Tomorrow night (friday) the Bruins will play in North Carolina against the Hurricanes and then immediately travel to Atlanta to play the Thrashers on Saturday night. Also on Friday Boston College is playing their bowl game against Michigan State. That game is at 5 and will overlap with the Bruins. Luckily I have planned a way to watch both games at the same time (which I have done before, it's quite fun). On Saturday night the Patriots will play their 16th game of the season and continue their quest for the perfect season at the same time as the Bruins game. The Pats game will be nationally televised on NBC AND CBS (meanwhile ABC in Boston will also have the game). Once again I found out a way to watch both games at the same time. I will not, however, be able to watch the Celtics take on Utah on Saturday night at 9. I can live with that. So to recap what I get to watch these next two nights:
Friday: Boston College vs. Michigan State (5PM on ESPN) & Boston Bruins at Carolina Hurricanes (7PM on NESN)
Saturday: Boston Bruins at Atlanta Thrashers (7PM on NESN) & New England Patriots at New York Giants (8PM on channel 4,5, or 7)
Now the news and pregame part. On paper the Bruins are in trouble. Glen Murray (hip flexor strain) and of course Patrice Bergeron (concussion) are out on offense, and Aaron Ward (broken foot), Andrew Alberts (post-concussion syndrome (unconfirmed)), and Bobby Allen (back Spasms) are out on defense. It's one thing to have injured players, it's another to have very key players get injured. Our defense will have 3 rookies (technically one rookie and 2 AHL players).
Here is my complete guess at what the lines will be:
Sobotka, in this scenario, would be the healthy scratch.
I would assume that the minutes for Ference, Wideman, and Chara would be very high. I doubt that Lashoff and Hunwick will have a lot of shifts together. They will play a lot, but I think that Ference, Chara, and Wideman will be rotating in with one or the other.
At practice, Shinzawa reported in his blog that Bochenski was on the top line, Kobasew was on the 2nd line, and Schaefer on the third. Considering how Bochenski has been playing, and how well Schaefer and Kobasew have been down the stretch, I think Julien will tweak the lines to something closer to what I've got. Tim Thomas will probably start in North Carolina, and then his performance will determine who starts in Atlanta.
Update: Fluto Shinzawa has confirmed that Bochenski is starting next to Savvy and Axelsson, and that Tim Thomas is starting. So the lines should be:
Montreal beat Tampa tonight so the pressure is on this injured Bruins team to win and stay in second place. Go Bruins!!!