So yeah as sick of hearing about how we haven't seen this team since three days after the wheel was invented, it's worth taking a look back to see just how long ago it really was since the Anaheim Ducks faced the Boston Bruins (and likewise be thankful we don't have to deal with the NHL's crappy old schedule anymore).
With the lockout removing inter-conference play last season, you have to go all the way back to March 25, 2012 to find the last time these two teams clashed, with the Bruins prevailing 3-2 in a matinee tilt at Honda Center. I'll never forget it because this game featured one of the single worst calls I have ever seen in the game of hockey hands down.
I'm totally not bitter at all about it still either.
However if you want to go back to the last time the Ducks were in Boston, get your Tardis/DeLorean/[insert time travel device of choice here] out and set the date for December 20, 2010 when the Ducks walked out of TD Garden 3-0 winners, thanks to a brilliant 45-save performance from Jonas Hiller. I'd love for him to do that again.
Keys to the Game: The Anaheim Ducks are battling what I believe can now be classified as a metric crap-ton (204.62262 lbs.) of injuries. The latest to go down was Teemu Selanne, who required 40 stitches to close a pretty gruesome facial wound, as well as lost six teeth.
On the upside Dustin Penner will be back in the lineup so there's one regular back. And I personally am looking forward to the season debut for Rickard Rakell, who looked extremely impressive in his short stint with the team last season, and likewise has started strong down in Norfolk.
For Boston, their key is without question their goaltender. Tuukka Rask has been lights-out stellar this season, sporting a GAA of 1.71 and a save-percentage of .943. That right there is the single-biggest reason why the Bruins have the league's second-best defense, only allowing 20 goals to this point in the season. Likewise the Bruins are 10th-best in the league in shots-against per game, averaging just over 28. Scoring does not come easy when facing this team.
What Can We Learn From This Game: The Ducks have played well to this point despite having several regulars injured the entire year but now the hospital list just continues to grow longer.
So rather than catching a break and running up against a less physically-inclined team, the schedule pairs us with arguably the hardest-hitting team in the Eastern Conference in the Boston Bruins. Now normally I'd laugh and make some sort of a joke about the Eastern Conference and how they're a bunch of pansies who play horrible defense, but that's true for just about every team EXCEPT the Boston Bruins.
Boston is the home of noted superstar defenseman Zdeno Chara. Once you get past how alarmingly ugly he is, you realize that he is in fact 6'9" tall, weighs 255 lbs. (that's 1.25 metric crap-tons), and has the hardest slapshot ever recorded, clocking in at just over 108 miles per hour. (Jonas... if you're reading this... I'm praying for you.)
Then you get to his play style. Chara is mean. He is exactly the type of defenseman who makes forwards terrified to cross his blue line. Hell Chara nearly killed a guy for doing less than what Corey Perry probably does to his neighbors on an average Wednesday afternoon! And I'm pretty sure Brenden Shannaban was too scared to actually suspend him for it because he got off discipline free.
The Ducks have one very tall task in front of them in this one, and finding a way to squeak out a win to guarantee at least a .500 mark on the road trip would be an incredible result from one of the hardest buildings to win in.
Fearless Prediction: Someone else gets hurt. Wait... why am I saying that here? I'm scared of that actually happening!
Oh and Jack Edwards goes on some rant about how David Krejci is like Paul Revere or some other historical figure because he's actually crazy.
Yeah... not really all that bold or fearless really.