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Bruins vs Red Wings

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Bruins vs Red Wings - 2014 SCP First Round

Howard helps Red Wings steal home-ice edge

Friday, 04.18.2014 / 11:49 PM / Bruins vs Red Wings - 2014 SCP First Round

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

BOSTON -- It was mayhem at TD Garden late in the third period Friday night during Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round series between the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings.

During the last ice-maintenance timeout in regulation, the sellout crowd was on its feet, waving yellow rally towels furiously, exhorting their Bruins to find a way to solve a stifling Detroit defense in a game without a goal. All of this was happening as "Shipping Up To Boston," the sing-along hit by the Dropkick Murphys, the house band for any major sporting moment in this city, blared at nearly unbearable levels on the PA system.

The only problem was the Red Wings tend to be unflappable, especially when goaltender Jimmy Howard is playing at the top of his game, as he was on this night. Instead of being uncomfortable with the atmosphere, Howard was reveling in it.

It was a lot of fun because the Red Wings took a 1-0 victory in Game 1, a victory that pretty much drops a hand grenade into this best-of-7 series between the winner of the Presidents' Trophy and the Red Wings the second wild-card finisher in the East.

Colliding in playoffs fulfills Smith brothers' dream

Friday, 04.18.2014 / 1:56 PM / Bruins vs Red Wings - 2014 SCP First Round

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

BOSTON -- Growing up, Boston Bruins forward Reilly Smith and Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith would often gang up on their older brother, current National Lacrosse League player Rory Smith, because as Brendan explained Friday, "He's got that extra-human strength."

When Reilly and Brendan would fight one another, Rory would be in charge of breaking up the tussle.

Rory won't be able to step in Friday night when the Bruins and Red Wings play Game 1 of their Eastern Conference First Round series at TD Garden (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, FS-D, NESN). Instead, Rory and their parents will get to watch Reilly and Brendan fulfill a childhood dream of squaring off in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Goaltender matchup: Inside Howard vs. Rask

Thursday, 04.17.2014 / 6:02 PM / Bruins vs Red Wings - 2014 SCP First Round

Kevin Woodley - Correspondent

Goaltending plays an integral part in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. With the competition intense and often so even, the men protecting each goal often are the difference in a series. decided to break down perhaps the most interesting goaltending matchup in the Eastern Conference First Round: Jimmy Howard of the Detroit Red Wings vs. Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins.

Much like many goaltending coaches will do before a playoff series, correspondent Kevin Woodley, the managing editor of InGoal Magazine, charted every goal scored against each goalie in this matchup this season and came to some interesting conclusions about their strengths and weaknesses.

Bruins' Chiarelli built winner using Red Wings' model

Monday, 04.14.2014 / 2:43 PM / Bruins vs Red Wings - 2014 SCP First Round

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

BOSTON -- Long before Peter Chiarelli took over as general manager of the Boston Bruins, he admired the way the Detroit Red Wings went about their business.

Chiarelli, who started in his current role prior to the 2006-07 season, even tried to steal a little of the Red Wings' secret formula when he made Dave Lewis, a longtime assistant and former head coach in Detroit, the coach of the Bruins for that initial season in Boston.

Lewis' one-season tenure didn't get the Bruins headed in the direction Chiarelli wanted, so he opted to replace Lewis with Claude Julien. While the Bruins, having qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs in seven straight seasons, have a long way to go to match the Red Wings' 23-year run, Chiarelli has accomplished his goal of making the Bruins a franchise that's as admired around the NHL as Detroit.

Chiarelli quickly learned there was no shortcut to building an organization on par with the Red Wings, and there are several areas a team has to strengthen in order to be in Detroit's class.

Why the Bruins will win the Stanley Cup

Monday, 04.14.2014 / 2:48 AM / Bruins vs Red Wings - 2014 SCP First Round

Shawn P. Roarke - Senior Managing Editor

The 2013-14 Boston Bruins are better than the team that lost the 2013 Stanley Cup Final in shocking fashion.

In fact, these Bruins are playing better hockey than the 2011 edition, which defeated the Vancouver Canucks in seven games to claim the organization’s first Stanley Cup since 1972.

Last spring, the Bruins were 76 seconds away from forcing a Game 7 against the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final only to see a comeback of epic proportions by the visitors turn a one-goal deficit into a 3-2 victory in a stunning 17-second span.

This spring, the Bruins are better than the team that trudged silently off the ice, casting furtive glances back at the improbable pig pile of Hawks at the other end of the TD Garden, cursing what could have been.

Krejci becomes focal point of Bruins' playoff attack

Monday, 04.14.2014 / 2:46 AM / Bruins vs Red Wings - 2014 SCP First Round

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

BOSTON -- Boston Bruins center David Krejci has a simple answer for the origins of his pass-first mentality.

"You know when you pass the puck as a kid, you have friends. When you don't pass the puck, then you don't have friends," said Krejci, who played youth hockey in his native Czech Republic before he joined the Gatineau Olympiques of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

For the past several seasons, Krejci's desires have extended well beyond expanding his circle of friends. He's been driven to become one of the best two-way centers in the NHL, playing for a championship-caliber team. Nowhere has his desire manifested itself more than in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Why the Red Wings will win the Stanley Cup

Monday, 04.14.2014 / 2:22 AM / Bruins vs Red Wings - 2014 SCP First Round

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

These aren't your typical Detroit Red Wings of yesteryear preparing to represent Hockeytown in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Still, every current player, no matter how young or old, maintains the championship state of mind on which this franchise has prided itself for the better part of the past two decades.

The Red Wings were able to extend their NHL record of playoff appearances to 23 seasons this year due in large part to the play of call-ups from the team's American Hockey League affiliate in Grand Rapids.

It's a credit to the managerial team and scouting staff, the coaches in Grand Rapids and Red Wings coach Mike Babcock after Detroit set an unofficial team record this season for man-games lost to injury.

Babcock refused to make any excuses.

X-Factor: Red Wings need Nyquist to extend heroics

Monday, 04.14.2014 / 2:22 AM / Bruins vs Red Wings - 2014 SCP First Round

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

All season, Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock has begged his young players to grab hold of something in order to make a statement at a time when the team was ravaged by injuries.

Swedish sensation Gustav Nyquist took that message to heart.

Nyquist turned out to be another gem uncovered by the organization, chosen in the fourth-round (No. 121) of the 2008 NHL Draft. Now in his second NHL season, the 5-foot-11, 185-pound forward has been an absolute force during the absence of offensive linchpins Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg to injury for much of the season.

"He's got some skill, he's obviously a real good player," Babcock said. "He's led everywhere he's ever played in scoring. The problem with the NHL is you have to come up and grab hold of something. We called [Joakim Andersson] up for a game, and he stuck with us because he grabbed hold of something. That's what Gus had to do."

X-Factor: Bruins need Smith to regain scoring touch

Monday, 04.14.2014 / 1:52 AM / Bruins vs Red Wings - 2014 SCP First Round

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

When the Boston Bruins traded Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley to the Dallas Stars in July, the headline piece coming back was forward Loui Eriksson.

However, the player who made the biggest impact was the one no one expected. And after an up-and-down 2013-14 season, the Bruins still aren't sure what they'll get from Reilly Smith in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. But if the 23-year-old forward can deliver like he did early in the season, it would make the Bruins' quest to return to the Stanley Cup Final a bit easier.

Smith had three goals in 40 games in parts of two seasons with the Stars, so his addition to the Bruins' opening-night roster was a bit of a surprise. He rewarded the team's faith with points in six of his first eight games and played well defensively on a checking line with Chris Kelly.

Alfredsson to Red Wings brings new playoff turn

Sunday, 04.13.2014 / 9:53 PM / Bruins vs Red Wings - 2014 SCP First Round

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

DETROIT -- Daniel Alfredsson left behind 17 seasons of memories with the Ottawa Senators, including the last 14 as captain, to chase an elusive Stanley Cup championship with the Detroit Red Wings.

It was a decision which uprooted one of hockey's most familiar faces from the place he'd spent his entire NHL career. It was a life-changing moment, but from a hockey aspect, it made sense.

Alfredsson, 41, was enticed by Detroit's 22-year streak of qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the four Cup championships the Red Wings had claimed, including the most recent in 2008, since Alfredsson joined the League.

"That's what you play for, to get into the playoffs," Alfredsson said, after the Red Wings overcame a slew of injuries to clinch a postseason spot for the 23rd straight season. "I played a long time in this League, played a lot of playoff games, but haven't won the Stanley Cup. That's what you dream about. That's the only reason I'm still playing, I guess."

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