WASHINGTON -- Onetime Democratic Senate candidate Martha Coakley may have had some disastrous difficulty remembering who Curt Schilling plays for, but Scott Brown may need to brush up on his hockey knowledge.
The athletic Massachusetts Republican, asked in a Capitol hallway Wednesday afternoon if he was a hockey fan, nodded and responded yes. But when taunted by a reporter about the Bruins’ chances in their opening game tonight against the Sabres, Brown said, “Is that the Washington team?”
The Buffalo team, actually -- third seed in the NHL Eastern Conference and one of Boston’s rivals in the five-member Northeast Division.
In his defense, Brown was still jet-lagged from a trip to Pakistan and Afghanistan. And “Downtown Scotty Brown” is far more of a basketball guy. He played at Tufts, and his daughter plays hoops at Boston College.
Here’s a cheat sheet: The Buffalo Sabres have a better record (45-27-10, compared to the Bruins’ 39-30-13), but Boston beat the Sabres, 3-1, in their last meeting of the season. Further, the Bruins beat the top-ranked Washington Capitols -- in Washington -- Sunday.
Both have stellar goaltenders; the Bruins’ Tuukka Rask has the highest save percentage in the league, the Sabres’ Ryan Miller, the starting goalie for the US Olympic hockey team, is right behind him. Miller has played more games than Rask, which could give him an edge. Both teams have strong penalty-killing units, meaning that the games may hinge on who scores more often in power plays.
The teams face off in Buffalo at 7pm Thursday to begin the best-of-seven series.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.