Haggerty: Thoughts from Bruins vs. Red Wings

Haggerty: Thoughts from Bruins vs. Red Wings
April 20, 2014, 4:15 pm
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(USA Today Sports Images)

BOSTON – Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins leading the Red Wings by a 2-0 score after the first 20 minutes of play in Game 2 of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs at TD Garden.

1)  The Red Wings got way out of their comfort zone in this one. Scrums, matching penalties amid pileups in front of the net started by Brad Marchand, power plays for both teams and Brendan Smith hilariously trying to hit Zdeno Chara while the 6-foot-9 defenseman holds him at arm’s length like an older brother taunting a younger brother. Chara had a giant grin on his face the entire time, and really made Smith look foolish. Smith did get Chara to take a minor penalty, however. Mike Babcock cant be happy with the way things are going in this one because the Red Wings can’t win this way.

2)  There is no doubt the Bruins are frontrunners. They outshot the Wings 18-8 after scoring their first goal, and simply poured on the attack against Jimmy Howard and Detroit’s defense.

3)  Five attempted shots and a power play goal for Reilly Smith, who is playing the way he did in the first half of the season. The goal was simply crashing the net on an extended power play for the B’s while Loui Eriksson camped himself down low in front of Jimmy Howard. He was a beast as a net-front presence on that PP possession. You could make the argument Smith and Eriksson did more on that playoff PP goal than Tyler Seguin did through the entirety of last year’s postseason.

4)  Huge mistake by Jimmy Howard and Brendan Smith as the Detroit goalie fired a puck toward the boards that bounced off Smith, and went directly on the stick of Justin Florek. Howard was way out of the net, and couldn’t recover before Florek fired it in the empty net. That opened the floodgates for Boston.

5)  The referees are paying much closer attention to the holding, interference and obstruction today, and that’s not a good sign for the Detroit Red Wings’ tactics against the Bruins. That will open the door for the Bruins to attack with much more speed than Game 1, something we’ve already seen today.

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Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins leading the Red Wings by a 3-1 score after the first 40 minutes of play in Game 2 of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs at TD Garden.

1)  The Bruins got badly outplayed in the second period. They were outshot 13-6 in the middle 20 minutes, and got really slowed down by the Wings after building up the two goal cushion. So the goal for Milan Lucic produced by the KIL (Krejci, Iginla, Lucic) line at the end of the second period was exactly what they needed to stave off the growing momentum for the Red Wings. That was their first points from that line in these playoffs, and something they’ll need a lot more of in this series. Still just four shots on net for that line, though, and they can be better.

2)  I’m not sure if it’s because he’s less than 100 percent (the flu, perhaps) or because of the Pavel Datsyuk Effect, but Patrice Bergeron really doesn’t look like himself right now. One shot on goal and 8-for-18 in the face off circle while his line is really struggling to sustain anything offensively right now. That’s going to be an issue if it doesn’t change.

3)  Bruins fourth line isn’t bringing much right now. They really miss the speed and skill of Daniel Paille, and have been getting outplayed by the bottom six forwards of the Red Wings.

4)  Justin Florek continues to impress. He scores the opportunistic goal in the first period, and then executes some expert penalty kill work in the second period. He’s a big body, he has a pretty good stick and he’s doing a great job of hustling up top to front players. He’s going to be a keeper for this team as a bottom six energy guy as soon as next season.

5)  Six shot attempts for Darren Helm, who created Detroit’s goal by faking out Jarome Iginla with a stick move and then firing a shot that pin-balled off Luke Glendening in front of the net. He’s been a huge factor as a bottom six guy for the Red Wings.

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Here are five thoughts from the third period with the Bruins taking home a 4-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings in Game 2 of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs at TD Garden.

1. Zdeno Chara with the power play goal on a fat rebound from Jimmy Howard off a Jarome Iginla shot from the wing that he should have gloved. Rough game for the former UMaine goalie.

2. Though the Bruins won this one, they still looked a bit slower and more methodical in the final two periods. They need to continue flooring the gas pedal.

3. Tuukka Rask outplayed Jimmy Howard, and made all the saves in the 2nd and 3rd period once the Bruins started slowing down.

4. Kevan Miller has turned into a difference-maker when he's healthy. Hits anything that moves in a Red Wings uniform, and is underrated moving the puck up the ice.

5. Detroit is in trouble if the rest of the series is officiated this way.