It was just under two weeks ago that the NHL-leading Boston Bruins took down the Edmonton Oilers in chilly Edmonton by a 3-2 final score. They'll be going right back against each other tonight in Boston at TD Garden, and while the Oilers boast the deadly offensive attack led by superstars Connor Mcdavid and Leon Draisaitl, nothing is a given against the Bruins who are threatening to rewrite the NHL record books.
“I think they’re a team that does not beat themselves, so you can’t help them beat yourself,” explained head coach Jay Woodcroft ahead of tonight's game. “That comes down to managing pucks, managing different situations that occur during a game, and when an opportunity to strike is there, then you strike. I thought it was a well-played game in Edmonton. We had the opportunity to win that game, but in the end, we made one more mistake, and they found a way to win. Now it’s our turn to repay the favor.”
The Bruins are the fastest team in NHL history to reach the 100 point mark, and can clinch their already guaranteed postseason berth by getting two points tonight. However, this current edition of the Oilers is not the same as their last meeting with Boston thanks to the additions of Mattias Ekholm and Nick Bjugstad via trades as well as the potential return of Evander Kane to action.
"I think we've played some good hockey games since that meeting," Woodcroft said. "I thought that the game we played against Boston was a good learning game for us too because I thought we did a lot of really good things. But in the end, we made one more mistake with the puck.
"I think we're a different team now. A few trades have been made, so I'm anxious to see how we stack up against the league's top team."
"Obviously it's a team that's kind of set the standard for the league so far this year, and that's a great challenge for us," defenceman Darnell Nurse said. "I think we have a lot of confidence in our group that we can come out here and play with anyone in this League, and this is a good test.
"It's one thing to feel it in here. You've got to go out there and prove it each and every night."
Tonight's game will get underway at 7:00 PM EST.