Coming off a confidence-building win against Ottawa, the B's are ready for their only game during this regular season against the number one team in the NHL, the Detroit Red Wings; a match up that will give the Bruins an opportunity to both see the best in the league and make a statement at a pivotal point in the season.
Even though the Bruins have yet to face the Red Wings during the current campaign, some of the B's have a lot of experience with this top-notch team.
"They play tic-tac-toe [with their passing] and every time we played them they had possession of the puck for about 80% of the game,"said Andrew Ference
, who played in Calgary for much of last season before being acquired by Boston. "The games that we did win was because our goalie did a good job."
Often, Ference saw, first-hand,just how well the Red Wings can move the puck.
"They've been such a dominant team for a number of years," said the defenseman. "You just have to play hard, hope your goalie is hot, and try to contain a lot of their guys.
"They have a lot of fire-power."
|Boston Bruins Marco Sturm, left, of Germany, celebrates with Patrice Bergeron and Chuck Kobasew after Kobasew's tip-in goal against Detroit Red Wings goalie Dominik Hasek of the Czech Republic during the third period of their NHL hockey game on Sunday, March 11, 2007 in Detroit. The Bruins won 6-3 in their only meeting of the 2006-07. (AP Photo/Jerry S. Mendoza) |
Along with the ability to score goals, Detroit's All-Star goalie, Chris Osgood, has the best goals against average in the NHL -- a cool 1.88. So, there's no doubt that both the B's offense and the Black & Gold's defense will be tested against the Red Wings Saturday night at TD Banknorth Garden.
While Detroit will be one of the toughest teams the B's have faced this year, they remain a welcome challenge for Boston. But with the playoffs in clear sight for Boston, the Bruins need to earn as many points as they can and play as well as they can, both in their division and in the league.
"Obviously you want to go in and get your points," said Ference. "Playing against the tough teams is good, it really pushes you to elevate your own game and be a better team, because if you aren't at your best you are going to get killed.
"I think that factor really helps you, even if you do drop one or win one.
"[Teams like Detroit] are the ones who make other people better because it really forces you, as a team, to be better."