Some familiar faces returned to the lineup last night. The little ball of hate, Brad Marchand returned, along with Ryan Spooner and David Backes. These were huge additions to the lineup, because Marchy is Marchy, Spooner helps with the third line depth, which they desperately need and Backes brings back a big body to help muck it up down low.
So far this year, it seems like whenever this team gets someone back from injury, another is added to the inactive list. We don’t expect Krejci and Debrusk to be out for too long, but this game was a big one against the red-hot Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Lightning lead the division, but the Bruins put a statement win up on the board in front of Rask. Rask made 19 saves to end his four-game losing streak, and his teammates stepped up, too, with McAvoy and Nash scoring first-period goals. The team has played mediocre with Rask in net recently, and I really don’t know why. For some reason, they have been blocking more shots, scoring more goals and just have a better energy level in front Doby. Last night, the team stepped up and earned Rask a W, which was crucial, because if this team wants to go far this year, they need him to play well. To make a run for the playoffs this year this team needs to be healthy, which has been a persistent issue all year.
David Krejci and Jake Debrusk did not play and we can add them to the list of injured players, headlined by Adam McQuaid and Anders Bjork. McQuaid is a big part of the defense and has been for years. He usually pairs with Krug and the two have been a solid duo since Krug can move the puck and be more offensive while McQuaid is the more stay at home, protect the house defender. McQuaid shouldn’t be back for a while since he broke his leg, but Bjork should be back soon, and then they can take Frank Vatrano out of the lineup. Everything that Vatrano does has been awful since he has been on this team. Sure he can shoot but he is constantly getting penalties and is trash on the defensive end. Once everyone is healthy this team should be a playoffs team but they have to get healthy first.
Tonight was a good test of where this team is with so many players out. The Bruins triumphed over the Lightning, 3-2.