7p ET, TD Garden
TV: Fox Sports Detroit, NESN, NHL Network (US)
Radio: 97.1 The Ticket
This going to be a fun game.
The Red Wings are in town facing their new division "rival." I've debating with myself for awhile now how this game is going to play out.
On one hand you have the Bruins. They're the team that has owned the East for the last few seasons. They've been to the Cup Final two of the last three years and have won a ring. They're the team you're supposed to fear.
On the other hand you have the Red Wings. The definition of hockey success for over two decades now. A team that's too old and too slow and has been on the decline forever. Yet the Wings always find a way. Lately it hasn't resulted in Cups, but there has been some success.
Now Detroit moves to the East. In fact, they've built a home right in the Bruins backyard. The kings of the Northeast now have a new challenge in the Atlantic. Of course, both teams want to win and it's going to be tense on the ice. Is one team going to try to make a statement? Plant their flag in the Flortheast and say "this is our f'n division and if you want to win it you have to go through us" or will both teams just treat it as another game, another chance at two points.
If anything, Detroit is going to approach this in a workman-like fashion and Boston is going to try to get under the Wings' skin and fight. They haven't forgotten the 8-2 preseason game, I'm sure. It didn't count, but it wasn't fun for them. The Bruins are like the bully in a high school movie and the Wings are the cool, new kid that just moved to town. Boston will try to fight the Detroit and the Wings will have to out smart them. We might see a chess match early on, but eventually the Bruins will try to goad the Wings into dropping the gloves, they won't accept the offer, Boston gets knocked off their game, Detroit wins. If the Wings try to fight and change their ways, it won't end well.
And remember, we all saw Chicago expose Boston in the Cup Final. Well who did the Blackhawks build their franchise like and model their game after? Oh yeah, the Detroit Red Wings. The Bruins do have some skill though. Patrice Bergeron and Loui Eriksson are no slouches. They play a type of game people can respect, but at the end of the day this is going to be our new Ducks. We're going to see them a ton and we're all going to learn very quickly that we don't like 'em.
The Expected Lineup
|Justin Abdelkader||Pavel Datsyuk||Henrik Zetterberg|
|Johan Franzen||Stephen Weiss||Daniel Alfredsson|
|Daniel Cleary||Joakim Andersson||Todd Bertuzzi|
|Drew Miller||Cory Emmerton||Tomas Tatar|
|Niklas Kronwall||Jonathan Ericsson|
|Danny DeKeyser||Jakub Kindl|
|Brendan Smith||Kyle Quincey|
|Jimmy Howard (starting)|
Scratches: Brian Lashoff, Mikael Samuelsson
Injuries: Jordin Tootoo (shoulder), Jonas Gustavsson (groin)
LTIR: Darren Helm (body), Patrick Eaves (knee)
|RED WINGS||THE MATCH-UP||BRUINS|
|2-0-0 (4 pts; T-1st in East)||Record||1-0-0 (2 pts; T-3rd in East)|
|2.50 (17th in NHL)||Goals Per Game||3.00 (12th in NHL)|
|1.50 (8th)||Goals Against Per Game||1.00 (5th)|
|0.0% (17th)||Power Play %||0.0% (23rd)|
|90.0% (16th)||Penalty Kill %||100.0% (6th)|
|5 tied with 1 goal||Goal Leader||3 tied with 1 goal|
|3 tied with 2 points||Points Leader||4 tied with 1 point|
Player to Fear: This could go a few ways. You can fear Zdeno Chara because he's massive. You can fear Milan Lucic because you could punch you into next week. You can fear Brad Marchand because you might trip over his nose or he might slew foot you because, yes, he's dirty. A good player, but a dirty one. Who should you fear though? Tuukka Rask. He's really good. Call it the Bruins defensive system if you want, but Rask has proven he's a top notch goaltender in this league. The Wings could be dominating and firing on all cylinders tonight, but he can easily shut the door.
X-Factor: I'm going to go with Torey Krug here. The Bruins power play has been pretty shitty the last few seasons. This year during the preseason, it wasn't a complete dumpster fire. Why? The former Michigan State Spartan was pretty decent quarterbacking the man advantage. The B's went 0-for-3 in their opener, but if Krug can get things going, the Bruins will be that much tougher of an opponent.
Familiar Faces: There are zero former Red Wings on the Bruins roster. Not surprised considering their different styles of play. Eriksson and Carl Soderberg (he won't play) are both Swedish… so that's close, right?
Thumbs Up (One Thing I Like About Boston): Reilly Smith is on their 3rd line. He's Brendan Smith's little brother. More Smiths, more fun (and likely more turnovers).
Thumbs Down (One Thing I Don't Like About Boston): They traded my boy Tyler Seguin. You have to love a management team that has traded away Seguin and Phil Kessel both at the age of 21. Who cares if you have talent, if you don't fight and breath out of your mouth than you can't play the Bruins way.
The Bruins Lineup
|Brad Marchand||Patrice Bergeron||Loui Eriksson|
|Milan Lucic||David Krejci||Jarome Iginla|
|Jordan Caron||Chris Kelly||Reilly Smith|
|Shawn Thornton||Gregory Campbell||Daniel Paille|
|Zdeno Chara||Johnny Boychuk|
|Dennis Seidenberg||Dougie Hamilton|
|Adam McQuaid||Torey Krug|
|Tuukka Rask (starting)|
Bullets of Knowledge
- The Red Wings are 249-234-95-1 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Boston Bruins.
- Detroit is 24-0-2 all time when I attend one of their games (1-0-1 on the road). Undefeated when I wear my Steve Yzerman sweater. Let's keep the point streak going (I've completely jinxed this game tonight. Sorry to all and you can blame me for the loss).
- Since I moved to Boston (2008-09 season), the Red Wings are 4-1-0 against the Bruins. They're averaging 3.0 goals a game and 1.8 goals against. The Wings are 2-0-0 at the Joe and 2-1-0 in Boston. They've won 4 straight against the Bruins (NOTE: I did not attend the only loss which occurred in Boston. I was away for Thanksgiving. Also, Ty Conklin started that game).
- Tuukka Rask is 0-1-1 with 4.00 GAA and .860 SV% in 2 career games against Detroit.
- Jimmy Howard is 3-0-0 with a 1.62 GAA and .947 SV% in 3 career games against the Bruins.