Tonight the Boston Bruins face off against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the CONSOL Energy Center. It should prove to be quite the hockey game. The Bruins are standing first with 49 points in the Northeast division; while the Penguins stand in second with 56 points in the Atlantic division.
Statistically the Penguins have the upper hand leading the Bruins with a seven-point deficit so many critics may point to the Penguins for the win tonight. While I check the statistics of any particular Bruins opponent, I tend to research further into the team and speculate on the reality of a win factors.
The realistic guess for tonight’s match up is that it could be anybody’s game. The Penguins have had a somewhat albeit not always lackluster showing in the games following the Winter Classic last week. They are also now plagued with the absence of star player Sidney Crosby; who as much of hockey nation knows is out for about two weeks. Crosby suffered a concussion occurring in a Penguins 8-1 win over Tampa Bay Lightning last week.
The Penguins have other notable players filling the roster such as Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and of course Marc-Andre Fleury just to name a few. Individually these are all amazing players, but realistically it’s Crosby who somehow ignites the fire within them all. With Crosby out it could be a huge relief off the shoulders of either Tim Thomas or Tuukka Rask.
While the Bruins have had a difficult time on home ice as of late, they have ironically been a pretty good road team. Not only have the Bruins been racking up some frequent flyer miles in the past few weeks; they’ve also been bringing in the points during these contests. The Bruins roster remains mostly healthy and uninjured (exceptions given to Mark Stuart who has been placed on IR), comments have been swirling the internet that a few player might be feeling a bit under the weather.
With the strength, energy and hopefully consistent play throughout the rest of the season, perhaps these Penguins/Bruins matchups will be a preview of the Stanley Cup playoff run. No matter what the final outcome is tonight, the losing team will have the chance of redemption later in the week as these two teams face off again on Saturday at the TD Garden in Boston.