Red Wings bring loaded lineup to Boston

Red Wings bring loaded lineup to Boston
September 20, 2013, 2:30 am
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(USA Today Sports Images)

BOSTON - It sounds as if this season’s divisional rivalry between the Bruins and the newly realigned Detroit Red Wings isn’t off to a great start.

Detroit coach Mike Babcock and the rest of the Wings braintrust brought a pretty loaded training camp roster with them to Boston: Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall, Jimmy Howard and Justin Abdelkader led the parade of NHL players that were in the lineup. That was in sharp contract to a Bruins lineup that included 19-year-old Malcolm Subban in his first NHL starting spot along with such immortals as Rob Flick, Craig Cunningham and Nick Johnson among others.

Needless to say Babcock felt like he saw the 8-2 final score coming when he looked at the players suiting up for both teams, and didn’t feel like his Wings got much accomplished in spite of the landslide victory.

“They got a young kid in net. It didn’t go the way [Subban] wanted. The other thing is, Claude [Julien] chose the lineup tonight. I brought more than he had in the lineup. He had no [Patrice] Bergeron’s line. He had no [Chris] Kelly’s line,” said Babcock. “To be honest with you, I’d rather the score be 4-2 and it was a regular game, right? Things got away on the young guy. One of the things as a young player in this league, you get lessons. That was a lesson night tonight.”

Things were actually still manageable at a 4-1 score with the Bruins trailing after 40 minutes worth of exhibition game action, but the bottom dropped off in the third period with Subban and B’s defense allowing three goals in 1:17. It will be interesting to see how things play out on Saturday night with the Bruins heading to Joe Louis Arena for the road portion of the home-and-home preseason series.

“I thought our backend moved the puck up. I thought we scored some nice power play goals. We had good line changes,” said Babcock. “[We got] caught a couple of times on line changes in the second period, but we had more players dressed than they did tonight. “It’s almost like you should phone the coach in advance, and you should decide who’s playing. No…really…because you want it to be a good level. That’s what you want from both teams.”

Perhaps it will be a little closer to a full squad matchup – and to Babcock’s liking -- when the Bruins play their fourth preseason game against the Wings in Detroit on Saturday.