The Bruins have been given today off. They will practice tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. at TD Garden. All Garden practices are closed to the public.
Here’s the latest version of Plus/Minus:
+ A rip-roaring game from Milan Lucic. The big left wing snapped off seven shots against Nashville yesterday, including the game-tying power-play goal late in regulation. Lucic was engaged and committed. Hard to slow down when he’s playing that way.
+ Good wall work by Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton. Yesterday’s teamwork on Paille’s goal was exactly what the team needs from the fourth line. Thornton gave all the credit to Paille. But Thornton was the catalyst with a heads-up cross-corner dump, then a no-look pass to Paille for the score. Thornton’s on-ice IQ rivals the hockey sense of Patrice Bergeron and Chris Kelly.
+ Shootout performance. Call the shootout a gimmick if you wish. But the Bruins have made the most of the gimmick this year, posting a 6-1 record. The Bruins are one of only three teams with one shootout loss (Detroit and Colorado are the others).
– Shortness of picks and prospects. The Bruins will have tough competition before the trade deadline because of their situation. Their first-round pick will most likely be in the 20-30 range. They don’t have a second-rounder (part of the Tomas Kaberle deal) nor a fourth-rounder (Joe Corvo). Their Providence players won’t bring back a significant return. Dougie Hamilton is off the table. In a bidding war, the Bruins might have a hard time matching other competitors’ best offers.
– Goaltending slip. Neither goalie was very good in the 6-0 loss to Buffalo on Wednesday. Tim Thomas usually stops shots like Mike Fisher’s goal in yesterday’s third-period. No sane person would feel comfortable being in Shea Weber’s crosshairs. But Thomas had a good look at Weber’s power-play shot. Thomas and Tuukka Rask must be great, not good.
– David Krejci’s struggles. Bruins need Krejci to reclaim the touch he had during his 11-game scoring streak. Will guess that Krejci will be back between Lucic and Rich Peverley for Tuesday’s showdown against the Rangers.