The Malik Report
by George Malik on 04/22/14 at 11:14 AM ET
Updated 18x at 2:56 PM: After a Monday's "optional," the Detroit Red Wings hope to utilize home ice to their advantage as they host the Boston Bruins this evening (7:30 PM EDT on FSD in Michigan, NESN in Massachusetts, and NBCSN or
TSN TSN2 everywhere else, and on 97.1 FM; the Wings sent out an email stating that tickets are still available for tonight's game).
Again, with the series tied at 1 game apiece, both teams insist that they're going to impose their will upon their opponent via composed, disciplined and structurally-sound hockey, but the Wings and Bruins' definitions thereof are very different.
Cue the obligatory Ye Olde Game Day Skate photos!
MLive's Ansar Khan reported for game-day duty...
Alfredsson (back) not skating this morning. He's missed a few practices last couple weeks. Andersson taking his place on line with 43 and 26
Zetterberg skating again but not taking part in drills.
Other lines same: Franzen-Datsyuk-Abdelkader, Tatar-Sheahan-Nyquist, Miller-Glendening-Legwand. Bertuzzi appears to be healthy scratch.
First power play: Franzen-Datsyuk-Nyquist, Legwand (net front), Kronwall (point); 2nd unit: Tatar-Sheahan-Jurco, DeKeyser and Kindl (points)
These photos are worth the pulling out Ye Olde Game Day Skate Photo cliche again:
And I cannot deny that I'm a fan of the Boston Globe's Kevin Dupont, who had a little fun with the presence of Tim Horton's coffee and quite the accoutrement (a very fancy word for accompanying "stuff" with a pleasant characteristic):
Because, you know, it's the Cup. http://pic.twitter.com/MUxBVJcnTf
Small plate of mini Cinabbons in press room. Nutrition: O. Willpower: O. Guilt: meh.
And a morning cup o' Joe. http://pic.twitter.com/7BcxCsSVP1
Bruins-Wings refs for Game 3 tonight: Marc Joannette and Kevin Pollock.
And WDIV's Jamie Edmonds posted an Instagram video of note:
Z is out there participating in drills #RedWings @ Joe Louis Arena http://instagram.com/p/nGIvCiSa07/
(He looks better than he did on Saturday; the video the Bruins provided of Zetterberg skating from blueline to red line illustrated a player who looked like he hadn't really worked out for two-plus months)
In the game-day article category:
If you wish to listen to some Bruins chit-chat from CSNNE or hear The Red Line Report's Kirk Luedeke tell 98.5 The Sports Hub that the Bruins need to "continue hammering the Detroit defensemen" while suggesting that Jimmy Howard's not the best goalie, you may do so on your own;
Ditto for CSNNE's Joe Haggerty's suggestion that the Wings are holding David Krejci off the scoresheet by playing dirty against him--because Haggerty also claims that Krejci didn't board Brendan Smith. Oh no, Smith's head snapped back because #2 was trying to draw a penalty...
I will also allow you to peruse JJ From Kansas' chit-chat without the infamous Stanley Cup of Chowder on your own;
Pro Hockey Talk posted a quickie set-up for the games NBCSN's airing tonight;
MLive's Ansar Khan posited a 6 AM-posted article about Gustav Nyquist's scoring struggles as he attempts to adjust to the Bruins' tight checking...
Everybody knows his name now, what he has accomplished and what he is capable of doing.
The Boston Bruins saw it live when Nyquist sped past Zdeno Chara to score the winning goal for the Detroit Red Wings on April 2. Nyquist hasn’t scored in eight games since then, including the first two of the Eastern Conference playoff series between these clubs.
“I need to try and use my speed a little more, shoot the puck and get on the inside,” Nyquist said. “I’ve got to spin off those big guys, get in front of the net because that’s where the goals are going to be scored. If we do that we have a good chance of beating them.”
Nyquist isn’t the only top-six forward who has cooled off. Johan Franzen has one goal in his past 20 games. Tomas Tatar has one goal in his past 11 games, including the postseason.
Babcock likes the play of Nyquist’s line, with Riley Sheahan and Tatar, thus far in the series.
“The reason I say that is they went head to head with (David) Krejci in two games,” Babcock said. “I think Krejci, (Jarome) Iginla and (Milan) Lucic are considered to be a dominant line in the league and those guys have gone toe-to-toe with them, I think. So now we come home and we get to decide matchups. I think they’ve been fine. I think they can be better, though.”
And the Boston Globe's Nancy Marrapese-Burrell spoke with Brendan Smith about the Bruins' intimidation tactics:
“Obviously, [Chara’s] trying to intimidate everybody, just like their whole team is,’’ Smith said. “You see [Shawn] Thornton kind of running around. [Brad] Marchand is trying to agitate. That’s what they’re doing. If you don’t get intimidated and you let it happen and get out of the situation, it’s going to help us out in the end. You’ve got to be disciplined. If you retaliate, you end up in the box. There’s no point in me being in the box for anything like that.’’
“We’ve got to make sure we use our speed and play fast,’’ said Smith. “I don’t think they can stay with us if we do that. They want to wear us down in different ways. You know how they want to wear us down. I think if we use our skills to our advantage, we’re going to wear them down in an even bigger sense.’’
And if the Bruins attempt to bait them into retaliation, Smith said from now on the Red Wings will be keeping their tempers in check.
“Something we have to do is stay out of the box,’’ he said. “That’s what they want. They want to engage in that stuff and if we stay out of it, we’re going to play really well.’’
Oddly enough, NESN's Nicholas Goss filed an article about Alfredsson and Franzen's goal-scoring struggles, too:
Going back to the regular season, Alfredsson has one goal in his last 13 games. Franzen has one goal in his last 20 games. That level of scoring production isn’t good enough for two skilled top-six forwards with a combined 225 playoff games of experience.
They have combined for just three shots on goal, zero goals scored and one assist in two games against the Bruins. When Alfredsson and Franzen are on the ice, Detroit is averaging 3.0 percent and 8.3 percent fewer shots, respectively, than the opponent.
Here comes a roll call's worth of bad news from MLive's Khan...
Andersson confirms he is playing tonight on line with Helm and Jurco. Alfredsson is out (back).
The Detroit News's Niyo...
Alfredsson out for Game 3
Babcock hasn't confirmed that yet but Andersson just did
(I happen to disagree with this)
Alfredsson was complete nonfactor first two games. Back injury has bothered him for some time now.
The Free Press's Helene St. James...
Joakim Andersson in tonight for Daniel Alfredsson as Red Wings play Game 3 vs Bruins
The Detroit News's Ted "I Don't Need a Smart Phone" Kulfan...
Alfie out tonite...Andersson in
The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness...
Andersson in for Alfredsson tonight. Alfredsson dealing with back issues again. Andersson skating with Helm and Jurco.
And the Wings:
Andersson says he's playing tonight with Helm and Jurco; Alfie is out (upper-body) #RedWings
I happen to think that the Wings are a much better team with Alfredsson's veteran savvy in the lineup, but he's probably needed a good week off to let his back calm down for a month now.
I prefer to wait for Babcock's remarks before opening this entry, but I'm gonna get the Alfredsson news out there now.
Update: NESN's Nicholas Goss, NHL.com's Matt Kalman, the Toronto Sun's Rob Longley, CSNNE's Haggerty, the Boston Globe's Benjamin, WEEI's DJ Bean, the aforementioned Dumont and ESPN Boston's Joe McDonald, the Boston Herald's Steve Conroy, the Boston Globe's Nancy Marrapese-Burrell, all are in attendance, but as far as the coach's comments are concerned, I'm gonna stick with the locals whenever possible.
The Wings noted Babcock's game-day comments...
"Andersson can really help our penalty kill, he's a good faceoff guy, he's a big body." - Mike Babcock
As did the Free Press's St. James...
Mike Babcock says Alfredsson (usually back) needs "another day" and Joakim Andersson is playing Game 3 Red Wings Bruins
Alfredsson "needs another day" Babcock says. Andersson will help PK. Starts w/Helm & Jurco. May end up on 4th line exchanged for Legwand.
The Windsor Star's Bob Duff's also at the Joe...
#redwings Nyquist has gone 8 games without a goal. Season-long high is 9 games goalless.
#redwings Babcock on Alfredsson: "Alfie needed another day." Likely his back flaring up again.
NHL.com's Kalman took note of the following...
Babcock: "(Datsyuk) will either play against Bergeron or Krejci. Doesn't matter to me." #Transparency
Babcock says Anderssom starts in Alfie's spot but could switch with Legwand. Coach is an open book.
Ditto for DJ Bean...
Babcock says plan is Datsyuk against either Krejci or Bergeron line and Glendening against the other. He loves Luke Glendening. #Bruins
Babcock on Glendening: "Loves being a greaseball." Glendening, from hallway: "Ey, you wanna make sumn of it?!" That didn't actually happen
Talked with Glendening a few minutes ago. #Bruins signed him to tryout after college. Really interesting. #RedWings
Babcock on Julien: "We think the same thing: you shouldnt give free access to the blue line. If they do get there you should be all over em"
As well as Khan:
Babcock said he might move Legwand to line with Helm and Jurco later in game and put Andersson with Glendening and Miller.
Here come the Bruins, per Benjamin...
Bruins are just getting on the ice at Joe Louis Arena this morning.
No Paille. No Kelly. Yes Bartkowski.
Saw Chris Kelly belly down on a big exercise ball. Paille was also doing an off ice workout.
FYI from Dupont:
Fixing: tonight 730 start in DET, game 4 is 8 pm.
It appears that TSN's Sherri Forde is in town, too:
Red Wings Mike Babcock saysDaniel Alfredsson is out tonight Joakin Andersson makes his playoff debut tonight.
Update #2: Oh, this is clever:
Ha ha, per Bean:
Julien said the other day that he and Babcock agreed not to watch one another's practices. Babcock at Bruins skate now. NBD tho. #RedWings
Assuming Babcock goes Datsyuk line vs. DK46 line, the Bergeron line should really take advantage of Glendening line. Glendening a player tho
Can't stress the "nbd" part of the Babcock tweet enough. Not a big deal at all.
Julien was lying anyway.
And anyway, Joe McDonald has the B's defensive pairs...
Boychuk-Chara, Hamilton-Meszaros, Bartkowski-Krug, Miller-Potter.
Don't read too much into morning pairings. They always mix and match.
And the Bruins have the forward lines...
Lines same during rushes. Lucic-Krejci-Iginla, Marchand-Bergeron-Smith, Florek-Soderberg-Eriksson, Caron-Campbell-Thornton ^CS
Also, from Haggerty:
No Chris Kelly. No Daniel Paille. Matt Bartkowski is back from sick bay and skating this morning at the Joe #BruinsTalk
Brad Marchand about to snap off a shot from the top of the circle on Tuukka Rask at Joe Louis Arena… http://instagram.com/p/nGPL4VrBrB/
Riger's a Rask Mask fan...
You might hate Boston but you gotta love Rask's mask http://pic.twitter.com/fZqov7abx3
Babcock on Glendening: “Just ulra-competitive, skater, heavy. He used to be a football player, loves the contact, loves being a greaseball."
And here's a bit more from Niyo:
Babcock again says he liked play of Sheahen-Tatar-Nyquist vs. Krejci line in Gms 1 and 2. Then adds, "but maybe we can free them up a bit."
Wrote about the Kid Line this morning. Wings have to get them on the scoresheet if they're going to upset Bruins: http://bit.ly/1iFYMDU
But that means either Glendening or Helm line has to try to check Krejci or Bergeron line for a few games.
If you believe what you read, per NESN's Billy Jaffe, Alfredsson's bad back has nothing to do with having a bad back:
Alfie was already battling issue(s) but huge reverse hit by K Miller in gm 2 couldn't have helped situation.
"Andersson can really help our penalty killing," Babcock said. "He's a good faceoff guy, he knows how to play."
Andersson gained valuable experience down the stretch last season, playing 14 playoff games for the Red Wings against the Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks, putting up five points in the process.
Only Pavel Datsyuk and Luke Glendening took more faceoffs than Andersson this season, winning 51.4 percent of them.
"It's going to be fun," Andersson told ESPN.com. "Exciting to be back playing -- these are the games we want to be part of."
NESN is posting a "Morning Skate Live Blog"...
NHL.com's Kalman also confirmed Alfredsson's absence...
"Andersson is in today, Alfredsson is out. Alfie needed another day," coach Mike Babcock said.
"Andersson can really help our penalty kill. We thought our penalty kill was average. We thought both special teams were average last game. Andersson can help our penalty kill. He's a good faceoff guy, he's a big body, knows how to play. I don't know whether he's going to to play the whole game with Helm and Jurco, or if we'll move [David] Legwand there and play [Andersson] with [Helm] and [Drew Miller], we'll just see how it works."
And if you want to read Yahoo Sports' Greg Wyshynski's, "Where Have You Gone, Gustav Nyquist?" article, you may do so on your own.
Jakub Kindl replaces Alfredsson at the point, along with Danny DeKeyser) on the second power-play unit (joining Tomas Tatar, Riley Sheahan and Jurco).
Here are the lines the Red Wings skated with this morning:
Johan Franzen-Pavel Datsyuk-Justin Abdelkader
Tomas Tatar-Riley Sheahan-Gustav Nyquist
Tomas Jurco-Darren Helm-Joakim Andersson
Drew Miller-Luke Glendening-David Legwand
Also skating: Todd Bertuzzi (healthy scratch); Henrik Zetterberg (injured)
And the Free Press's St. James spoke with Andersson in text form...
Andersson is eager to re-establish his footing. "It's going to be fun," he said. "These are the games you want to play in; these are the games that count.
"It was my first time ever being a healthy scratch, and that was tough. Now I'm going to try to play a good game out there and have a chance to stay in the lineup."
Andersson is a top-notch defensive player, a good face-off guy and a penalty killer, but the Wings are going to miss Alfredsson's shot, especially on a power play that already has struggled to establish itself this series.
The Wings took the first game, 1-0, after playing textbook playoff road hockey — and then became unravelled Sunday, losing, 4-1. Now it's about using home-ice advantage as just that.
"We're at home and we've got to play well at home," forward Drew Miller said. "In a seven-game series, or a race to four, when you lose games, you take them as a learning experience and you're judged on how you respond. I think we learned something last game, about them and about ourselves, so it gives us some things to work on and some things to improve."
And she posted a video of Andersson's comments, too:
Meanwhile, the Bruins are...Not issuing surprises. ESPN's McDonald reports that Kevan Miller is playing again...
Miller is playing tonight.
But WEEI's Bean reports that Matt Bartkowski's status is uncertain...
Bruins not letting Bartkowski talk. #Bruins #RedWings
That phrasing was weird. Bruins not making Bartkowski available to the media. It isn't like The Little Mermaid or anything.
Cool to hear undrafted Glendening, Krug talk about how they knew in college one another would be key players in the NHL. #RedWings #Bruins
And well, per 97.1's Riger:
Chara done talking about Brendan Smith, focusing on game 3
David Krejci expects Wings to be moe disciplined, says they've had meetings and if Wings are they still know how 2 play them.
Update #5: per Boston.com's Zurri Berry...
“I like to consider us a pretty good skating team too,” said Claude Julien. “Tonight is gonna be a game of will.”
#bruins Julien on #redwings Babcock: "I think we know each other's DNA."
Claude Julien said that Matt Bartkowski will be in warmups tonight. No decision on who plays pregame #BruinsTalk
Pro Hockey Talk's posited a set of game notes...
The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness filed a game-day update...
I lost my spot here late in the season after a couple of injuries and not playing great but I’m ready to go,” Andersson said. “It’s going to be fun to play again.
“I’ve just got to play my game, so be smart in all three zones and get some pucks to the net, be good on the penalty kill, be good in the lanes and be in front of the net when the puck gets there,” Andersson added.
Andersson however can’t help the Wings’ power play, which has yet to find the back of the net in six opportunities.
“You shouldn’t give up easy access to your blue line and then when you put it in you should be all over them,” Babcock said. “That’s what they did. You can solve the problem, just win the faceoff, get shooting and get it back. That would be the first thing. The second thing is we’ve got to have a better plan and execution on our power play. We’ve gone through it in nauseam. The biggest thing is we got to execute.”
Jakub Kindl will take Alfredsson’s spot on the blue line on the second power play unit.
“Our first power play breakout we came out no pressure and we passed it to the boards,” Babcock said. “And then you start getting rattled. Forget all that. Let’s get some swagger back, let’s get going, let’s enter and let’s attack. But why not win a faceoff and get going. But I thought (Boston) did a real good job. I don’t know which part it is, was it them or us? We thought we were bad at it, so let’s split the difference.”
And, from WOOD TV8's Larry Figurski...
!!! per Haggerty:
B's rook @justFLOrek said he modeled his game after Tomas Holmstrom as a Wings fan growing up in Michigan. Can definitely see the influence
Update #7: Here's the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan's game-day update...
Babcock was unsure whether Andersson would play on Darren Helm's line (alone with Tomas Jurco), or be a wing on the fourth line with Luke Glendening and Drew Miller.
Babcock felt Andersson could help the Red Wings' penalty kill, which was scored upon twice by the Bruins in Game 2.
"We thought our special teams were average in the last game," Babcock said. "Andersson is a big body."
As did DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose...
PP ENTRIES: The Red Wings need to get their power play in gear, but Babcock said they need to successful cross the blue line first. Through the first two games of the series, Boston’s penalty kill has held the Red Wings’ power play scoreless on six chances.
“You shouldn’t give up easy access to your blue line and then when you put it in you should be all over them,” Babcock said. “That’s what they did. You can solve the problem, just win the faceoff, get shooting and get it back. That would be the first thing. The second thing is we got to have a better plan and execution on our power play. We’ve gone through it at nauseam. The biggest thing is we got to execute.”
Red Wings’ power-play units have won 5-of-12 face-offs in the series.
GAINING CONFIDENCE: Babcock has gained enough trust in Luke Glendening during his rookie season that the Wings’ coach isn’t afraid to play the Grand Rapids native against the Bruins top two centers Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci.
“Just ulra-competitive, skater, heavy,” Babcock said. “He used to be a football player, loves the contact, loves being a greaseball. Plays hard. Draws other guys into battles, has great hockey sense. Very competitive.”
CRAZY EIGHTS: Not sure if it’s a record, but the state of Michigan certainly is well-represented in the Red Wings first-round playoff series against the Bruins. Eight players – five Red Wings and three Bruins – were either born or raised in Michigan.
“There’s a couple of guys that I played with at Michigan State, and there’s a lot of guys that have played in the state of Michigan,” Wings forward Justin Abdelkader said. “It’s pretty special. Anytime you get that opportunity, I think everyone’s excited about it. I think all the guys from Michigan always looked forward to playing here in Detroit.”
The other Michigan players in this series are Red Wings David Legwand, Drew Miller, Danny DeKeyser, and Bruins Corey Potter, Torey Krug and Justin Florek.
Update #7.5: FSD posted a video of Kronwall speaking with the media:
Update #8: CSNNE's Haggerty filed a game-day update...
“Bartkowski will be in the warm-up, and we’ll make our decisions afterward,” said Claude Julien.
Here are the forward combos and D-pairings based on morning skate in Motown:
NESN's Cole noted this from the morning skate...
“Tonight is just a game of will,” Julien told reporters at Joe Louis Arena. “Whoever’s going to have the will to play their game the best. That’s all we’ve got to think about is going out there. I don’t think it has much to do with what’s out there lately. We’re physical, it’s the way we built our team. We shouldn’t apologize for it because Bruins fans and the city of Boston love us for that.”
And the Bruins websites' Jess Isner noted this from the Wings:
"It’s going to be tough beating them at their game,” said defenseman Niklas Kronwall. “So we have to do a good job sticking to ours.”
It was Kronwall’s partner on the back end, Brendan Smith, that infamously engaged then backed off from a fight with towering Bruins captain Zdeno Chara as the first period came to a close on Sunday. He wasn’t the only one who bit when the Bruins came calling, but he and the rest of the Red Wings won’t make the same mistake at the Joe on Tuesday.
“I think we got off our game a little bit,” said forward Justin Abdelkader. “We got going there — once we got that first goal, I thought we got playing well, and then it’s tough after that third one. But I think Game 1 was — we showed that we can skate, we can use our speed. We don’t need to get involved in anything extra.” All that stuff after the whistle is pointless, anyway, so that’s what they kind of thrive off of, and we’re just going to focus on going out and playing our brand of hockey.”
The Bruins, of course, will come into Tuesday’s game vowing to play their game, too. Their game is physical and gritty, and it thrives off emotions. The Red Wings insist they won’t fall into those traps in Game 3, no matter how much the Bruins try to goad them.
The Red Wings repeated the phrase, ad nauseam, after their pregame skate: Just skate away after the whistle. Just skate away.
“At this time of year, the most important thing is to go out there, get the win and stay healthy,” Abdelkader said. “And we just want to go out there and, like I said, just play the way we’re capable of playing — use our speed, use our skill and we’ll be fine.” You know, you just got to skate away. Especially, obviously, playing in Boston, it’s what kind of riles them up — the team, and the fans, and all that stuff. Especially, I’d be cautious in their building, but even at home, just play between the whistles, play hard and go to the net. And after that, you can skate away, I guess. There’s nothing that really needs to be said after. I think you can be a hard player, be a physical player and play between the whistles. You don’t need to do the stuff after the whistle.”
Update #9: Here's Julien's take, per Boston.com's Zuri Berry...
Forget the tone-setting hits, the number of scrums, or the Red Wings' ability to skate faster at times, the physicality was still there in the Bruins' playoff series opener, Julien said. So for him to project what kind of team will hit the ice Tuesday night at Joe Louis Arena was difficult to ascertain.
"I don’t even know if I agree with your analogy," Julien told a reporter. "That first game could’ve gone either way. I don’t think that there wasn’t any physicality in the first game. The second game there was more but the few scrums there was, if you look at the replay, I don’t think we started those.
I THOUGHT JULIEN DIDN'T KNOW THERE WERE REPLAYS!
"We just have to go out there and play our game," Julien said. "I consider us a pretty good skating team too. We didn’t score that many goals and we didn’t allow that many goals because we weren’t able to skate. Tonight is just a game of will. Whoever is going to have the will to play their game the best. And that’s all … It certainly has nothing to do with what I think has been out there lately. We’re big, we’re physical, that’s the way we built our team. And we shouldn’t apologize for it because Bruins fans and the city of Boston loves us for it."
And here's MLive's Ansar Khan noting Babcock's comments about Glendening:
“Just ultra-competitive, skater, heavy,” Babcock said. “He used to be a football player, loves the contact, loves being a greaseball. Plays hard. Draws other guys into battles, has great hockey sense.”
Glendening’s line, with Drew Miller and David Legwand, will be matched up against either the Patrice Bergeron line (with Brad Marchand and Reilly Smith) or the David Krejci line (with Milan Lucic and Jarome Iginla)
“Pavel (Datsyuk) will play against either (Bergeron) or Krejci, it doesn’t matter as much to me,” Babcock said. “It matters more to me about the other matchups. Glendening will play against either one of those two and then we’ll use the other guys against the other guys. I thought (Riley) Sheahan’s line (with Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar) did an outstanding job (vs. Krejci’s line). To me, Krejci, Lucic and Iginla are tough for a bunch of kids but I thought those guys did a real good job. Maybe we can free them up a little bit.”
Glendening (5-11, 195) doesn’t shy away from the challenge.
“It’s an experience for sure,” Glendening said. “It’s different from anything I’ve gone through before. Everyone talks about the intensity and the physicality, but you don’t really understand it until you play. It’s been fun and enjoyable. I just try to do my job, whatever I can to help the team win.”
Update #10: Here's a different angle from the B's morning skate, per the Boston Herald's Steve Conroy:
With the series shifting to Detroit, Babcock will have the last change and will most likely try to get Pavel Datsyuk's line, which had been matching up against the Patrice Bergeron line in Boston, on the ice with the David Krejci line more.
"You just have to play hard," said Krejci. "(Datsyuk) likes to play with the puck, so we have to play him really tight, try to have the puck on our stics a much as we can and we'll see what happens tonight."
Krejci is without a point in the first two games, but he certainly seemed into it in Game 2, when he crushed Brendan Smith with a check.
"I'm having lots of fun. Those two games were great," said Krejci. "Last year against Toronto was different. I had a bunch of points already, but this is way more fun. This is great hockey. This is a great atmosphere. I'm really enjoying these playoffs so far."
Update #11: Bruins Daily posted a game-day preview;
The Boston Globe's Amalie Benjamin filed a game-day update...
It has been a while since the Bruins won in Joe Louis Arena. Part of that is because the two teams haven’t faced each other much over the last half dozen years – just four times at the Joe – but the last Bruins win in Detroit came on March 11, 2007, a 6-3 victory for Boston.
The Bruins will need to take a least one game in Detroit to win their first-round series against the Red Wings, which is tied at 1-1 heading into Game 3 Tuesday (7:30 p.m., NESN, NBCSN).
“We shouldn’t think about that,” Patrice Bergeron said. “It’s about making sure we turn that around. It’s going to be a tight series, a tough series, and we’re expecting them to bounce back. So we can’t really start thinking about the building we’re playing in. Obviously it’s about just playing our game and bringing what we’ve done [Sunday] afternoon to [Game 3].”
ESPN's Joe McDonald filed a "What to Watch For" blog post...
WHO’S IN: Bruins defenseman Matt Bartkowski missed the first two games of this series with the flu. He participated in the team’s morning skate and Julien said the blueliner would take the warmup and will be a game-time decision. Fellow defenseman Kevan Miller, who also missed Game 1 with the flu, did play in Game 2 and will be in the lineup for Game 3. Babcock announced that forward Joakim Andersson would be in the lineup for Game 3, and veteran Daniel Alfredsson will be sidelined because “he needs another day.”
NHL.com's Matt Kalman spoke with the Bruins' Michigan natives...
Defenseman Torey Krug, a native of Livonia and Michigan State alum, has played at The Joe in regular season, but will make his playoff debut in the building. Forward Justin Florek, who hails from Marquette, hasn't played at The Joe since he was at Northern Michigan University.
"It's going to be exciting," Krug said after the morning skate. "You know you watch a lot of the playoff games growing up and see the octopus thrown on the ice, and as a kid you dream of playing in the playoffs in this building. I probably was thinking I was on the other side. But now I'm excited in the position I'm in, and we can come in and be the bad guys."
When he was a kid, Florek lived seven hours away from downtown Detroit. But he said he attended several games in the regular season and playoffs while growing up.
"Whenever I made it to a game it was a pretty special trip. We made a weekend out of it and spent the whole weekend here. So it was pretty cool," Florek said. "I've been to a couple playoff games and everything. So just seeing it from the fan perspective and now being able to play, it's going to be pretty special."
WEEI's Bean filed a "know your foe" article about Glendening...
If you’re surprised by how big a role he’s been given thus far, don’t be. Torey Krug, who saw plenty of him in college, isn’t.
“I’m not surprised and we don’t even view him as [a fourth-liner],” Krug said. “He’s a good player and he shuts down opposing teams’ guys. In Game 1 he’s out there when it’s 1-0 in the last minute. I saw him in that role before and I’m not surprised that he’s in it now.”
Though Glendening is new to the NHL, he isn’t new to a lot of the Bruins’ players. He’s one of six players from Michigan playing in this series, and he played plenty of college hockey against Justin Florek (with whom he would briefly be teammates in Providence) and Krug.
Both Krug (Michigan State) and Glendening were undrafted players, but both recall playing against one another in college and knowing the other was destined for the NHL.
“When you saw him in college, he would take over games,” Glendening said of Krug. “We played them a few times and it was the Torey Krug show. He was a great player there. I’m not surprised at all that he’s done so well for himself.”
Said Krug: “He’s just a guy you respect. He plays a 200-foot game, he’s a strong guy, you can’t underestimate him. He does everything well. There’s nothing he does poorly.”
BostonBruins.com's Caryn Switaj posited this...
Boston heads into the matchup with the series tied at 1-1. After getting shutout 1-0 in a Game 1 showdown that saw neither team generate many scoring chances offensively, the Bruins were able to get four past Jimmy Howard in the Wings in Game 2, due largely in part to creating space for themselves with their battling and physical presence. They also won the special teams battle, going 2-for-4 on the power play and staying perfect on the penalty kill.
"I think it’s just trying to play the same way as last game," said blueliner Dougie Hamilton. "I thought our effort was a lot better. Guys were working harder and moving our feet more and being more physical, and I think that kind of helped us get more chances and kind of force them to make mistakes." So we’re really going to have to do that again and keep working hard and stay relentless."
It won't get any easier, playing in the Wings' building for the next two games.
"When you win the last game, it seems like the momentum’s on your side," said David Krejci. "But you don’t want to get too high or too low because every game starts from 0-0 and that’s what it is. So, you've just got to make sure you’re ready to play and be better than the game before."
Through the first two games of their series against the Boston Bruins, the Detroit Red Wings have failed to convert on any of their six power play opportunities. For Red Wings coach Mike Babcock, this area is where the team most needs to focus.
“You shouldn’t give up free access to your blue line, and when they put it in, you should be all over them,” Babcock said. “The big thing that can solve the problem, though, you don’t even break out, just win the faceoff, get shooting and getting it back, so that would be the first thing. The second thing is, we’ve obviously got to have a better plan and execution on power play. We’ve gone through to nausea, as you can imagine. The biggest thing for us is we’ve got to execute.
“Our first power play breakout, we came out, no pressure, we passed it to the boards, and then you start getting rattled,” Babcock continued. “Forget all that. Let’s get some swagger back, let’s get going, let’s enter, and let’s attack.”
Niklas Kronwall agreed, as he told NHL.com's Dan Rosen:
The Bruins are obviously making it harder for Detroit to attack. The Red Wings typically like to skate the puck into the zone, but Boston is preventing that by playing four across the blue line, daring the Red Wings to dump the puck in and chase after it. Detroit hasn't done enough of that.
"We have to enter the zone," Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. "Last game we were basically giving it to them and they shot it back down, and here we go again, over and over and over. We have to do a way better job of being more organized and enter the zone with speed and get going with speed. Obviously once we get there we've gotta get some pucks to the net. They're not going to make a lot of movements if we're not moving. So get some movements, let the puck do the work, and get the puck to the net."
Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist said breakouts were a major topic of discussion in Detroit's power-play meetings since it went 0-for-4 with one shot on goal in Game 2.
"You can take different routes," he said. "You can have more speed."
Update #12: SIGH. Haggerty. Ramming it in instead of rubbing it in:
If the Bruins can hold the Detroit Red Wings to just one goal per game as they have in the first two playoff games, they will do perfectly fine in this series. The Wings have managed just one goal apiece in each of the first two games against the Black and Gold, and the Bruins have expertly managed to hold down many of the Wings’ big guns outside of Pavel Datsyuk.
In fact the Bruins have held Detroit’s top six point scorers during the regular season to just a single assist in the first two games of the series, a helper for Johan Franzen after finishing with 41 points in 54 games this year. Daniel Alfredsson, Niklas Kronwall, Henrik Zetterberg and Gustav Nyquist have all been shut down in the series, with Zetterberg still out with a back injury and Alfredsson shelved for Game 3 with the same kind of old man ailment.
Oh that's charming.
So much of it was based on Boston getting the matchups they wanted on home ice, and now that advantage will transfer to Mike Babcock and the Red Wings for Games 3 and 4. Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara got a steady diet of Datsyuk, Justin Abdelkader and Johan Franzen in the Boston games, but Babcock may try to get more matchups against the David Krejci line at The Joe.
“It’s two of the best in that role. It’s fun to watch them battle,” said Dougie Hamilton of the coaching showdown between Babcock and Claude Julien. “It changes the game with the matchups. They’re obviously two really smart coaches. They know each other, and they know each other’s tendencies as well. There’s a little bit of a game between the game with that kind of stuff, and it will be a different view for us tonight with [Detroit’s] last change, and trying to figure out when [Zdeno Chara] is going to be out there on the ice.”
That will be the name of the game for a Detroit team now missing two of their top four scorers from the regular season, and struggling to get much through the suffocating, intimidating defense of the Boston Bruins.
Update #13: Here's Fox Sports Detroit's Art Regner's game-day update:
Since the Wings are the home team in the next two games, they'll have the last change to match up line combinations and defensive pairings against the Bruins. Defenseman Nik Kronwall thinks that last change will favor the Wings, but he also feels his team must have the jump right from the start of the game.
"It's definitely an advantage," Kronwall said. "You always get the right people out there, but if we utilize our speed to our advantage, we'll give ourselves a good chance. Starting on time is very important. The last game we didn't and we were down two to nothing. Hopefully, it'll be the other way around tonight."
It appears that the National Post's Michael Traikos is in town, too, but his article about David Krejci's "optional reading."
Update #14: Here's an interesting comment via the Toronto Sun's Rob Longley:
When the series resumes Tuesday night at Joe Louis Arena, the underdog Wings know that if they are to benefit from the series split in Boston and regain the lead, they’ll have to return to the speed game that served them well down the regular-season stretch.
“We didn’t get up to our standard in Game 2 when it comes to skating,” Detroit defenceman Jonathan Ericsson said. “We have to do a better job of wanting the puck than we did last game. If we can just get back to that, we’ll give ourselves a chance.”
Update #15: Pierre McGuire on WEEI? VERY OPTIONAL.
Update #16: Ditto for Haggerty's take on the "Battle of Wills."
Update #17: For whatever reason, the Wings' website posted pre-game comments from Dougie Hamilton...
And Claude Julien:
And finally, the Detroit News's David Goricki spoke to Tuukka Rask about the Joe's boards:
“There is nothing you can really do except be ready for it, be ready for those bounces,” Rask said Tuesday during the Bruins’ pregame skate. “They (Wings) are used to it and they for sure know how to take advantage of those boards, so we have to be ready for it. Maybe we will try and use it for our advantage too.”
Update #18: Via RedWingsFeed, here's...David Legwand?
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