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Ice Breakers: Bruins-Predators, Wednesday 10-21

The Bruins will showcase their new-look roster Wednesday night at the TD Garden, hosting the lowly Nashville Predators. Boston GM Peter Chiarelli, in an effort to shake up his under-performing squad, sent winger Chuck Kobasew to Minnesota over the weekend, in exchange for minor leaguer Craig Waller, unsigned draft choice Alexander Fallstrom, and a draft pick. Another winger lost is Milan Lucic, who found himself in the surgery room instead of the training room over the weekend, to repair his broken index finger. Lucic was put on long term injured reserve, meaning he will miss a minimum of 10 games.

Also on Wednesday, the Bruins got word that All-Star center Marc Savard suffered a broken foot and will be out 4-6 weeks. Couple all that with the injuries of Byron Bitz and Dennis Wideman, who are both questionable tonight, and the B’s have some serious holes to fill. Not exactly what you want to be doing when your team is already floundering with a disappointing 3-4-0 start.

So instead, the Bruins will fill these gaps with the likes of Providence call-ups Brad Marchand, Vladimir Sobotka, and Guillaume Lefebvre, along with newly acquired forward Daniel Paille. Paille, a 6’0” left winger who has appeared in 195 career NHL games, was acquired yesterday from the Sabres, in exchange for two 2010 draft picks. It is unknown who of these fill-ins will be included in tonight’s lineup.

As if the Bruins’ start to the year wasn’t messy enough, on the other side of the ice Wednesday night, the Nashville Predators are looking for a “do-over” themselves. After winning their first two games on the year, they have since dropped five straight, including Saturday’s 3-2 shootout loss to Washington.

Here now, a closer look at the Preds from the Music City:

  • In their only meeting last year, Nashville topped the visiting Bruins 3-2 in a shootout. Nashville’s scoring that night was done by one man only, David Legwand. Legwand, who has gone without a point through seven games this season, had two goals in regulation in last year’s match-up, followed by Nashville’s only shootout goal, the eventual game-winner.
  • Nashville’s offense this season has been in one word: dreadful. They rank dead last in the NHL with just 1.29 goals per game, scoring just nine goals in their seven games thus far. Their special teams have also been atrocious, as they rank last in the NHL with a 4.2% power play percentage (just 1 goal in 26 PP opportunities), and 29th in the league on the penalty kill, at 66.7%. The Preds’ one statistical bright spot is their success at the faceoff dot. They are winning 53% of their faceoffs thus far, good for fifth in the league.
  • Captain Jason Arnott, the team’s leading goal scorer thus far, was placed on IR yesterday. Arnott injured his arm and shoulder in Saturday’s loss to Washington.
  • You will find only six Predators on the roster with goals so far this year, and only nine with any points at all. Leading the points race is forward Patrick Hornqvist, who has 2 goals and 4 assists on the year. Last year’s Nashville team was led by right winger J.P. Dumont, who potted 16 goals and added 49 assists. He scored his first goal on the young season Saturday vs. Washington.
  • In net, Nashville features a two-man goaltending committee of Pekka Rinne (0-3-0, 3.46GAA) and Dan Ellis (2-1-1, 2.80GAA).
  • If you can turn your mental rolodex back to the Bruins of ’05-’06, you’ll remember two names from back in the day that are currently on the Predators roster. Dave Scatchard, veteran center, was recalled from Nashville’s AHL affiliate in Milwaukee yesterday. The 33-year-old Scatchard appeared in 16 games with Boston to begin the ’05-’06 season before being shipped to Phoenix in exchange for defenseman David Tanabe. Also, University of Maine grad and former Bruin Ben Guite has played in 4 of 7 games for Nashville this season and may see action in the game. Guite put up 76 points in two seasons with Providence back in ’04 through ’06. Guite made just one appearance with the big boys, playing in one game with Boston during the ’05-’06 season.

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2 comments for “Ice Breakers: Bruins-Predators, Wednesday 10-21”

  1. Ice Breakers: Bruins-Predators, Wednesday 10-21: The Bruins will showcase their new-look roster Wednesday night..

    Posted by Sports of Boston | October 21, 2009, 11:27 am
  2. Checkin out the B's' b-team tonight,

    Posted by Kyle McKay | October 21, 2009, 4:41 pm

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