Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Playoffs Series Preview: Detroit Red Wings Vs Boston Bruins

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BOSTON BRUINS VS DETROIT RED WINGS

Boston Bruins

Detroit Red Wings

Total Points

117

93

Regular Season Record

54-19-9

39-28-15

Last Ten Games

5-2-3

6-3-1

The Boston Bruins ended on top of the Eastern Conference standings for a reason: the B’s went 54-19-9 in the regular season for a total of 117 points.  Led by top scorers David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron and anchored with the 6’9” Norris winner Zdeno Chara on the blue-line, the Bruins look once again hungry for another bite at the Stanley Cup.  Tuukka Rask was, not surprisingly, solid in net for the Bruins, posting a final record of 36-15-6, with a save percentage of .930.  Despite going 5-2-3 in their last ten games of the regular season, the Bruins show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Meanwhile, the Detroit Red Wings snuck into the last wild card spot after a neck-and-neck battle with the Columbus Blue Jackets for the not-really-much-better opportunity to the play the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round.  The Wings’ record, not that it needs to be repeated, was 39-28-15, leaving the Wings with a total 93 points to wrap up the 2013-2014 season.  With injuries to Red Wings’ captain Henrik Zetterberg and star Pavel Datsyuk only recently returning the lineup, along with a whole bunch of other injuries (that again, does not need repeating), youngsters Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar filled in offensively while Danny DeKeyser and Luke Glendening helped out on the blue line.  Jimmy Howard provided the majority of the last line of defense for the Wings, ending the season with a record of 21-19-11, a record shortened by injuries, and a final regular save percentage of .910.

THE MATCH-UP

Regular Season series against Bruins

Date

Home Team

Score

Result

October 5th

Boston

4-1

Loss

October 14th

Boston

3-2

Victory

November 27th

Detroit

6-1

Victory

April 2nd

Detroit

3-2

Victory

The Red Wings went 3-1 against the Bruins in the regular season, which is promising news to Red Wings fans.  Perhaps most notable is that the Wings won 3-2 against the Bruins only a few weeks ago, showing that the Wings do have the ability to beat the Bruins, despite the difference in regular season points.  In fact, the Bruins have not won against the Wings since the teams’ first matchup on October 5, where the Bruins took a 4-1 win against the Wings in Boston.  While this news does provide some promise for the Red Wings, these stats are not to be misconstrued—this series will not be an easy one for the Red Wings.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

While David Krejci lead the Bruins in the regular season with 69 points, Patrice Bergeron is the player getting the most talk—some are even mentioning his name in Hart trophy discussions.  Bergeron will no doubt have a major offensive impact for the Bruins during this series.  Additionally, Tuukka Rask has been in Vezina trophy discussions.

As for the Wings, Pavel Datsyuk returned in early April from a knee injury that sidelined him for some time, coincidentally making his return against the Bruins.  Red Wings fans did not get a chance to see too much out of Datsyuk during his short return at the end of the regular season, but he will be a treat to watch in this first round.  Another player to watch is the player who is on everyone’s tongues when discussing the Red Wings, and that is of course Gustav Nyquist.  Nyquist posted 21 goals in the last 30 games of the regular season for a total of 28 goals on the season (and 28 assists to give him a 40-point season).  Most importantly, unlike some of the younger players who have stepped into the Wings’ lineup to relieve some injuries, Nyquist has valuable previous playoff experience for the Wings, having played in four games in 2011-2012 and fourteen games in 2012-2013.

[Editor's Note: Another great article from our anonymous blogger.]

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Tags: Detroit Red Wings

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