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Bruins at Red Wings: Gameday Updates, Keys to the Game

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NHL: Boston Bruins at Detroit Red Wings Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve got a couple changes right off the bat, the most significant being that Jimmy Howard will be in goal tonight. If you picked Mrazek as POTG, you better go back and fix that, pronto.

Abdelkader and Sheahan made a little swapperooski between the second and third lines.

Tomas Jurco is skating this morning, but Thomas Vanek isn’t. :(

Line Combinations

Forwards

Dylan Larkin Frans Nielsen Gustav Nyquist
Tomas Tatar Henrik Zetterberg Justin Abdelkader
Andreas Athanasiou Darren Helm Riley Sheahan
Steve Ott Luke Glendening Drew Miller


Defensemen

Danny DeKeyser Mike Green
Brendan Smith Ryan Sproul
Jonathan Ericsson Alexey Marchenko


Goaltenders

Jimmy Howard (starting)
Petr Mrazek

Power Play Units:

  1. Tatar-Zetterberg-Nyquist, Abdelkader (net front), Green
  2. Sheahan-Nielsen-Larkin, Helm (net front), Sproul

Bruins Line Combinations

Forwards

Brad Marchand Patrice Bergeron Danton Heinen
Ryan Spooner David Krejci Austin Czarnik
Matt Beleskey Riley Nash Jimmy Hayes
Tim Schaller Dominic Moore Noel Acciari


Defensemen

Zdeno Chara Brandon Carlo
Torey Krug Adam McQuaid
John-Michael Liles Colin Miller


Goaltenders

Tuukka Rask (starting)
Zane McIntyre

Also, turns out Heinen is good enough to start on the top line. Who knew? Not me. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Also also, Rask is suddenly perfectly ready to go against a division rival, apparently.

Keys to the Game:

Keep the puck on the stick

The Wings have already identified that they need to be smart about minimizing turnovers. None of this dipsy-doodling extra moves that certain players coughTatarcough tend to make when they’re too confident (or, conversely, in a rut trying to do too much). Keep the passes short and crisp if you have to, just make sure the puck is staying on Wings sticks.

Take advantage of a recovering Rask

I had this whole thing written up about how the Boston goalies are young and not good, and then Two-Us-Two-Ks-Two-Thrown-Milk-Crates had to go and mess everything up. Rude. Anyway, he was initially supposed to be taking it easy and not overdoing it on his way back from injury. If he wants to push it despite that talk, well, let’s give him a short night, yeah?

Capitalize on a depleted lineup

Boston’s leading goal-scorer in Pastrnak is suspended and Backes left his puppy-kidnapping butt behind in Massachusetts. Bergeron and Marchand are dangerous as always, but those are two key losses for the Bruins’ forward corps that has already had issues scoring this season. Stifle offense from those remaining, and for the love of god, be careful on the power play. I still have flashbacks to short-handed goals against the Wings at the hands of these weenies (thanks Weiss).

Bonus: Own them on social media

The Red Wings’ resident Instagram genius Johan Franzen is sure to be watching the game tonight and coming up with jabs at these rivals. Keep an eye out!

Fun Facts!

  • The Red Wings are 269-256-95-10 (W-L-T-OTL) in the regular season against the Bruins.
  • Jimmy Howard is 5-3-1 in 10 career starts against Boston with a .920 SV% and 2.63 GAA.
  • I still don’t know why Brendan Smith would try to fight this:
Not shown: how terrifyingly tall this man is. Seriously Brendan, what were you thinking?!

Let’s Go Red Wings!!