Your Boston Bruins hosted the Detroit Red Wings at the TD Garden for an original six matchup here in The Hub of Hockey. We are hip deep in story lines heading into this tilt: Brad Marchand was serving the 1st game of his suspension for a slew foot, Bruce Cassidy is in the NHL Covid protocol and Jake DeBrusk has officially asked out of Boston!! See boys and girls, dreams do come true!
Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!
In Butchie’s absence Joe Sacco got the head coach’s game check (do they get game checks? do coaches get per diems? These are the questions that plague your friendly neighborhood blogger) and he had some line juggling to do. Taylor Hall slotted into Marchand’s spot with Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak while Nick Foligno rode with Charlie Coyle and Craig Smith. Trent Frederic centered the 3rd line with Tomas Nosek and Karson Kuhlman while Erik Haula was the 4th line pivot with Curtis Lazar and Jake DeBrusk as his wingers. I’m sure DeBrusk will give max effort tonight as a way to punch his ticket out of town, right? I mean you’d have to be a donkey to glide around out there again, right? The Bruins had no choice but to play DeBust as Providence is dealing with their own Covid exposure and Anton Blidh is currently day to day.
Linus Ullmark was in net for the B’s while Alex Nedeljkovic was between the pipes for the Wings. Nedeljkovic has been on a tear as of late going 2-0-1 in his last 3 starts with a 1.99GAA and a .936 save%. I’m sure our
Morning Skate Eminem Detroit writer Mazz is being calm and rational in his praise of the Detroit net minder. Dylan Larkin was back in for the Wings this go round, and that’s a player that drives the Motown bus. Detroit is a different team with him in the lineup for sure.
The Bruins dominated play for most of the game but weren’t able to solve Nedeljkovic. And boy, did they try. The B’s outshot the Wings 42-16 over 3 periods, and to say that Nedeljkovic stole one tonight might be the understatement of the week. Chance after chance he was on his angle and squared up to the shooter. Ullmark played well too, but his counterpart outshone him in this one. The teams finished the opening period at zeroes, but the B’s had jump and were skating. Hall had another gear that he dusted off for tonight’s game, maybe playing with Bergy and Pasta got his motor revving a little?
The Wings drew first blood when Filip Zadina took advantage of a bad change by the Bruins and shook Coyle’s backcheck in the confusion. Coming in from the left wing circle with the puck on his forehand, he went backhand over the glove to give DET the early lead. The Bruins continued to push the pace and drew a late penalty to open the final period on the man advantage. Haula drew the penalty and if you were watching the NESN feed you heard analyst Andy Brickley talk at length about how Haula needs to use his skating ability to draw more penalties. He pointed out Haula’s speed and elusiveness and how that part of his game has been missing as of late. Well, I guess we know where Butchie spent his pregame, you couldn’t even see his lips moving while Brick was talking.
During the power play, Marc Staal took an idiotic hooking penalty to put the Bruins on the 2-man advantage for over a minute. Can I digress about Staal for a moment? Hell yeah Brownie, go off. Ok, first of all he’s my least favorite Staal brother by a long shot. Secondly, I don’t like people who spell Mark with a C. Third, and lastly, he might wear the dustiest looking shield in the NHL. It’s too close to his face and it’s tinted blue, what a toolbag. Anyways, with 4 seconds left on the 5 on 3, Pasta put the B’s on the board when he finished off a Hall feed. Charlie McAvoy got the puck down to Hall at the RW circle and Hall attacked the net drawing the defenseman. He then backed off to open up a seam and found Pasta at the hash marks. Pasta’s one-timer beat Nedeljkovic over the blocker and it’s a tie game.
Just past mid point in the final frame, the Wings got the game winner from.. you guessed it, Staal. Mike Reilly got taken down behind the Bruins net, obviously a trip but no call, and hit his head off the ice. Clearly this blow to the head made his wires cross and he got up and exacted his revenge with great vengeance and furious anger by way of a crosscheck that (of course) did get called. With the goalie pulled during the delayed penalty, Staal cashed in the loose change in the crease and just like that the B’s were back down. I tried to find footage of the egregious take down of Reilly behind the net, but the Detroit propaganda machine has scrubbed said film from the interwebs. Stevie Yzerman does NOT fuck around.
Do I look like I enjoy jokes?
With the goalie pulled the Bruins couldn’t find any late game magic and dropped this one to the Red Wings who maintain their lead in the standings. The going doesn’t get any easier for our heroes this week as they head to Nashville on Thursday and then back home to host the Lightning on Saturday.
- Hall looked like he was flying out there. Would like to see that when Marchy’s back.
- Trent Frederic looks like a different player when he’s at his natural position of center. Instead of running around, he’s smart with the puck, supporting his defensemen and driving the play. I like this version as long as he still takes the body (spoiler alert: he did)
- Outside of some trouble on the PK, the D moved the puck out of the zone well tonight. Quick first passes led to speed through the neutral zone and generated good zone time.
- Tough to dominate like that and come out on the short end of the scoresheet.
- Reilly has to keep his cool in those situations. I wonder if that was enough of brain cramp that we see Clifton back in vs. the Preds?
- Get DeBrusk off my team. Even with a trade request now public and limited ice time skating fourth line, he still floated around out there. He registered a hit tonight so that’s now….. 7 on the season. Awesome compete level bud.
- Nick Foligno and Brandon Carlo both had on the “A” tonight
- Alex Nedeljkovic tied his season high for saves
- Jake DeBrusk was booed at home (multiple times) when he touched the puck. Nothing a Bruins fan hates more than being left at the altar. I understand the sentiment, but I will say that it has to suck for him to ask to be traded. I’m thrilled that he’s going to get dealt, but I’m not going to boo him at home. Instead I’m going to continue to take shots online and on the podcast (episode 227 is out now and available for your listening pleasure)
- Tonight’s win was the 3000th in Detroit Red Wings history. That puts them 4th all time behind (in order) the Canadiens, the Bruins and the Leafs. The next closest is the Rangers trailing by 104 wins so, maybe by 2025?