Forget about revenge, Bruins are just trying to right the ship tonight vs. Lightning

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TAMPA, Fla. – A revenge game against the Tampa Bay Lightning certainly wasn’t on the mind of the Bruins, and that’s the case even though the Bolts ended Boston’s season after dispatching them in five games in last season’s second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Brad Marchand joked ahead of Tuesday night’s game vs. Florida that he was excited to “work on his bronze” in the sun with the December weather so cold right now up in Boston.

Some of it is probably because it wasn’t the Bruins or Lightning that ended up winning the Cup, obviously, and some of it is because there are plenty of new faces for the Black and Gold right now.

“I think just being a divisional [rival] and being a team that we see a lot, that’s enough [to get motivated] rather than anything about a playoff series,” said Tampa Bay energy forward Ryan Callahan. “Last year is forgotten about. We didn’t win. They didn’t win. We’re all just trying to get back there this year.”

Those are all valid points, of course, but the biggest reason of them all why there isn’t likely to be any carryover from last season’s playoffs?

The Bruins have much bigger problems as of right now having lost two in a row, and coming off a 5-0 shutout spanking at the hands of the Florida Panthers.

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The B’s are missing Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara, their offense is a big problem spot while ranking 27th in the NHL right now and the heavy number of reserves called up from AHL Providence are beginning to catch up with them.

Maybe it will be a measuring stick game for the B’s a couple of months from now when Boston gets their full roster back, but right now they’re just looking to survive and get some points against the class of the Atlantic Division.

“I think there will be [something extra] for some players, and other players are just trying to help us win right now and find their games. I don’t know if it can be a true test from where we left off last May, to be honest with you,” said Bruce Cassidy. “Certainly for Pastrnak and [Marchand] and go down the list of guys that were here from last year, I’m sure they will have some extra juice. I hope so. We need it.

“You’ve got a great opponent and [Tampa Bay] is arguably the best team in the NHL, so you better have your ‘A’ game. That’s hopefully the mentality that our guys have.”

In other words, the bare bones Bruins roster is just trying to get through today against a very good NHL team. So the bad blood and the rivalries between the Bruins and Lightning are going to have to wait for another day when the B’s game is in a much better place.   

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