Boston Bruins (31–17–8) vs Chicago Blackhawks (23–24–9)
Chicago (21.5%, 10th)
Boston (26.4%, 3rd)
Chicago (73.9%, 31st)
Boston (80.0%, T16th)
Chicago (31.5, 17th; 35.3, 30th)
Boston (33.1, 6th; 30.7, 12th)
Chicago (10.2%, 10th)
Boston (8.7%, 26th)
Chicago (49.7%, 17th)
Boston (51.3%, 8th)
Chicago 6’1”, 195lbs
Boston 6’1” 197lbs
This Winter Classic re-match features a red-hot Chicago Blackhawks team taking on one of the top Eastern Conference teams, the Boston Bruins. The Blackhawks are riding a seven-game win streak heading into Boston on Tuesday evening. The key so far to the Blackhawks success has been the play of Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome, who all rank in the top four in league scoring since January 20th.
On the heels of a brand-new three-year contract extension, Collin Delia is likely to man the crease when the Blackhawks travel to beantown. Delia was rewarded for his strong play so far this season with a three-year/$3 million extension, paying him an AAV of $1 million a season. This contract may prove to be a gamechanger for Stan Bowman, as he has now locked up a possible future number one goalie for this team at an insanely good price.
Another move that grabbed the attention of Blackhawks’ fans was the promotion of forward Dylan Sikura from Rockford. Sikura is currently the leading scorer in Rockford and will serve as the Blackhawks’ 13th forward, after playing numerous games with only 12 forwards on the roster. Sikura may draw into Tuesday’s contest against Boston, likely taking the place of either Brendan Perlini or Chris Kunitz.
The Bruins are not an easy win for this red-hot Blackhawks team. The Bruins currently sit in third place in the Atlantic Division, only one point back of the second-place Maple Leafs. They have won four of their last five games, taking points in all five of those games (their only loss was a shootout loss to the first-place New York Islanders). Expect the Bruins to come out flying, especially with the chance to leapfrog the Maple Leafs in the standings.
Much like the Blackhawks, the Bruins’ scoring has come from a select number of players. David Pastrnak leads the team with 66 points followed by Brad Marchand who has 65. They are followed by Patrice Bergeron (51), David Krejci (43) and Torey Krug (39). After those five players, the next highest scorer is Jake DeBrusk with 19 points. The key to a Blackhawks win on Tuesday night will be shutting down the big guns in the Bruins’ top six.