The Colorado Avalanche host the Boston Bruins tonight for their first of two meetings. Last season Colorado took both games.
The Avalanche have won one and lost one. They effected a come from behind victory over the Dallas Stars after blowing a three-goal lead to the Minnesota Wild. The Boston Bruins are coming into their fourth game of the season still looking for their first win.
Since we get to see our Eastern neighbors so infrequently, we don’t always know what to expect. So let’s look at tonight’s match up.
The Bruins are starting out very similarly to Colorado last year. Interestingly, it was Boston that provided the Avalanche with their first win of the season. Remember Daniel Briere‘s 300th goal that came at the last second?
Well, this season it’s the Bruins who are coming in looking for some kind of miracle. According to Andrew Thompson of Causeway Crowd, a lack of concentration and professionalism is at the heart of the Bruins’ dismal play this season. They’ve been terribly undisciplined, and their power play is a major disappointment.
Well, the Colorado Avalanche can certainly look undisciplined at times. However, their power play is stellar — four goals in six opportunities.
Keys to the Game
Where’s the D?
The Boston Bruins are ever a defensive-minded team. According to Bruins coach Claude Julien, the team has gotten away from that. When defense is such a part of the fabric of your hockey style, it might be relatively easy for Boston to remember how to shut down opponents.
The Colorado Avalanche are on the other end of the spectrum. They have implemented a relatively new defensive system, and they have some exciting new defensemen, especially Francois Beauchemin and Nikita Zadorov. Defense doesn’t come naturally to Colorado, but they’ll need to implement it against a desperate Boston Bruins team.
We Need a Manager Here
As of right now, both teams have struggled with game management. Both teams have had difficulty finding consistency in their game.
The Colorado Avalanche managed to find a way to win decisively against the Dallas Stars despite trailing most of the game. That’s the team we need to see on the ice — the one that keeps playing its game no matter what.
Let’s hope Colorado takes the lead and fights to keep it. I suspect the Bruins might find that defensive magic if they manage a lead — and that’ll be awful for Colorado. (And Avs Nation — that’s some boring hockey.)
Who’s Hot, Who’s Not
Matt Duchene: This has to be Duchene’s year. He has to at least match his personal bests. In two games, though, he’s been stifled — just two shots and zero points. These are two games that saw Colorado get 10 goals, so there were plenty of points to go around.
Gabriel Landeskog: Our captain has never had such a strong start to a season. He already has three goals and two assists in just two games. Indeed, against the Dallas Stars he recorded his first-ever four-point night (2 goals, 2 assists).
Francois Beauchemin: Beauchemin has also come out of the gates strong. He said during a presser he’s never started a season with five points (all assists) in two games. “That’s usually my monthly totals,” he joked. I think it’s safe to say he’s found chemistry with new partner Erik Johnson.
John Mitchell: Mitchell got “demoted” to fourth line center. He’s answered by getting two big goals, the one against Dallas the game winner. Head coach Patrick Roy has said his line (with wingers Jack Skille and Cody McLeod) is playing impressive hockey.
The Colorado Avalanche-Boston Bruins game takes place at 8:00 pm MDT and will be broadcast on Altitude TV.
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