).
- Still too early to tell who will be in net Wednesday evening for the B’s, but all signs point to Tim Thomas manning the crease. Thomas is 8-0-0 with a 1.62GAA on the road this season, and is unbeaten in four career starts against the Flyers, sporting a 2.25GAA in those games.