At the beginning of the season, this was looking like a marquee matchup. However, Providence has had to overcome some early injury struggles and call-ups and finds itself in fourth place entering tonight’s game. Here’s a great example of that, Jordan Szwarz, courtesy of NBC Sports.
That said, this is still a heavyweight fight with plenty of intrigue. A coach returns to face his old team, two of the league’s best goaltenders are expected to duel it out and, of course, the bitter sting from playoff exits the last few seasons still looms from both sides.
The Bruins’ power play is good, so the familiar refrain of “stay out of the box” is important once again for WBS. I think overall, though, the Penguins have the edge with the depth they carry across all their lines. It wouldn’t surprise me if a third- or fourth-liner is the difference by giving a spark with some kind of big play.
And we don’t get to make this point too often, anymore, but Providence’s Sena Acolatse is one of the AHL’s leaders in penalty minutes. I believe he had two fights in his last game. He has been playing a lot lately, so that could be a factor if he’s on the ice.
I think the giveaway is a card strip of some kind — the photo looked pretty cool.
Around the division, it’s Hershey vs. Lehigh, Bridgeport vs. Hartford and Charlotte vs. Syracuse to keep an eye on.
See you at the Mohegan