With realignment an eventuality now, it's time that we start focusing on new rivalries-to-be and old rivalries-to-be-renewed. We're reaching out to the fans who know the teams best to get to know more about them and what to expect.
The Team: Boston Bruins
The Blog: Stanley Cup of Chowder
The Head-to-Head Record (W-L-T): 263-254-95
The Last Meeting: November 25th, 2011 @BOS (3-2 SOW)
The Brief History: A close Original Six rivalry, Detroit holds a thin 9-game advantage over the 87-year history between the Red Wings and Bruins. The two teams have met in two Cup Finals series, in 1941 and 1943. Boston won the first and Detroit the second in series which featured coaches who now have their names attached to NHL Awards (Art Ross and Jack Adams).
Detroit rides a more-recent streak of four straight wins against the Bruins, including a pair of dominating wins in back-to-back games in 2011 during which Detroit outscored Boston 10-3. Their last meeting was one of the most-intense early season matchups of recent memory. These teams have very little in common roster-wise. The closest we've got is that Patrick Eaves was traded from Ottawa to Boston in 2009, but Eaves never played a game for the Bruins before being bought out. That summer, Eaves signed with Detroit.
In fact, these two teams haven't dealt directly with one another since 1994, when Detroit sent Vincent Riendeau to Boston in return for a 5th-rounder.
Getting to know you: Continuing our series on our new Division rivals, we've got Sarah Connors from Stanley Cup of Chowder to introduce us to the Bruins and their fans. We asked the same five questions which should help acquaint us with the group. Also, if we're going to be conversing with them, we might want to take heed of their community guidelines; the shortest yet!
1. First off, tell us the most important things we need to know about your team.
The Bruins are the best team in the northeast, all year every year. ....Okay, maybe not. But they've been contenders every year for the last five or six years. The best line in hockey, Marchand-Bergeron-Seguin, will haunt your team for years to come as they're all fairly young guys who will likely be with this team for a long time. The Bruins play a primarily defense-first system, and they allow very few goals; they're also very good on the penalty kill and extremely mediocre on the power play. These are trends that have been in place for years now and aren't likely to change anytime soon. (You'll see us complain about Geoff Ward and the power play on a really really regular basis, so get ready for that.)
2. Who on your team are we going to hate the most?
Brad Marchand, probably. He's a pesty forward who scores lots of goals, although he's taken a bit of the rat out of his game lately. One time he fought PK Subban. It was AWESOME.
3. Why should the Wings fear you?
The Wings should fear the Bruins because as far as I can tell, the Wings don't play nearly as physical a game as the Bruins do. The Bruins will grind you down when they're on, and that combined with a stellar defense - especially once Dougie Hamilton matures a bit more - should be fearsome for most teams in the league. (Plus, who wouldn't be scared of a 6'9 defenseman as scary looking as Zdeno Chara?)
4. What do you fear most about the Wings?
Their speed and skill, most definitely. Although the last few years the Bruins have shown they can keep up with fast, skilled teams (you should have a good match in Montreal in that area). I don't really fear the Wings' defense without Lidstrom, or their goaltending, but up front they're for sure a good match-up for us, and it should be interesting seeing them more than once or twice a year.
5. What about the rest of our new division will our fanbases have no problem agreeing on?
That regular trips to Florida are awesome; that it's good to be the only teams in the division who have won a Cup in the last ten years (sorry, Tampa, you just barely don't make the cut next season) and that the Leafs' fanbase is insufferable (enjoy that Winter Classic...)