The Calgary Flames and Boston Bruins will kick off the NHL’s pre-season schedule with a date in Shenzhen, China. It will be the first game for both of these teams in 2018-19, and will be the second time the NHL has ventured into China, after the LA Kings and Vancouver Canucks played two pre-season games there last year as well.
I’m going to keep this preview short as it’s the pre-season, and both teams have really only had a few practices now.
Tonight will be the first chance for Flames fans to see Noah Hanifin, Elias Lindholm, James Neal, Austin Czarnik, Derek Ryan, and new head coach Bill Peters. So yeah, if you’ve been in a coma the last 4-5 months, there’s been a lot of change.
The Bruins swept last year’s season series with the Flames, wining 5-2 at TD Garden, and 2-1 in overtime at the Saddledome. The Flames will be icing a lineup that will look very similar to the one that they will ice in the regular season. The Bruins are adding a bit more youth to their lineup, and will be missing a few mainstays in Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, Torey Krug, and David Krejci.
Here are the projected lineups based on Friday’s practices for both teams:
Johnny Gaudreau - Sean Monahan - Elias Lindholm
Matthew Tkachuk - Mikael Backlund - James Neal
Michael Frolik - Derek Ryan - Austin Czarnik
Sam Bennett - Mark Jankowski - Garnet Hathaway
Mark Giordano - T.J. Brodie
Noah Hanifin - Travis Hamonic
Brett Kulak - Mike Stone
Brad Marchand - Jack Studnicka - David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk - Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson - Ryan Donato
Peter Cehlarik - Trent Frederic - David Backes
Joakim Nordstrom - Chris Wagner - Martin Bakos
John Moore - Charlie McAvoy
Matt Grzlecyk - Kevan Miller
Jakub Zboril - Brandon Carlo
These lineups are obviously likely to change before puck drop but this is the general idea of the rosters that both teams will be icing.
Puck drop tonight is at 12:30 AM MT and the game will be broadcast on Sportsnet. Who else isn’t gonna sleep???