BOSTON (CBS) – Ever since the Atlanta Thrashers made their way across the border into Winnipeg there have been rumors. There have been whispers around the league. People have been talking about a possible move, a move that would bring a western powerhouse team into the competitive circles of the East. That team may be none other than the Detroit Red Wings. With the Wings in town, the Thanksgiving Showdown will offer a unique perspective into a very possible future.
Sure, the Bruins have played Detroit in the past, but for the most part the games have been meaningless; a mid-season gift for hockey fans to experience an irregular match up. Now, however, that perspective has changed. The Thanksgiving game will offer a glimpse into what’s to come. The Red Wings aren’t exactly a young team, but if this move happens sooner than not, then the “Datsyuk/Zetterberg” core will remain intact; both players are signed to multiple year contracts. In addition, with a 27-year-old goaltender in Jimmy Howard, there is little reason to believe that this team will be restructured anytime soon. If that’s the case, if it will mean one thing for the East, more offense.
With the addition of yet another finesse team, it’ll be interesting to see if and how the Bruins adapt to their competition. In the long-term, will Boston feel the need to acclimate to an increasingly skillful East or will their defensive play provide them with an advantage? The Thanksgiving game will be a microcosm of this very question. How will the Bruins respond to their potential foes? Will they turn up the offense, shift the penalty kill, and reduce the physicality?
These are all small intriguing aspects of the game to look out for. And with this change being a possible reality, it’s something to pay close attention to.
With the looming possibility of Detroit joining the Eastern Conference, this year’s Bruins/Red Wings game takes on an added level of interest. The Thanksgiving Showdown will offer a new perspective on this Original Six matchup.