BOSTON (CBS) – Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals between your Boston Bruins and the Detroit Red Wings gets underway Friday night at the TD Garden and the game can be heard right here on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
The man calling the game, Dave Goucher of the Bruins Radio Network, joined Toucher & Rich Friday morning for a series preview.
The Bruins last played on Sunday to close out the regular season, and after a four day layoff the impatient Goucher, echoing the sentiment of Bruins fans everywhere, said to T&R, “Let’s go! Let’s get started finally!”
The hometown team may start the series undermanned as the injury statuses of Chris Kelly and Daniel Paille are still unknown.
“It didn’t look good yesterday. Neither of them were at practice and both of them haven’t skated this week. I haven’t seen Chris Kelly in a few days now, and I gotta say just seeing him walk around last week he looked like he wasn’t doing that great,” said Goucher. “He was walking around pretty gingerly. I know they said he’s been feeling a little bit better but he hasn’t been out there, and neither has Dan Paille.”
With the health of Paille and Kelly still up in the air, it’s likely the Bruins will call on Jordan Caron and Justin Florek to plug the holes, which puts the Bruins’ depth to the test early on in the postseason.
“It would be a significant loss [without Paille or Kelly]. … We know how effective that fourth line has been over the years with Paille’s speed. Chris Kelly is one of their main penalty killers. Their depth is going to be tested right off the bat.”
Goucher finds it curious the Bruins haven’t announced Daniel Paille’s head injury as a concussion, noting, “We all saw how he skated off the ice” Saturday against Buffalo. However, given the team’s sensitivity to concussions (Marc Savard, Patrice Bergeron, etc), Goucher doesn’t think the Bruins would ever put a player in harm’s way if they weren’t cleared medically.
Even though they’re a no. 8 seed, the Red Wings present a number of challenges to the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Bruins, mainly speed.
Detroit’s speed and skill will be challenging for the B’s, and despite going 1-3 against the them this season, Goucher said Friday, “The [Bruins] liked, by and large, how they played against Detroit this year.”
Goucher compared this Detroit team to last year’s Pittsburgh Penguins team, and he’s of the mind that the Bruins, one of the better defensive teams in the NHL this season, will be able to smother the Wings.
While we’re on the subject of history, if the past few years are any indication, this series is likely going seven games.
“The Bruins don’t make it easy in the first round. Four of the past six years that Claude Julien has been here they’ve gone to seven games in the first round. In the last three years they went to overtime in Game 7 against Montreal in 2011, and then losing in overtime to Washington in 2012, and overtime again in a miracle comeback against Toronto last year.
“If you look around the league, the first round is where you see upsets. … It seems like if you can get through the danger of the first round, I know the Bruins were a totally different team last year after the first round. They steamrolled their way through the next couple. That first round can be fraught with danger.”
Listen below for the full discussion: