May 23, 2013

Opening Faceoff: Thursday, May 23

By Andrew Merritt

Milan Lucic and the Bruins have a chance to turn out the lights on the Rangers tonight at MSG. (Getty Images)

Good reads

The Bruins, less than two weeks removed from letting the Maple Leafs force a Game 7, are now on the verge of sweeping the New York Rangers. Eric Wilbur has no doubt that the B’s are about to put this series away, and sees no chance of a repeat of the harrowing 2010 collapse against Philadelphia.

Joe McDonald of ESPN Boston looks at Johnny Boychuk’s emergence as a playoff weapon this year.

Daniel Paille and Dan Girardi grew up in the same small Southern Ontario town, and they were the best man at each other’s wedding. Matt Higgins at the New York Times has a good piece on their relationship, and the road that brought them to opposite sides of the Bruins-Rangers series.

Quick hits

The biggest news ahead of Game 4 is the absence of Brad Richards, whose brutal season took another turn for the worse as he’s been benched for the potential elimination game at Madison Square Garden. Richards, who won a Cup with coach John Tortorella at Tampa Bay, had been demoted to the fourth line, where he continued to struggle.

The Ottawa Senators lost 7-3 to the Pittsburgh Penguins after leading 2-1 in Game 4 last night. Coach Paul MacLean’s press conference after the game took less time than the Penguins needed to overwhelm his team.

History lesson

May 23 marks the 84th birthday of Vic Stasiuk, who came to the Bruins from Detroit as part of the June 3, 1955 trade that also brought Terry Sawchuk, Marcel Bonin and Lorne Davis to Boston. The trade came less than two months after Stasiuk and Sawchuk won the Stanley Cup with the Wings. Stasiuk played 378 games with the Bruins before being sent back to Detroit, scoring 125 goals and 166 assists, and racking up 461 penalty minutes.

Today on NEHJ

In this month’s edition of the New England Hockey Journal, Jesse Connolly caught up with New Englanders playing in the NHL to talk about the Boston Marathon bombing, and the various homages some have put together in the aftermath. It’s one you won’t want to miss.

Entirely off-topic

“Dazed and Confused,” for reasons passing understanding, will get a sequel. It’s hard to believe Richard Linklater can recapture the magic of the 1993 original, but if he can get Matthew McConaughey back as Wooderson, we’re in.

Twitter: @A_Merritt