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Preview; Bruins host Thrashers with five games left in regular season

April 2, 2011

With all the talk of playoff seeding you’d think that the season still had a good chunk left but the Bruins will play just five more regular season games before they try to avenge last years embarrassing finish. With a win against the Maple Leafs the Bruins could have wrapped up the Northeast Division but they failed to do so, losing 4-3 in a shootout. Atlanta’s playoff hopes have been gone since before the Devils were done. After an impressive start the Thrashers have faded all the way back to 11th in the East.

The game will be the first time the Bruins see Mark Stuart and Blake Wheeler in opposing uniforms. Blake Wheeler has lit it up in Atlanta gathering 11 points in 18 games, playing much more efficiently than his time in Boston. It’s long been theorized that Claude Julien is a detriment to players numbers, Wheeler could prove that theory correct.

Shane Hnidy will play his first game of the season after recovering from shoulder surgery. Assuming Zdeno Chara, who seemed to be sick, plays, Steve Kampfer and Adam McQuaid will get a game off. It’s going to be interesting to see how Julien implements Hnidy so late in the season. There’s no way he’s going to be close to game shape but he could leapfrog some defensemen in the playoffs and take their spot. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

Tuukka Rask will start in net today as it appears that the Bruins will finally start resting Tim Thomas down the stretch. Shawn Thornton won’t play today, he’s still letting his new jewelry heal. There’s no real reason to play Thornton right now either.

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