Know Thy Enemy: Bruins Defensemen
This is what the Red Wings offense is up against.
Yesterday we gave you a look at the Bruins forwards, today it's the Boston blue line.
Chara is a known commodity by pretty much every hockey fan. It's kind of hard to miss him. He's 6'9'' off skates, his slap shot is 100+ mph, he's a former Norris trophy winner. It's Andre the Giant on skates. That's a bad things for the Red Wings, but it could be beneficial too. There's no doubt that Chara will give the Red Wings fits because of his size. His reach alone can break up so many plays. His speed isn't the greatest. We all saw Gustav Nyquist blow past him a few weeks ago and if you watched the Stanley Cup Final last season, the Blackhawks speed gave him fits too. Hamilton is young. He's 20-years-old and already in his second season and second postseason run. The former top 10 pick has some nice offensive skills, but he'll make the casual mistake every now and then because of his youth and overall inexperience. His role on the top defensive pair is similar to that of Brendan Smith's for the Wings. He was thrust into the position thanks to the Bruins losing Dennis Seidenberg back in December. Seidenberg and Chara were the Bruins big shutdown pair. They were very good together too. It will be interesting to see how Hamilton fairs playing more important minutes this postseason.
Johnny Boychuk - Matt Bartkowski
Boychuk is your classic 3rd defenseman. He's the anchor on your 2nd pair. It's a role that suits him well in my opinion. During the Bruins playoff runs the last few seasons, he was paired with Andrew Ference in this spot. Boychuk won't wow you, but he's not bad in either. He's a good 2nd pair defenseman. Bartkowski, to me, he's Brian Lashoff. A better version of Lashoff, of course, but that's it as far as his game.
Krug is small. That can get him in trouble at times defensively in his own zone, but man, is he excellent offensively. He's going to be a huge factor for the Bruins on the power play. He's the quarterback on their first unit. The Bruins will throw Chara out in front of the net and Krug mans the point. His 40 points this season tied Chara for the Bruins lead. Just about half of those 40 points (19) came on the power play. The man advantage is where Krug will make an impact in this series. Miller on the other hand is a big bruiser. He'll throw a big hit every now and then. He's your stay-at-home defenseman.
Andrej Meszaros - Corey Potter - Adam McQuaid
If Meszaros gets into a game, he'll be placed on the 2nd pair opposite of Boychuk. He and Bartkowski have rotated in that role the last few weeks when the Bruins iced a full lineup. If Potter gets into a game, oh boy, that's awesome for the Wings. He won't see the light of day though unless someone else gets hurt. If McQuaid sees the ice, I'll be shocked. He's been hurt for so long with a hip issue. I wouldn't hold your breath that his name is even mentioned by anyone as a possibility of playing.
Let's Go Red Wings.