Tonight is the overdue start to the Boston Bruins’ next Stanley Cup run. When the Detroit Red Wings were added to the Eastern Conference prior to the start of the season; I think all of knew the road through the playoffs would have to go through hockey town. I wasn’t expecting it to be the first round, but then again, I wasn’t surprised by a lot of things this season.
I digress; after all, we are here to talk about one of the best series in the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs. The other being St Louis and Chicago, did you watch game 1? Hell of a show.
Two of the NHL’s most stories are destined to collide in what will likely be a good series, and more importantly, a true test for the Boston Bruins.
Behind the bench for the Red Wings is Mike Babcock who, in this writer’s opinion, is the best in the business. Detroit also boast two of the best two way players on the planet in Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk (my favorite non Bruin). Let’s not forget the supremely talented young forward Gustav Nyquist, to go along with a forward core containing young skill players, and grizzled veterans.
Johan Franzen may not look like much, but “the Mule” is as clutch as them come when Lord Stanley is at the end of the tunnel.
The Wings also have a solid defense, and like their offense, it contains battled tested vets and young talent. Nicklas Kronwall headlines the group. Have you ever heard the term “Kronwalled” in your hockey travels? If so, good for you. If not, then let me tell you. To get “Kronwalled” is to get absolutely laid out by one of the NHL’s best body checkers. The B’s will have to keep their heads up when he is on the ice.
Also on defense for the Wings is young defenseman Danny Dekeyser, Kyle Quincy, Jakub Kindl, Jonathan Ericsson, and Reilly Smith’s brother Brendan Smith.