The Seattle Kraken are in Boston Tuesday to face the world-famous Bruins, an original-six team, if you’re into those kinds of things.
Boston has the history and the tradition, which of course has no impact on the game, but Seattle will have its hands full in this one. For starters, the Bruins enter the game with a 25-14-3 record and in fourth place of the tough Atlantic Division.
They are coming off a 6-1 drubbing Sunday at the hands of the Dallas Stars so should be in a sour mood when the Kraken show up. Offensively, Boston is 15th in the league with 3.02 goals per game but only have a plus-ten goal differential. The Bruins are not invincible and are 14-8-1 at home.
Is the Perfection Line still perfect?
The Bruins still feature one of the more dangerous top lines in the NHL. Led by the all-popular Brad Marchand (21g, 26a, 47p), Dunkin Donut enthusiast David Pastrnak (20-20=40), and the ageless Patrice Bergeron (12-21=33) the so-called ‘Perfection Line’ is still kind of perfect.
There’s a bit of a fall-off after that top line, however. They’re getting scoring from Taylor Hall (27 points) and Charlie McAvoy (28 points) on the back end but not much from anyone else.
It doesn’t take a hockey expert to see that the Kraken will have to try and contain the Perfection Line if they want points. Easier said than done, but must be a key to victory.
Who’s stopping the puck for the Bruins?
Former Buffalo Sabres sort-of-good goalie Linus Ullmark will start in net against the Kraken. Overall, Ullmark is having a decent season with a 15-6-0 record and .912 save percentage. He’s allowed four goals twice over his last three starts, including that loss to Dallas, so if you are the Kraken… shots, shots, shots.
Ullmark was a pupil of Kraken goalie coach Andrew Allen when the two were in Buffalo. Has Allen spilled all Ullmark’s secrets to the team this week? We will find out.
Bruins odds and ends
Boston is 16-0-0 when leading after one period while Seattle has trailed after the first period 21 times this season – and ended up winning three of those games.
On the power play, the Bruins are sixth in the NHL with a 25.4 percent success rate. At home, it’s even better where they are at 28.6 percent and second best in the NHL. So, don’t take penalties.
Killing penalties, Boston is ninth best at home with an 84.7 percent success rate.
From the Northwest to Boston
There are a couple of local connections with the Bruins. One is obvious while the other may fly under the radar.
The latter is Tuesday’s backup goalie Jeremy Swayman who grew up in Anchorage, Alaska. After Alaska, Swayman played his college hockey for the University of Maine which means he was once a Black Bear and is now a Bruin.
Defenseman Brandon Carlo has spent some time in Washington State with the Tri-City Americans. Carlo, a physical defenseman, spent three seasons in Kennewick with the Americans from 2013 to 2016. The Bruins selected him with the 37th pick during the 2015 NHL Draft.