The Boston Bruins take a 2-1 series lead into the Joe Louis arena Thursday night looking to take a 3-1 strangle-hold in the series. In order for the black and gold to return to Boston with a chance to end the Red Wings season, they must play physical, Boston-style hockey Thursday night.
The Bruins have won two games in a row, including their first victory at “the Joe” since 2007, and it is very possible that they get their second in two games tonight. Boston has found success against the highly skilled Red Wings by outworking them. There is a reason why Boston has been arguably the best playoff performer in recent years; it is their tough, physical style of hockey that wears opponents down over long series, and that is exactly what they’re doing to Detroit: Expect Thursday night to be no different.
Watch for Boston to finish every check, and grind Detroit’s defense down, especially in front of Jimmy Howard. Bruins defensemen have been able to help tremendously in the Bruins forecheck lately, and this shouldn’t change anytime soon. With Tuukka Rask being the brick-wall-like insurance for the Bruins defense, they can take their chances.
I don’t expect a high scoring game Thursday night, the Bruins will do just enough to escape Detroit with a chance to close the series Saturday.
My prediction: a 3-1 win for Boston with the merlot and Krejci line finding the back of the net. The Bruins will continue to get inside the head of Detroit. They’re already looking over their shoulders going into the corners and this will continue. Boston will win this series in five games, and tonight will extinguish all hopes of Detroit pulling off the upset.