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Game Day: Boston Bruins @ Atlanta Thrashers - Going for Five

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Atlanta Thrashers Boston Bruins
Philips Arena
TV: SportsSouth Radio: 680 the FAN
SBNation: Game page, Stanley Cup of Chowder
Ondrej Pavelec
Tim Thomas
(6-5-1, .917% 2.90) (5-6-3, .918 2.33)

Game notes after the jump.

Boston Notes

Last Game: The Bruins fell to the Islanders 4-1. The Bruins out shot (29-21) and out-drew (70% FO) the Isles, but it seemed the word of the night was CLANG. Even with a 1:35 5-0n-3 advantage, Boston culdn't find the back of the net. Passes were not crisp, or even down-right ill advised.

Road Trip: The Bs are opening their four game roadie at Philips tonight - from here, it's off to Buffalo tomorrow, St. Louis on Monday, and wrapping it up in Minnesota Wednesday. On the year, Boston is 2-4-1 on the road.

Special Teams: PP 12.9% (30th) PK 84.7% (3rd)

Who to Watch Out For: Boston's points are pretty evenly spread out: the difference between the top 10 scorers on their roster is 5 points (13 for Patrice Bergeron down to 7 for Michael Ryder & the injured Marc Savard). However, the Bruins offense as a whole has been pretty ineffective to the tune of 2.25 goals per game. That's why I'm calling Boston goalie Tim Thomas the guy to watch out for. Before his last outing ( a six goal meltdown against Pittsburgh), Timmy Tommy had a stretch of five games where he looked like a game stealer, averaging 0.80 goals against and a .968 save percentage. He would've probably garnered a record better than 1-2-2, had his teammates been able to muster more than four goals over that period. That game stealing potential is still there every time Thomas stands in net.

What's Gone Wrong?
By the twenty game mark last year, the Bruins had won five more games in a much more convincing manner. What happened? Well, mid-October saw the loss of both Savard and Milan Lucic for over a month. Phil Kessel is now Trucculent in Toronto. David Krejci had swine flu. So basically, bad luck and cap issues.

Boston Injuries: Marc Savard is still out with a broken foot, but Milan Lucic looks to be a game-time decision (finger surgery).

Good Blogs: Stanley Cup of Chowder is a great place to start. One of my favorite B's blogs, Here Come the Bruins, has recently gone on hiatus, give me a major case of the sad faces. You can, however, still view his classic "A Star Wars Guide to the Stanley Cup Finals."

Thrashers Notes

Last Game: A 3-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers. The Thrashers weren't exactly at their sharpest, and need to play a little more disciplined game to put pucks behind Tim Thomas - something they're absolutely capable of (see Kings, LA).

Homestand: A win tonight gives Atlanta a winning record homestand, and would give them a winning record (5-4) at Philips for the first time since game 1.

Special Teams: PP 26.5% (2nd) PK 84.5% (4th, just behind BOS)

Who To Watch Out For: Rich Peverley has a 3 game point streak going; Ilya Kovalchuck has 8 points in 3 games since returning from a foot injury; Maxim Afinogenov has 6 points in his last 3 games; and Slava Kozlov has a 1 game goal streak I'd really like to see continue.

That's Why They Call It "The Past": Last year's Thrashers posted an 0-4 record against Boston, including a 5-4 heartbreaker in October and a 7-3 drubbing last December. There are just enough proud guys on this Thrashers squad that remember and probably want to rectify things.

Atlanta Injuries: Bryan Little (groin) and Pavel Kubina (lower body) are game-time decisions.

Across Enemy Lines: John Beattie from asked me a couple of questions about the Thrashers, and somehow I managed to name-check Gloria Estefan.

Parting Shot: I'm fairly certain the Bruins have the best TV spots. I found a very appropriate one for Philips: