Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Heady Canucks LW Schaller back to face Bruins

Matt Kalman
November 08, 2018 - 1:22 pm

The Bruins have been missing secondary offense on the ice and “Timmy heads” in the stands.

When they host the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday at TD Garden they’ll continue their search for goals from players not on their top line, but they won’t have to look far too see oversized  cutouts of Tim Schaller’s heads.

The Canucks forward and New Hampshire native, who left the Bruins to sign a two-year contract worth $1.9 million per season as an unrestricted free agent with Vancouver over the summer, estimated there will be about 100 family and friends at the Garden, and “there will be plenty to go around” when it comes to the “Timmy heads,” which became a frequent sight at Bruins games after Tim and his brother David created them as part of a charitable endeavor.

“Very excited. This one’s been on my calendar since the beginning of the season,” Schaller said after the Canucks’ morning skate Thursday. “I was able to go home last night to New Hampshire and see some friends and family and they’re all making the trek down tonight for the game.”

Thus far this season you could make the case that the Bruins have missed Schaller, who had 36 points (19 goals, 17 assists) in 141 games over the past two seasons in black and gold. Usually a fixture on the Bruins’ fourth line, he had 12 goals in 82 games last season. And, of course, this will always be a highlight of his tenure here, as he schooled New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist:

The Bruins’ current fourth line of Chris Wagner, Sean Kuraly and Noel Acciari has combined for two goals through 14 games.

Schaller, however, hasn’t lit the lamp this season and has just three assists in 14 games. But he’s playing left wing on Vancouver’s top line with Bo Horvat and Jake Virtanen, a sign that Canucks coach Travis Green has faith that Schaller can bring more to Vancouver’s cause.

“A lot of people are like ‘he hasn’t scored.’ But he’s playing a lot with us, and if we didn’t like him he wouldn’t be playing with Bo Horvat, I can tell you that,” Greens said. “So I’m not worried about the goals, it’s the stuff in between. He hit the post the other night, he’s had some looks and his game is not just about goal scoring. He’s been a good penalty killer for us, he’s playing with one of our best players right now, so that says something about where his game’s at.”

We'll see if Schaller has any highlight-reel goals in store for Jaroslav Halak and if the Bruins can find a goal from someone not named Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron or David Pastrnak on Thursday night.