Here are a couple quick-hit thoughts I have before completing my shovel-palooza and then heading to TD Garden for the Bruins-Flyers game tonight.
•Adam McQuaid should not seek revenge on Jody Shelley. McQuaid came out of the push into the boards Dec. 11 a little shaken but didn’t miss any games after the play. Shelley was suspended for two games. If ever there was a night to focus on just the two points, it’s tonight. The Flyers are tops in the Eastern Conference and everyone that doubts the Bruins is waiting for them to fall on their face after beating up on lowly Ottawa Tuesday. Plus, McQuaid might still be nursing that undisclosed injury that might have occurred in his fight with Travis Moen last Saturday. So just focus on hockey tonight, “Quaider.”
•If the Bruins’ first line (Marc Savard centering Nathan Horton and Michael Ryder with Milan Lucic expected to sit out again tonight) doesn’t combine on a goal tonight, you have the right to demand free popcorn. Just kidding. I would expect that somehow those three are going to produce something positive tonight after coming so close Tuesday.
•Lastly, and this is important: the Bruins not only have to produce a 60-minute effort, they really need a win that comes from many different contributors, not just a game the goaltender steals.
On paper, the Flyers — a team the Bruins undoubtedly will have to beat in the playoffs — are so much better than Boston at every position but goaltender. Of course, the Bruins had far superior goaltending last season too and we know what happened. The Bruins beat the Flyers with a decent effort Dec. 1, 3-0. But that game could’ve turned at any moment if not for some sensational Tim Thomas saves. Then Boston dropped that Dec. 11 game, 2-1, in overtime. It’s time to win a game over the Flyers that doesn’t require a super-human effort from between the pipes (Thomas is expected to get the start) both to prove the Bruins to quiet some of the naysayers and prove to themselves they can hang with one of the league’s premier teams.