The Boston Bruins open the regular season at home with a high-profile matchup against the reigning Western Conference champion Nashville Predators tonight at 7 p.m.
The Bruins are looking to prove that last years turnaround wasn’t an anomaly, but the start of something great.
While the significance of an early season game should never be blown out of proportion, the Bruins have a huge chance to prove themselves against an elite Nashville team.
The Predators strength is their D corps. Their elite defensive core is lead by Roman Josi, Mattias Ekholm, and P.K. Subban.
These three play fast and physical and will provide a solid test to the Bruins scoring depth. Players such as Frank Vatrano and Ryan Spooner need to contribute.
In last year’s playoffs, these guys zeroed in on top forwards and forced teams to beat them with depth. Only one team was able to do that and it took six games in the Stanley Cup Final.
It should also be noted that Nashville saw multiple defenseman score double digit goals last season.
The Predators strong blue line is anchored by even better goaltending. Pekka Rinne was simply sensational in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, carrying them through several low scoring affairs.
The Predator’s strength may be their defense, but their offense is no pushover. Viktor Arvidsson and Filip Forsberg both scored thirty goals last season, but Nashville has plenty other weapons as well.
They added former Penguins center Nick Bonino to their roster to help bolster their center depth as well.
Torey Krug has been ruled OUT for the game after being placed on IR so the Bruins will need rookie Charlie McAvoy to step up in a big way.
With the loss of Mike Fischer and James Neal, the Bruins should watch out for Pontus Aberg, who made a name for himself in last season’s Stanley Cup Final.
The Bruins have a tough test right out of the gate, but a win here would give this young team a major confidence boost.