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Bruins dominate Red Wings, take 2-1 series lead

Apr 22, 2014, 10:14 PM EDT

The Boston Bruins are really starting to look like the team that easily topped the Eastern Conference and grabbed the Presidents’ Trophy in the process.

After Jimmy Howard shut them out to give the Detroit Red Wings a Game 1 win, the Bruins have been dominant in swinging the series back to a 2-1 lead in their favor. After winning 4-1 in Game 2, the B’s actually were even more impressive as the series shifted to Detroit in Game 3 on Tuesday, winning by what might have been a forgiving 3-0 score.

Maybe some of it has to do with the Red Wings’ exhausting run to even clinch a playoff spot. They’ve only been able to score two goals in the series so far: Pavel Datsyuk‘s game-winner in Game 1 and a Luke Glendenning tally in the second period of Game 2.

Long story short, things have been pretty lopsided since that Datsyuk shot beat Tuukka Rask.

One might say that the Bruins seem as bemused by the Red Wings’ efforts as Zdeno Chara was with Brendan Smith‘s “threats” in Game 2.

Even with all these negatives, the Red Wings are only down one game and get a chance to tie things up at home in Game 4. This Detroit team made a living proving people that they can overcome long odds during this 2013-14 season, so counting them out would be foolish.

Still, at this moment, Boston seems very much in control of this series.

  1. bsfan77 - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:16 PM

    2 words. Tuukka Rask. Absolute beast. The uphill climb for Detroit begins.

    • govtminion - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:25 PM

      That’s two ‘u’s, two ‘k’s, and zero goals against. Freaking awesome.

    • grumpyoleman - Apr 23, 2014 at 2:35 PM

      Hard to judge based on the weak offensive effort by the Wings this series.

  2. edzo82270 - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:24 PM

    Life long B’s fan and the last 12 mins were mostly Wings in our zone. If we play our game we should take the series but this isn’t over by any means.

  3. cheetah440 - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:25 PM

    could have and should have been about 6,7-0. Bruins had at least 7 walk in chances and couldn’t bury one of them. The biggest concern is their inability to score. Marchand missed an empty net, 3 walk ins……they need to start scoring on those chances. Although saving them for Montreal isn’t a bad idea.

  4. graymalkin26 - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:29 PM

    Montreal is going to beat you clowns from that sh&t$ole that is boston.

    • nhstateline - Apr 23, 2014 at 8:27 AM

      no. no they’re not. Regardless of which team they play it’ll be the same garbage from a team that could win without it. It won’t work against either the Wings or the Bruins.

    • handsomeralph56 - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:24 AM

      lol go back to your “amazing” city that is Montreal, frenchie.

  5. canucks30 - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:35 PM

    I can’t stand guys like Marchand and Lucic, but Peter Chiarelli and Cam Neely have assembled a Bruins roster that is built for playoff style hockey.

    Very hard to play against.

  6. hockeyforce - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:38 PM

    Nice response Graymalkin. Now go get your shine box you chode

    • mangoman1966 - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:51 PM

      Good one lol

  7. micasa81 - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:43 PM

    Wings play a tight system, but so do the Bs, who are deeper and have the better goalie by quite a bit.

  8. slaugin - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:44 PM

    Inability to score is so 2011, Bruins had the best Goal differential by a large margin, I’m not worried about them not scoring

    • drewzducks - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:50 PM

      Also, remember how pathetic their PP was that year. Now, not so much.

      • hockey412 - Apr 23, 2014 at 9:01 AM

        Let’s leave their pathetic PP’s out of it and stick to hockey related material.

  9. titansbro - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:45 PM

    The delay penalty notwithstanding, I’ve been so impressed with Miller. And he’s like the 5th or 6th d-man. Great mix of youth & veteran leadership all committed to the teams success first. Hard to beat that combo.

    • nosefacekillah - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:09 AM

      5th or 6th? Who is front of him? Chara, Boychuck and maybe (big maybe) Hamilton. He is a 3rd or fourth in my book. Krug is great for what he is but not a top 4 d-man. Meszaros has far too many lapses but he has been cleaning these up. Bart and Potter are far behind (although I was impressed with Porter in game 1). Seidenberg clearly slots as a top two but Miller is stronger defensively than McQuaid and Miller is every bit as tough.

      I thought a great example of how much Miller brings to the table was right after he came out of the box after serving his delay penalty. The play is whistled dead with Tuukka holding the puck. Marchand starts going at it with Tatar (I think) in front of the net. Miller skates over and pulls Marchand away understanding with 10 minutes left in the game holding a 2-0 lead was night the time take a stupid penalty. A rookie putting the lid on Marchand was very impressive.

  10. muckleflugga - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:47 PM

    wings are not going to win many games with that kind of goal output … booed at home … a rarity so it must have been bad

    if wings go down two you can sing sayornara, until then hang in there boys … goals will come

    in the meantime, get out of the funk

    • paperkid96 - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:19 PM

      I had the misfortune of being at the game. The energy was high after a great opening ceremony and then the Wings managed to suck every bit of life out the place with lazy play.

      Entirely unprepared and I’m not sure why. Boston played good but the Wings had way too many unforced turnovers. The third period was close to being hockey but we wont be coming back here for a game 6 if they keeping playing like this.

  11. arbruins - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:58 PM

    Graymalkin is such a wealth of hockey knowledge…thanks for the input douche nozzle

  12. drewsylvania - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:05 PM

    It’s funny how several new handles have popped up here in the past couple weeks, most of them owned by obvious trolls. Can we check the IPs?

  13. joestemme - Apr 23, 2014 at 12:14 AM

    The B’s looked like they were sleep-walking (skating?) through game one. Since then, they’ve shown why they are the number one seed.

    Still, much work to be done. And, as the article points out, it’s still only 2-1.

  14. muckleflugga - Apr 23, 2014 at 1:01 AM

    paperkid96

    i envy you still … first win for bruins at the joe in seven years

    hoo hooooo … time to start on the next seven … then knock ‘em dead back in boston

    if it goes seven, all bets are off with wings coming back even up

  15. 13datsyuk13 - Apr 23, 2014 at 3:32 AM

    The series is exactly where it is supposed to be. Win 2 at home, wings in 7!

    • ironyisadeadscene - Apr 23, 2014 at 6:53 AM

      I appreciate your enthusiasm…….and hope you are wrong

    • infectorman - Apr 23, 2014 at 7:57 AM

      peel back the onion, son.
      Game 1: a great move to set up a screened goal.
      Absent that play, Detroit Rock City could easily be staring into the 3-0 abyss and facing elimination.
      Tuukka has been almost impenetrable. Bruins made them nervous last nite in the first period and they came out and made doo doo in their pants.
      Experience, experience, experience

  16. ironmd778 - Apr 23, 2014 at 7:10 AM

    The Bruins are head and shoulders better than this Wings team. There’s no reason this shouldn’t be over in 5.

    • 101starmymedic - Apr 23, 2014 at 9:31 AM

      Wrong.

  17. pastabelly - Apr 23, 2014 at 7:54 AM

    As good as this Bruins team has been the past few years, they have gone 7 games in the first round the past three years. While I’m confident that the Bs are a better team, they better take nothing for granted or it will happen again.

    • titansbro - Apr 23, 2014 at 9:04 AM

      great point, they need to go ahead & close this thing out. no screwing around. the habs already closed out so they will be sitting & game planning. can’t get into a 7 game dogfight in this series with montreal waiting for them.

  18. kastout11 - Apr 23, 2014 at 8:34 AM

    This series is about over. I thought we would see Zetteberg last night, but I guess he is probably not ready yet. I don’t know if I would send him out against the Bruins anyway. Rask has given up 2 goals in 3 games, sick. The discouraging news for the rest of the Eastern Conferene and probably whatever team comes out of the West, is Detroit was playin some really good hockey until they met Boston.

  19. budzo83 - Apr 23, 2014 at 8:38 AM

    @pastabelly: I think you hit the nail on the head.

    Boston’s record against Detroit this season and their record at the Joe over previous seasons have about as much weight on this series as Boston winning the President’s Trophy does. That said, I believe that the B’s are their own worst enemy. They have a history of playing down to the other team for stretches in the playoffs. As a Bruin fan, I hope Game One was the end of that stretch.

  20. pwshrugged - Apr 23, 2014 at 9:11 AM

    Boston is completely nullifying the typical Detroit game plan. They’re clogging up passing lanes witht heir long reach and even when Detroit has pressure in the offensive zone, shots are being blocked by the first guy in front of the shooter. The Wings need to get more aggressive and change it up; for all people talk of their speed, it kills me to watch Nyquist or Helm motor into the zone, stop, and pass to the point, where Kronwall or Smith fires a shot that gets blocked by the guy right in front of him. Boston’s simply not allowing the Wings to play that way, and when teams have taken away the point shot this season from them, they’ve struggled. Not only that, but Boston has completely shut down the Wings’ engine as-of-late – the Kid Line. The kids aren’t playing poorly per se, but their shifts have been invisible.

    But really, the story is the Boston defense and Rask. Smothering defense, and when something does get through to Rask, it’s a pretty routine save most of the time. Boston looked like they were on auto-pilot last night, playing at a comfortable pace, and the Wings could barely keep up. For as physically dominating as Boston can be, they played a much more complete and much more dominating game last night than they did in Game 2 when they were beating the snot out of the Wings.

    Game 4 is a must-win now for Detroit. Simple as that. But it’s hard to think there’s an easy solution, though; stay out of the box, stop giving up bad turnovers… basically, to have a chance, they have to play mistake-free hockey, like in Game 1. Otherwise, Boston just looks like the more complete team right now, by a wide chasm.

    • nosefacekillah - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:20 AM

      I agree with everything you said. I think Boston is a very tough team for the Kid line to thrive against. Boston rarely makes mistakes in their own end and last night they made sure they always had numbers back. There was very little space for Detroit to use their speed. When they did Boston pushed them to the outside.

      Smith did highlight one of Boston’s weaknesses. When he came in with speed Boston has a hard time containing a 4th player moving into the zone. If Detroit is going to penetrate the zone they will need to attack from the backend and cause confusion in assignments for the Boston d-men.

      • pwshrugged - Apr 23, 2014 at 12:59 PM

        The problem with pinching frequently with a defenseman is that we’re going to end up with odd-man attacks going the other way a lot. Boston’s been so good at shot-blocking up front, that if Detroit does start to get a D-man into the mix early, they need to be very careful. But you are right – our best PP entry last night was when DeKeyser carried the puck into the zone himself.

        Oh, and everyone blaming Howard is missing the point. I thought Hamilton’s goal was an absolute beast of a shot, and came on a bad penalty resulting from a bad line change. The second goal, by Caron, was just a terrible odd-man rush on another bad line change. Other than the two softies he gave up in Game 2, Howard’s been solid. Either way, complaining about the goalie is a moot point if you don’t score a goal in a game.

        I’m not one to second-guess Babcock, but I really wonder if he should split up the kids in Game 4. He started doing it late in Game 3 (I saw Tatar out with Datsyuk/Abdelkader). But the only line really performing is that gritty 4th line. Otherwise, I see no reason not to mix up the lines and get some speed/toughness balance on each line. The kids have played well against Boston before, but Boston clearly has a game plan in place now to deal with them. Why not try something like Abdelkader-Datsyuk-Nyquist / Alfredsson-Sheahan-Tatar / Franzen-Helm-Jurco? Assuming Alfie plays Game 4, that is. And I realize that’s not a major shake-up; but I think Tatar needs a veteran to keep him cool – he took some bad penalties in Game 3 and looked visibly frustrated, something he’s prone to.

        Game 1 was brilliant, largely because neither team made mistakes – but the youth and inexperience of the young Wings is showing now, as they make more mistakes with the limelight growing hotter. Boston has veteran poise up and down the lineup, and you can tell they’re still stinging from losing the Cup last year. Wings simply have to tighten it up and play mistake-free… and that also includes not taking bad penalties.

  21. 101starmymedic - Apr 23, 2014 at 9:14 AM

    As a lifelong and die-hard Wings fan, I was absolutely embarassed last night. These teams are evenly matched. Seeding is irrelevant, The Bruins aren’t far and away better than Detroit, they have a more veteran team with more playoff and hockey experience than 75% of Detroit’s current roster.

    When the Wings play their game, they are equal to and sometimes better than the Bruins, and vice versa. The problem is, the Wings are not playing their game. They are not focused, they are making stupid mistakes, they are forgetting hockey fundamentals like lifting the stick, poke checking, looking before you pass, and player spacing.

    If I had a nickel for every time a Detroit player just smacked at a puck to move it without actually trying to control it, and thus turning it over. I’d have enough money to put a hit out on Marchand. They give the Bruins too much time and space with the puck. The bruins get the puck and they actually have time to look before passing, not just reacting when it hits their stick.

    You need to take away that time and space, it forces players to react and not always make the right decision, thus leading to mistakes and turnovers. They don’t lift or tie up the stick on puck possession players in the attacking zone, when they are in proximity to do so, there’s also no point in passing unless you know where the pass is going. Case in point goal 1 in game 2. There was a second defenseman wide open to Howard’s left with absolutely no Bruins around them.

    Right now, the Bruins are a better team, they’re a better team because they’re consistently doing the things THEY specifically need to do in order to win. Detroit is not, when both teams play their best, you have a repeat of Game 1. Even Game 2 wasn’t bad if not for Detroit’s mistakes.

    Boston has Detroit’s number right now, but only because Detroit is giving it to them.

    • nosefacekillah - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:29 AM

      It is silly to say the teams are evenly matched. Boston dominated the Wings in every category in the regular season (not even close). Boston won the Cup 3 years ago and was in the finals last year. They have one of the best d-men in the NHL, one of the best centers in NHL and every bit as good as Datsyuk, one of the best goalies in the NHL. They are solid top to bottom and can play a fast pace game with skill or a hard battle in the corners.

      While Detroit is a good team with some great players Boston is a great team with some great players. Boston coasted to being the best team in the east while Detroit struggled to even make the playoffs. 82 games are not irrelevant in judging the quality of a team.

      • 101starmymedic - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:40 AM

        They dominated them in every category except the ONLY category that matters.

        Wins.

        Detroit won 3, Boston won 1. They also did it while carrying on average 8 players w/ injuries all season.

        Also, great players do not a great team make. Look at the Canucks. You can have the most skilled team in history which means nothing unless coached by someone equally great. Boston owes 99% of it’s success to Claude Julien. That man, is, or may be the next Scotty Bowman.

        There’s such blatant Bruins bias and ridiculousnes that it’s completely pointless to waste my time explaining it further.

      • nosefacekillah - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:56 AM

        A Bruins bias? To say Detroit is a +2 in regular season wins in 4 games while ignoring every other stat proves the Wings are an equal team might prove a bias but it is not mine.

        And now that is really matters Boston is a +1 in games and a +5 in goals. Bias that in the Wings favor.

    • pwshrugged - Apr 23, 2014 at 1:05 PM

      Detroit has to play perfect hockey to win. Especially now. Yes, the Wings matched them in the regular season – but Boston’s clearly in playoff mode, and they remember losing the Cup last season. I agree that the teams are more evenly matched than evident; but they play very different styles. Regular season play demonstrated that Boston can’t keep up with the Wings if the Wings can fully execute their speed game; on the flip side, the Wings can persevere through 60 minutes even when Boston’s physical game is at full force. However, if Boston shuts down the Wings’ speed, it’s done, and that’s been the case in the playoffs.

      I always argue that regular season success is not a predictor of playoff success – I’d argue the opposite, actually. It’s easier to learn from losing than winning; I’m always wary of playing a team in the playoffs that we dominated in the season.

      Fact stands, though – Boston has a very solid game plan working right now, and Detroit hasn’t demonstrated anything close to an answer. Any mistakes Detroit makes only exacerbates that, and both Games 2 and 3 were full of Detroit mistakes, with many Boston goals coming on mistakes. For the most part, the Wings are holding on – but they’re definitely on their heels. But if you’re Jimmy Howard, you can’t make bad play on the puck off the boards, or let in any soft goals (like that Chara PP goal). If you’re the rest of the game, you have to make good line changes and not take undisciplined penalties. But it’s never bodes well for a team if their recipe for success is basically “play perfect hockey.”

  22. bruins4ever - Apr 23, 2014 at 9:40 AM

    101starmymedic…are you actually serious, you believe that Detroit has as much talent throughout their lineup as Boston. Look at each line again, I think you will see the obvious difference. Boston has the best 4 lines in hockey, and a far better defensive group then Detroit. Goaltending- no knock on Howard, but Rask is the best in the league.
    In game one the Ref’s allowed Detroit to run interference on Boston’s dump ins (Kindl & Quincey) game 2 Kindl called early, now Detroit can’t handle the forecheck. Detroit doesn’t like to be hit, therefore pass early = turnovers!
    Teams are even, seriously that’s funny!

    • 101starmymedic - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:05 AM

      So at the beginning you say that I said they have more talent, and at the end you say I said they were even. Which is it? Which words are you putting in my mouth?

      I said they were even. I believe Detroit is a better team because of their speed which when Detroit is playing their game, their speed game, they are better and faster than Boston’s dump and chase. You’re a Bruins fan, I’m a Red Wings fan, obviously we’re not going to see eye to eye 100%, but saying the Wings aren’t even, shows that your bias is clouding your judgment.

      Rask is better than Howard, I never said Howard was better. In all honesty I think Gustavsson is better than Howard. Boston has more Veterans and thus are more well known and have more experience, as far as skill, it’s so unbelievably close in terms of this guy is better at this vs this guy at that, they are evenly matched.

      Regardless, the best team playing it’s worst game will still lose to the worst team playing it’s best game.

      • 101starmymedic - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:07 AM

        Me saying they’re better isn’t meant to say they are better in every aspect, I’m saying Detroit is better at playing against Boston due to their style of play.

      • bruins4ever - Apr 23, 2014 at 12:43 PM

        better read again, I didn’t say you said they had more talent, I said as much talent. You said they were even. I explained my reasons why I think they are not, forwards – advantage Boston, Defense – advantage Boston, Goaltending – advantage Boston, and to add a little more Special teams – advantage Boston, Coaching – even. Ok I see now where you see that they are even.

  23. dtownbeatdown - Apr 23, 2014 at 11:00 AM

    The sky hasn’t fallen yet. I find it funny how everyone is saying the series is over. Tuuka Rask is a beast of a goalie no doubt, but he isn’t invincible. The problem with the wings is Boston beats us up with the physical play. Wings lackluster effort in that department is a joke. Boston would be a likable team if hook nose Marchand and Lucic weren’t such obvious cheaters.

    • nosefacekillah - Apr 23, 2014 at 11:24 AM

      Agreed. Detroit still has enough skill and time to pull an upset. But the Wings will have a hard time imposing their style on the Bruins. The Bruins are built to shut it down in their own end and out physical their opponent in the dump and chase game.

      As for Lucic and Marchand, while cheaters is a little strong they would be well served to remove the cheap stuff from their game. They don’t need it to be effective.

      • dtownbeatdown - Apr 23, 2014 at 7:50 PM

        I guess cheaters was a strong definition. Their tactics just get old and are cheap at best. I could do without the low blows and every time I watch a Bruins game Marchand is always doing the same act. He just comes off as a major douche on and off the ice.

        And I agree, the Bruins are a very solid team this season, they don’t need the cheap stuff in their game, just takes away from there team effort. The wings have what it takes to play their game, wings are known for ignoring the rough stuff, but I think they might need to wake up a little if they want to make this a long series. I could do without the cute passes too, just shoot the puck, good things happen when you put the puck on net.

  24. themediaisdumberthandirt - Apr 23, 2014 at 1:13 PM

    Settle down folks. There’s a reason they play best of 7 and a reason they play until the horn sounds. If Detroit plays the way they are capable and Howard quits letting in soft goals, they can beat Boston. Let’s not forget they were 3-1 against them in the regular season and make any excuse you want, scoreboards never lie.

  25. the8man - Apr 23, 2014 at 1:18 PM

    Long way to go. Wings have pride, experience and home ice for game 4. Gonna be a tough, tough night to get a win. And Montreal gets to sit and wait for the series winner. Yikes!

    C’mon Bs!

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