The Bruins take on the Detroit Red Wings tonight. They will be playing in a hall that is steeped in lore, tradition, and in a few ways is eerily similar to our own TD Garden. The Joe Louis Arena is one of the oldest arenas currently being used in the game. It’s also one of the few arenas in all of the NHL that doesn’t sling a corporate logo on its arena. The Joe Louis Arena has the ambiance and tradition worthy of an original six team. The statue they have outside is of NHL legend Gordie Howe. It’s a fantastic place for hockey.
It hasn’t always been a fantastic place for Boston though. The Bruins have lost the last four times they played in the “Joe”, including both Detroit away games this season. The last time the Boston Bruins played the Red Wings and won in Detroit was March 11, 2007. It’s one of those places where a team can literally feed off the energy in the place (like the Bruins did in game two). In game one, the Red Wings played to their identity and won 1-0. In the second game, the Bruins played to theirs and won 4-1. It’s still an early match up, and the Bruins know that nothing is set in stone for this series.
“When you play one game, I don’t think it speaks much about the series.” said Bruins blueliner Torey Krug after game two. ” We have to go in there and make sure we continue to do those things well. I don’t think we can say we are comfortable. I think we understand what it takes to beat these guys, and I think if we play like that we will have success this series.”
The Smith family will be having another tough night at home. They had to be thrilled to see Reilly Smith‘s goal in game two to put the Bruins up 2-0. They also had to be slightly terrified when their older son Brendan chose to go toe-to-toe with Zdeno Chara. Thankfully, “I should have backed out; it was a heat-of-the-moment thing,” Smith said to the media onMonday. “I’ll be honest, next time, we’re going to stay away from that, because we want to play our game.”
It’s also going to be another game of goaltending, where Boston’s own Tuukka Rask has the advantage. Tuukka is currently running a 1.02 goals against average, and a rather obscene .966 save percentage. Jimmy Howard is no slouch though. His respectable 2.02 GAA and .926 save percentage comes with that shutout in game one.
The Bruins will attempt to play to their physicality tonight. If they succeed, they will get their first win in Detroit in seven years, and take their first lead of the series. The puck is expected to drop around 7:35 EST tonight.