BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Bruins are back in action Thursday night in the front end of a back-to-back, hosting the Columbus Blue Jackets at the TD Garden.
After dropping four of five, the Bruins are winners of three straight and have gotten into a bit of an offensive groove — outscoring opponents 10-2 in the mini-winning streak. All four lines have been produced for Boston as of late, which has Bruins analyst Billy Jaffe very happy.
Preview: Bruins vs. Blue Jackets
“I like the fact theyre getting on good offense cycles [and have a] good offense flow. They’re tenderizing the defense a little more than they were before,and they’re getting contributions from all the lines,” Jaffe said during his weekly call into Toucher & Rich on Thursday. “The top line, [David] Krecji’s line, was so good all year long but you weren’t sure what you were going to get regularly from the others. It’s cohesive now; everyone is coming through.”
But the one man we cannot forget to give credit to is netminder Tuukka Rask, whose .948 save percentage is tops in the league.
“The guy who hasnt gotten enough attention is Tuukka Rask. You have to say he’s been one of the top three, four goalies in the NHL,” said Jaffe. “He’s masked a few problems, and a few games early on he kept them in it and got them by.”
Defenseman Adam McQuaid is expected to miss his second game with an undisclosed body injury he suffered Saturday against the Maple Leafs. Jaffee isn’t sure how long McQuaid will be out, but the Bruins are in a good position with their depth on the blue line. They have seven NHL defensemen on the roster and Matt Bartkowski can step right in for the injured McQuaid.
Another player that has impressed on the blue line is Torey Krug, whose six goals are tied for the most among defensemen this season. What are the chances Krug makes the U.S. Olympic team later this season?
“I think they’re going to consider him. You can’t not consider him the way he’s shown himself this season,” said Jaffe. “What he gives them is a lateral movement on the blue line and a power play specialist. It’s going to be tough for him to make the team with other older, more seasoned players. But with the bigger ice surface he brings a dimension that they could use. Maybe it’s in a number-seven type role, but he has to be considered right now.”
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Jaffe also talks about a potential change to the overtime rules, and the play of BC Alum Cam Atkinson on the Columbus Blue Jackets: