Tonight the Boston Bruins face off against the Detroit Red Wings in their first matchup of this NHL season. Currently the Bruins are 3-4-0 in 7 games played while the Red Wings are 6-2-0 in 8 games played. For a preview of the game tonight I decided to do a fun q&a with Mark Allred, a die hard Bruins fan and also a podcaster that you can find on twitter as @BlackAndGold277. Make sure you check out & subscribe to the Black N’Gold Hockey podcast available on iTunes. So lets start this off!
Q1. Original Six rivals the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings are going to be in a tight race for 2 points Saturday night given the fact that the eastern conference is always competitive. What do the Bruins/Red Wings need to do Saturday to get the Win?
Mark: A total Bruins team effort is needed against the offensively strong Wings team this weekend. The Bruins defense and goaltending will certainly be tested as the Wings bring a six-game winning streak home to the Joe. A return of Tuukka Rask to the net would be more of a help than the emergency callups of Zane McIntyre and Malcolm Subban who have played the last two games because Rask was day-to-day and his backup Anton Khudobin is out for three weeks with a wrist injury.
Kayla: The Red Wings need to capitalize on any power play opportunity given to them. Jimmy Howard is starting in net and that’s great news considering he seems to have found a lot of major confidence in his game and he looks to be playing like his old self again. The Bruins have always been good at playing rough and tough hockey…only with skill added so the main thing they need to do is stay disciplined. The Red Wings can not get caught up in the heat of the moment and take an ill advised bad penalty.
Q2. What players on the Bruins/Red Wings have impressed you so far this season? And what players have/do you have concerns about?
Mark: Bruins David Pastrnak has been very impressive this season but the hit to the head of Rangers Dan Girardi has received a 2 game suspension, including the game against the Wings. The Bruins player that concerns me is forward Matt Beleskey and his efforts on the third line.
Kayla: Tomas Vanek has been a powerhouse for this Detroit Red Wings team, and so has Frans Neilsen and Steve Ott. All three guys the Wings picked up over the summer and between these three the Red Wings have very influential and important leadership in the locker room. Nyquist and Athanasiou have also looked in great form so far. The Red Wings defense as a whole is a concern for me this season….too many turn overs. Relying solely on our goaltender is never a good thing even with the fact that Mrazek and Howard have both been amazing.
Q3. Both of our teams at one point in time have been known for having the most elite defensemen to ever play the game of hockey. The Boston Bruins had Bobby Orr, basically the best defenseman all time and arguably the best player in the eyes of many. Years later the Detroit Red Wings had ‘The Perfect Human’ Nicklas Lidström, who has only one less Norris trophy (7 wins) than Bobby Orr (8 wins) and is arguably the 2nd best defensemen to ever play the game. How do you feel about the Bruins/Red Wings current defensemen?
Mark: The Bruins defense in the past couple of years has really not been all that good and with the additions of younger blueliners into the lineup this season it remains a work in progress. One player that’s exceeded my expectations since being selected in the second round of the 2015 NHL Draft is 6-‘5″ 203-pound Brandon Carlo. The Big shutdown defenseman has huge upside to his game and will be a key player to take over the D-Core once Zdeno Chara’s remaining two-years of his contract are through.
Kayla: The current Detroit Red Wings defense is just to inconsistent. They have not been as bad as many originally predicted but I strongly believe this team needs to find a solid top four defenseman if the price is right. Ryan Sproul has been very impactful to this team and is making a good case as to why he deserves to stay up with the Pro team. Mike Greene recently recorded his first NHL career hat trick, but only time will tell if he can keep up this production.
Q4. Who is the one player on the Red Wings/Bruins team that your players need to watch out for and why?
Mark: Red Wings Thomas Vanek has been a Bruins killer since his days with Buffalo and has seemingly found his offensive touch again in his first season in MoTown. To be honest I wouldn’t be shocked if he gets on the scoresheet Saturday night.
Kayla: There’s only one guy on the Bruins that can score goals, set up great plays and manage to make every non bruins fans blood boil. That player is Brad Marchand. He already has 7 points this season, and while he may be a pest and a huge thorn in the Red Wings side….the Red Wings need to be smart and not let him distract their ultimate goal which is winning the hockey game.
Q5. Before the puck drops tonight name one BOLD prediction for the Bruins/Red Wings matchup…
Mark: The Bruins will snap the Wings six-game winning streak by the score of 5-4 in regulation. Just happy this is a BOLD prediction and not betting the farm in Vegas.
Kayla: It may not be bold but I’d say their might be a fight or two that some Red Wings players will be involved in. And I’m sure the guy on the Bruins end involved in these scraps/fights will be none other than Brad Marchand. 🙂