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PHT Morning Skate: Bruins-Red Wings finally drop the puck

Apr 18, 2014, 8:24 AM EDT

Milan Lucic AP

We’re three days into the Stanley Cup Playoffs and now we’ll finally have all eight series underway after tonight. It could wind up being a case of saving the best for last when it comes to Boston and Detroit, a pair of other series drop the puck for Game 2 in Tampa and Anaheim.

After last night’s action that saw a triple-overtime winner by St. Louis and a comeback overtime win by Colorado, the bar might be set a little high tonight. It’s the most wonderful time of year.

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $1,500 Fantasy Hockey league for Friday’s NHL games. It’s $10 to join and first prize is $350. Starts Friday at 7pm ETHere’s the FanDuel link.

Game 2: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens [Montreal leads series 1-0] (7:00 p.m. ET — CNBC)

The Lightning will look to bounce back after watching Dale Weise beat them in overtime of Game 1. If there’s someone they have to worry about though it’s Daniel Briere. While Briere isn’t the dynamic scorer he once was, his presence on the Habs’ fourth line made them a difference maker against the Lightning fourth line.

After all, asking young guys like Cedric Paquette to have to wrangle Briere is asking a lot for a bunch that doesn’t play much and may not have a lot of NHL experience. We’ll see how Tampa coach Jon Cooper makes adjustments tonight against Michel Therrien. One thing’s for sure, we’ll see Carey Price bounce back stronger which means Anders Lindback will need to counter equally to even up the series.

Game 1: Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings (7:30 p.m. ET — NBCSN)

This may be the series most fans are most curious about. The Bruins are the top team in the league and are favorites against the Red Wings, but there’s always something about Detroit that gives everyone pause. Making the playoffs 23 seasons in a row will help add to that, but the Wings have the weapons to be a perilous first round opponent for the Bruins.

Pavel Datsyuk is healthy and playing well and having him join younger guys like Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, and Tomas Jurco gives the Wings a lot of skill and speed. Detroit took three out of four this season from Boston, but the playoffs are a different animal and that means seeing more from Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, and the best out of Tuukka Rask.

The Bruins will want to get physical, but the Wings resist and steer away from that type of play. If Boston is to roll through the East this season, they’re going to earn it against Detroit.

Game 2: Anaheim Ducks vs. Dallas Stars [Anaheim leads series 1-0] (10:00 p.m. ET — NBCSN)

The Ducks showed the Stars what playoff hockey was all about early in Game 1. After jumping out to a big early lead, it looked like they were ready to cruise, but the Stars found their legs late and gave them a scare before ultimately losing 4-3. Don’t expect the Stars to come in starstruck tonight.

The upside for Anaheim is they’ll likely have captain Ryan Getzlaf back in after he took a puck in the face late in Game 1. You may have seen what his face looked like after that from his brother on Twitter. That’s good news as they’ll need him to help keep Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin occupied and away from the Ducks net.

Expect the Stars to come out a bit tougher in Game 2 to help goalie Kari Lehtonen out. Leaving your goalie hung out to dry at the start of a playoff game isn’t something to be proud of and they’ll tighten things up to prevent it from happening again.

  1. nunan - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:29 AM

    So excited http://video.bruins.b3connect.com/2014/4/17/1397743441897-Bruins_Wolfpack_ProRes_H264_WEB3.mp4

  2. joey4id - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:44 AM

    Bruins d will have their hands full with the speedy Wings’ forwards skating circles around them. This is not going to be an easy series for the Bs. The only player that can be the Wings will be their goalie.

  3. 101starmymedic - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:49 AM

    This will be playoff hockey at its fiercest.

  4. laxnhockey - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:11 AM

    Is the NHL that intent on trying to get the Bruins to the SCF that they have to give them a week off before they start the playoffs, or is it because Chara was so tired and got burned so bad last spring that they want to help him save face? It makes no sense for this series to start one or two days later than every other series.

    • dropthepuckeh - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:34 AM

      You can’t be serious. The Bruins have been resting players for a few weeks and I’m sure they wanted to get going earlier. The building was occupied on Wed with the Celtics so I assumed it would start last night but there is no conspiracy going on to help them. I’m sure you have better material than that….

      • laxnhockey - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:55 AM

        Right, I’m sure they didn’t want the extra rest going into the playoffs, the most intense two months, that makes sense. You can do better than that.

    • sixchr - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:36 AM

      Well, for starters the Red Wings’ veterans would get more of a benefit from the wait than the Bruins’ veterans. At best it’s a wash. Secondly, NBC wants the best team in the league for their primary broadcast on Sunday.

      • laxnhockey - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:00 AM

        How do you figure one group of “veterans” gets more of a benefit than another? It’s a decided advantage to “the best team in the league” to have the added rest.

        I don’t have much doubt about NBC’s intentions as evidenced by the fact that they continue to trot out the ultimate moron and biggest homer in a broadcast booth, Milbury the 12 year old beater.

    • dboldave - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:43 AM

      I’m sure the Wings wouldn’t get any benefit from resting either huh? I mean, their team has been healthy all year and all.

      • laxnhockey - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:01 AM

        Who said the “Wings wouldn’t get any benefit”?

    • 11111111111a22 - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:49 AM

      That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard on so many levels. You are not smart.

    • mgp1219 - Apr 18, 2014 at 12:22 PM

      And Detroit doesn’t benefit from the rest?? C’mon now!
      Why is it that whenever the Bruins do well, someone (see habsman, blomfeld, etc…)has to say it’s a conspiracy. They are better than all of your teams, deal with it!

  5. cadlow - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:23 AM

    Finally The best “team” in hockey gets to start. All respect to the wings, but B’s in 5. Yes I know Detroit is faster but so wasn’t Pitsburgh last year. Boston is the deepest team in the league in all 3 zones with the best goalie in the league. This is the most motivated B’s team I’ve ever seen. 16 wins to the ship…..

    • 11111111111a22 - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:48 AM

      I don’t know…when they were healthy Id say the Blues are the “deepest”.

      • nunan - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:05 AM

        I’d say that is true on defense. The Bs D, as it currently looks with all the young guys, is still somewhat unproven in the playoffs. Krug had a few great games last year and Bartkowski held his own. Miller has never played in the playoffs and Hamilton was a healthy scratch much of the time. If Seidenberg and McQuaid were healthy, I’d say the D stacks up pretty evenly with STL. On the offensive side of the puck though, the Bruins are pretty deep so I get the original comment. STL and BOS in the finals would be incredible given how similar they are. I’m a Bruin’s guy but Oshie is awesome. Wish they had him..and still had Sobotka.

  6. gino97 - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    Just spreading out games so the fans can watch a bunch of different series, Laxbro.

    • laxnhockey - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:45 AM

      They already do that and have been doing that every postseason, until now and NBC is broadcasting every game. It doesn’t make any sense.

  7. isphet71 - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:33 AM

    Bruins for sure look to be the better team, but the Wings are probably the “scariest” team in the East in terms of matchups for Boston. They are fast, and being new to the East, there’s not much familiarity between the two teams. They are the ultimate “wild card” in the East. The other teams, like Pit and Montreal, we know are inferior and have almost no chance against the Bruins in a 7 game series.

    I can’t help but think that the team that wins this series represents the East in the cup finals. The Bruins are for sure the best team the Wings can face in the playoffs, so if the Wings somehow pull this series out, they not only get Zetterberg and Ericsson back, they also have already beaten the toughest team in the path to the Finals.

    Good luck to both teams, go Wings, and I hope I don’t hate the Bruins after this series is done. I hope the team that wins does it “clean.”

    • laxnhockey - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:49 AM

      Right because the Bruins have won all of what, one game against Montreal’s backup goalie this season. The Bruins want nothing to do with Montreal on the postseason, since it’s been proven over and over the Canadiens own the Bruins in the postseason. 19 straight eliminations at one point; what’s one more.

      • 11111111111a22 - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:51 AM

        Stick to Pro Lacrosse Talk because even given all the idiots that comment on this site, you sir, may be the dumbest of all.

      • dropthepuckeh - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:52 AM

        The last time they played in the playoffs the Bruins won and went on to win the Cup habsman….

      • laxnhockey - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:06 AM

        I see the facts are making a few of you ne, ne, nervous already.

        dropthepuckeh has a conveniently short memory; it was the first time that Boston had beaten Montreal en route to winning the championship since 1929.

        OWNED!! The thumbs down will prove it.

      • cadlow - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:25 AM

        laxnhockey your right that since 1929 the habs dominate. But you conveniently neglected to reference the modern era. Since 1988 the B’s and habs have face each other 11 times with the B’s winning 7 series. And in the last 5 yrs they have played twice in 09 ad 11 with the B’s wining both series.
        So who is really nervous.

      • laxnhockey - Apr 18, 2014 at 12:14 PM

        Knock, knock, knock, hello cadlow, anyone home? The lights are on but no one seems to be home.

        Listen ding dong, “since 1929″ includes the modern era; it includes everything “since 1929″. What’s so hard to understand about “since 1929″?

        You want to boil this rivalry down to two matchups in the last five years? That’s convenient, but then you neglect to factor in the history of this great rivalry. History shows us that the Canadiens OWN the Bruins in the postseason. I’m actually hoping for that matchup, but I’m not convinced the Bruins can get by the Red Wings, so I’ll just have to wait and hope they do. I’m hoping for that matchup because the Bruins can’t match the Canadiens speed, as has been proven over and over again and Price seems to have upped his game.

        To answer your question, “so who is really nervous”; it’s Chara and his group of knuckledraggers.

      • dropthepuckeh - Apr 18, 2014 at 12:36 PM

        habsman – how many aliases do you have on here and why? greenmtboy, montrealbbr, lax – is it because you don’t have real friends or a sign of a greater psychological issue?

        Who cares what the historic record is between the Habs and Boston? Nothing matters once they start the playoffs – that is the glory of the postseason. I’d love to see Boston and Montreal in the next round too and I think it will be a long, tough series but why all the anger? You consistently troll Boston articles throwing out the same garbage each year. If the Bruins are so bad how did they do so well in the regular season? Relax man.

      • laxnhockey - Apr 18, 2014 at 1:05 PM

        Dropthepuckeh, must have been droppedonhisheadeh.

        It’s me and only me, laxnhockey.

        See someone about that paranoia; it’s getting to the point of being irrational and delusional.

        Are you related to joey?

  8. thegreatmorpheos - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:15 AM

    laxman, you have to remember your dealing with the shallow end of the gene pool when talking with a Bruins fan. Don’t confuse them with facts, just let them be content to overlook the Canadiens like they’ve done so many times before to their own detriment.

    They are obviously a little slow on the uptake.

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