Game Preview: Blackhawks @ Bruins
The Chicago Blackhawks are on their way to Boston to take on the leagues best. The Bruins are an outstanding 15-2, gaining 30 of a possible 34 pts to start the season. This game has a narrative of two teams heading in opposite directions.
It wasn't long ago, in the off-season, that had the Bruins as a potential question mark riddled team however. The organization gambled on letting go their long tenured and successful coach Bruce Cassidy (now with the Golden Knights). They then gambled on not meeting star winger David Pastrnak's extension price. They also did not sign or trade for any potential replacement should future Hall of Famer Patrice Bergeron retire.
These 3 gambles have all paid off. Jim Montgomery has taken a good team into true cup contender status. David Pastrnak has taken his contractual status as motivation to play his best hockey (26pts in 17 games) so far. Then there is Bergeron, whom has stayed one of the elite two way centers and faceoff men in the game.
Will it last for Boston? Perhaps. A good sign is that they did all this without Norris Trophy candidate Charlie McAvoy for the first 13 games. Now back, McAvoy lifts Boston to new heights even still.
The last 3 paragraphs probably would tell you that Boston will destroy the Blackhawks.... I mean they do have 15 guys shooting over 10% and 3 over 20%! I am of the mind that the Blackhawks will come out strong on Saturday. I have one reason for this: Jonathan Toews.
He is a true competitor and he will not let Bergeron and McAvoy gain an inch tomorrow. I think with some net front presence, consistent forechecking, and keeping out the box that the Hawks can keep this match close until the end.
Prediction: Bruins 3 Blackhawks 2 F/SO