Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings - 4/18/14
Detroit Red Wings (39-28-15) at Boston Bruins (54-19-9)
NHL Hockey: Friday, April 18, 2014 at 7:30 pm (TD Garden)
The Line: Boston Bruins -203 / Detroit Red Wings +184 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds
The Bruins and Red Wings finally get their series underway on Friday as the two playoff powers square off at the TD Garden.
The Detroit Red Wings extended their own NHL record this season by qualifying for the postseason for the 23rd straight season and while the last couple of years have been by the skin of their teeth, they have the opportunity to advance to the Stanley Cup finals once again. The Wings have been up and down this year and have had to battle through injuries to their two best players and while Henrik Zetterberg may not be back this season, Pavel Datsyuk is ready to give the Wings a spark. Detroit is a far cry from the team that challenged for the President’s Trophy every season but they do have some promising young talent namely in the form of Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist. The Wings are heavy underdogs in this series and for good reason as the Bruins have been unstoppable this season and look like a team on a mission after last year’s game six collapse in the Cup finals against Chicago. Jimmy Howard will get the call as he goes up against Vezina nominee Tuukka Rask.
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The Bruins have been a force since the puck dropped back in October and are certainly at the very least a co-favourite to win the Cup this season as they have a ton of depth, great coaching, and that playoff resolve so few teams possess. Boston claimed the top mark in the league this season and will have home ice advantage throughout the postseason including in the Cup finals if they can get that far – something they didn’t have last year against the Blackhawks which came back to haunt them. The Bruins are the favourite to win the Eastern Conference and while the Red Wings have been playing some of their best hockey of the year down the stretch and have a roster capable of advancing in the postseason I just don’t see it against a team like Boston. The B’s will exploit Detroit’s very weak penalty kill and in a playoff series that can make all the difference as I think it does in the series opener. Not too much to think about here as this is one game where I think the Bruins absolutely demolish the Wings and set the tone for the rest of the series.