That's probably Tuukka Rask after looking at the defensive pairing that could be in front of him tonight. It should surprise anyone that Zdeno Chara will not be playing tonight because he's on a plane to Shitsville Russia. I have no problem with Chara heading to Sochi to be the flag bearer for Slovakia. When the season began Boston made it a point to lower Chara's minutes.
Then Dennis Seidenberg's ACL committed suicide and that plan went down the toilet unlike Sochi paper.
Chara leads the Bruins in time on ice per game (TOI/G) and is ranked 14th in the NHL in TOI/G at 24:57. If the Finals were any indication (and it's tough to judge that based on the schedule they had) but in March 13, the Bruins played 17 games in 31 days. This season, thanks to the Olympics, the Bruins will also play 17 games in 31 days but this March. Here is the problem: the Bruins have six back to backs this March with three of them being road/home games.
So Chara having a couple days off, even against the Blues and the Sens, is okay with me.
But poor Tuukka Rask man.
With Chara gone, Dave Warsofsky will step in and completely fuck everything up line wise. Seriously, I have no idea how these pairings will work out. Either way, Johnny Boychuk goes from your third best defenseman on the roster to your first (with Chara, Seidenberg out) and then it's an Atlanta, Geogia snow-riddled pile up after that.
In terms of the opponent, you should know what you're getting with St. Louis. They're a monster. They rank 6th in the NHL with a 52.3% corsi for - which means they are one of the best puck possession teams in the NHL. Sitting at #5? The Boston Bruins. It's going to be a battle of puck possession and the team that wins the corsi battle will more than likely win the game.
Of course, the game is played on the ice and Alex Steen is a man on a mission. Despite missing a few weeks with a concussion, Steen is currently a point per game player with 45 points in 44 games - including 27 goals.
I guess we need to look at the pairings...