BOSTON (CBS) — With their playoff series tied at 1-1, the Bruins and Red Wings now shift to Detroit for Games 3 and 4.
After sleep-walking through a 1-0 loss in Game 1, the Bruins woke up to score four goals on Jimmy Howard and Detroit in Game 2, equalizing the series with a 4-1 victory.
Kirk Luedeke of The Red Line Report and The New England Hockey Journal joined The Adam Jones Show on Monday night, and said the Bruins got back to their own style of hockey in their Game 2 win.
“One of the story lines for the Bruins before the series was to not try to out-finesse Detroit because they wont succeed,” said Luedeke. “Don’t be something they aren’t; they aren’t a speed, finesse team the way Detroit is. Their fore-check is impressive and they come on the defense very quick, and try to force turnovers when the Bruins like to move the puck D-to-D. The Bruins have to counter that by making smart plays but being more physical, giving the Red Wings less time and space to operation and maybe make them think twice before coming in as quickly as they do. On the flip side I don’t think Detroit is going to out-physical Boston, so they’ll have to figure out how to force turnovers, use their team and puck-possession game to get some sustained pressure, and get some shots passed Tuukka Rask.
If the Bruins continue their physical play, Luedeke thinks it will eventually be too much for the Red Wings.
“[The Bruins] need to try to play their hard-nosed style of hockey; take the puck to the net and finish their checks. The one thing they have to continue to do is hammer the Detroit defensemen,” he said. “Every time they go back in puck retrieval just hit them and finish those checks. As the series goes on those guys are going to want to get hit less and less and, it’s just human nature, they’re going to bail on the play and throw the puck around a split second earlier. That creates a window for turnovers and offensive opportunities if the Bruins can jump on it.”
The series for the Red Wings could come down to Howard in net, and if the Bruins continue to pepper him and take advantage of rebounds, Boston should advance to the next round.
“Honestly, how long the series goes will depend on Jimmy Howard. He’s the X-Factor for the Wings,” said Luedeke. “I thought he played well in Game 1 but wasn’t as great as people mentioned. He gave up a lot of rebounds and there were a lot of pucks sitting there that he kicked out into danger zones. If the Bruins had gotten on those rebounds it would have been a different story. That’ll be key for them this series, get pucks on the net and force him to make a save. We saw in Game 2 (on the Chara goal) where he was unable to control a rebound. Those are the kind of goals Howard will give up, so if they can continue to get pucks to the net and force him to make saves they could control the series from here.”
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