By: Drew Johnson | Follow Me On Twitter: @doobshmoob
It’s almost time for turkey, but before we can celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States, we have a Boston Bruins game to watch. The B’s will be in Detroit on Wednesday night to take on the Red Wings.
The Bruins enter play with an 11-6-3 record and a plethora of injuries. They recently lost Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron for long stretches of time which will greatly impact how Bruce Cassidy delegates ice time. However, Kevan Miller is expected to return to the lineup on Wednesday which is definitely a shining light amidst a lot of bad news. Meanwhile, the Red Wings are 9-9-2 and are relatively healthy compared to Boston.
Jake DeBrusk scored a goal against the Arizona Coyotes over the weekend, his eighth of the season. Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson also notched a goal – the first of his NHL career. The rookie’s tally was assisted by Noel Acciari, making the winger the last Bruin to register a point this season.
Matt Grzelcyk has done a solid job in the absence of many of Boston’s defensemen, namely Charlie McAvoy. With McAvoy’s offensive production on hold, Grzelcyk has been able to carry some of the weight. Combined with Torey Krug’s offensive tendencies from the blue line, it seems that Boston’s transition game is in good hands for the time being.
Dylan Larkin leads the Red Wings in scoring and has four points in his last five games. The 22-year-old is already taking on first-line duties and is set to be Detroit’s next great centerman if his upward trend continues. With 24-year-old Mantha on his right wing, who has six goals and three assists in 20 games, Detroit’s top lines can be lethal. They could very well take advantage of a shattered Bruins defense if they bring their A-game.
Gustav Nyquist and Andreas Athanasiou have also come up with some production on the Red Wings’ second line. The two have combined for nine goals and 18 assists (27 points). Centered by Frans Nielsen, who has no goals but 10 assists, Detroit’s top-six have some offensive capabilities.
Anders Bjork and Danton Heinen continue to struggle one-fourth of the way through the season. Heinen has only tallied five points while Bjork has just three to his name. Bjork will be getting time on the first line alongside David Krejci and David Pastrnak, however. Perhaps the extra minutes and skilled linemates can give him an offensive boost and the ability to execute.
Steven Kampfer has been decent for the Bruins thus far but needs to work on his discipline. The defenseman is only behind Brad Marchand (66) and Torey Krug (19) in penalty minutes, committing nine minors for almost a full period’s worth of time in the box. What he has done well is mentoring young defensemen, specifically Jeremy Lauzon whom he has been playing alongside.
Detroit’s goaltending is certainly a sore spot for the boys in red. Jimmy Howard currently sports a record of 6-6-2 with a .922 SV% and 2.64 GAA. Meanwhile, Jonathan Bernier has a 3-3-0 record accompanied by a .901 SV% and 3.59 GAA. It is projected that the Bruins will be facing Howard tonight as they’ll look to add on to his losing record.
Bruins vs. Red Wings Outlook
The Bruins are certainly dealing with an injury bug. Luckily, the young defensemen that have been called up to fill the void have been up to the challenge. Connor Clifton had a strong presence in his first NHL game against Arizona, receiving his first NHL major penalty for fighting. Lauzon has also done well holding down the fort on the third defensive pair and has failed to become a liability.
The Red Wings will try to put those young defensemen in their place. They may not need too much from their offense tonight in order to net themselves a win. Boston is currently ranked 3rd in goals against with 49 but just 22nd in goals for with 58. However, the Bruins’ offense can be deadly, especially with DeBrusk finding his game to compliment that of Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak.
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