When the Detroit Red Wings move to the Eastern Conference next season they will find themselves in familiar, but unfamiliar territory. Some fans remember when the Wings would play against Toronto, Montreal, and Boston back in the original six days, but those days are no more. The new Red Wings and their fans will have to adjust to the new conference and teams.
Billy Bryson (BB) from Causeway Crowd was gracious enough to answer a few question about the Bruins and our new conference.
What is something Red Wing fans should know about the Bruins and their fans?
BB: Something Red Wings fans should know about the Bruins (if they didn’t already) is that they are a very tough team to play against on any night. The Bruins play a very physical game and also possess the ability to roll all 4 lines of forwards and all 6 defensemen against any team. It wears teams down, as the Bruins have some very big bodies out there and it has become a very effective tactic for the Bruins. It certainly makes for an entertaining brand of hockey. As for Bruins fans, they get a bad rap but they are some of the most passionate and knowledgeable fans out there. Sometimes they are a little overzealous on social media outlets and can get a bit creative with their chants at the Garden, but for the most part it’s a great bunch and I’m proud to call myself a Bruins fan.
Me: Seeing the way Bostonians and Bruin fans reacted after the wake of the tragedy was inspirational and the tribute to Martin Richard was amazing.
Which Red Wing player are Bruin fans most afraid of playing against next season?
BB: This is an easy question. The player Bruins fans are most afraid of is also the one they should be most excited to see, Pavel Datsyuk. He is a magician with the puck, has an unreal two-way game and is just one of the funner players to watch in the NHL. Although he scares me and is a threat anytime he’s on the ice, I can’t wait to get to go to the Boston Garden and watch him play. They should also be afraid of Niklas Kronwall, because as we all know he can take over a game with a monster hit whenever he’s on the ice.
Me: Datsyuk is always dangerous, but it seems Kronwall has toned down his hitting after taking over the #1 spot which is good and bad for the Wings.
Which player from the Bruins should Red Wing fans fear the most?
BB: From an offensive point of view, Red wings fans should be afraid of Tyler Seguin. With his speed, skill and hockey IQ he has become a very explosive player and at the age of 21 he will only continue to improve. On the defensive side it’s pretty obvious, Zdeno Chara aka Big-Z is a monster on the blue line for the Bruins and is an annual Norris Trophy candidate. He logs big minutes 5 on 5, on the PK & PP and he’s continually matched up against the other team’s top talent. When Chara is paired with Seidenberg (only in big games and the playoffs), they form one of the best shutdown defensive tandems in the NHL.
Me: Seguin could turn into a very god player, but right noe Chara’s 100 mph slap shot scares me more, although we have gotten used to hard shots from playing against Weber. Plus, if Datsyuk is willing to hit Chara without a helmet on, then why should I be afraid of him?
BB: I love both deals. The Bruins needed to add some offensive creativity and a defenseman, so GM Peter Chiarelli did just that. If they’ll be here next year I’m not so sure. Redden is 35 and his contract expires at the end of the season. Maybe the Bruins bring him back as a 7th d-man, but other than that I don’t see it. As for being worth it, they only have up a conditional 7th pick (it turns into a 6th if Redden plays in a playoff for the Bruins) and he’s an upgrade over Aaron Johnson, so I think so. Jagr I’d like to see brought back and Chiarelli said he wasn’t sure yet, but that he also wasn’t sure about Recchi who was a deadline acquisition that hung around for a few years. If Jagr is willing to take a pay cut, he’ll be back. If not, he was a rental that cost them two prospects and a conditional second. Can’t say if it was worth it for him yet until I see how the Bruins do down the stretch and in the playoffs.
Me: Redden is a big body, but that is about it. Jagr on the other hand is very dangerous and has a couple years left in him, but to re-sign him might cost them some of their younger players.
What will it be like to have four of the original 6 teams in the same conference?
BB: I’m very excited about the prospect of having 4 Original-6 teams all in the same conference, it’s going to make for some very fun and exciting hockey. However, it’s also going to make for a very tough conference and playoff spots will likely be more highly contested than they already are. All are storied franchises that have passionate fan bases and field competitive teams almost every year. I mean, what’s not to like (other than maybe Tampa Bay and Florida being in the conference).
Me: More people ripping on the little guys in Florida and until they become perennial playoff contenders it will continue to happen.
A big thank you to Billy over at Causeway Crowd for answering these questions and helping us transition to life in the Eastern Conference. Be sure to check them out and we look forward to seeing you next season in Boston.