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Preview; Bruins tune up against the hapless Islanders

April 6, 2011

After blowing a three-goal lead on Monday against the Rangers the Bruins will head home to host the Islanders in yet another tune-up for the playoffs. Many Bruins fans were reminded of the crushing way last season ended and many have quickly pointed to how little has changed in a season’s time. The Bruins can’t move up or down in the standings, making this game relatively meaningless. The game is important for the Bruins in terms of confidence and fine-tuning for the playoffs.

The Islanders have been out of the playoffs nearly since the season started, so the Bruins should beat up on the Islanders who must have their lockers half-packed for the summer. The Islanders have lost four of five games and are the fourth-worst team in terms of goals against but the Bruins will still start Tim Thomas. Maybe it’s a way to preserve Tim Thomas’ standing on the all-time save % list, but I’m starting to get concerned with the Bruins over-playing their gravy train. Thomas is famously great when well rested so hopefully Thomas only makes one more start after today.

Shawn Thornton will make his return to the lineup tonight, sans a face shield. Thornton will have his 40 stitches taken out before the game and will most likely look Frankenstein-esque. As the Bruins are getting healthy the Isles are shutting down players with nagging injuries. The Islanders have six defensemen this season due to injury so goal-scoring shouldn’t be a problem considering the Bruins will be going against an AHL defense.

Some recent interesting pseudo-news coming from Peter Chiarelli’s interview on Toucher and Rich is that Tyler Seguin is ‘trending’ towards being the odd man out in the playoffs. I don’t really have a problem with that seeing that Michael Ryder is a playoff hero with 18 points in 24 playoff games as a Bruin. I envision Seguin and Thornton exchanging scratches depending on physicality and game style in the playoffs.

I’m still kind of confused as to what Shane Hnidy‘s role on the team is. You figure that these are the games he’s playing in to get back into the flow if they really wanted to use him in the playoffs, but Hnidy will be scratched again tonight with Steven Kampfer.

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