BOSTON (CBS) – Former player and Red Wings studio analyst for Fox Sports Detroit Darren Eliot was a guest on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich show Friday morning to discuss a number of topics, including the Bruins taking a 3-1 series lead, a conspiracy theory involving goalie Jimmy Howard and the hatred in the Motor City for Brad Marchand and Milan Lucic.
Red Wings starting goalie Jimmy Howard did not appear in Thursday night’s critical Game 4 on account of the flu, which shouldn’t be a surprise given the way sickness spread throughout the Bruins locker room just last week.
Backup Jonas Gustavsson had himself quite the game in Howard’s absence, making 37 saves on 40 shots, and after the game head coach Mike Babcock did not go on record and say that Howard would start Saturday’s elimination game at the TD Garden.
Is there a goalie controversy brewing in D-Town?
“[Howard] had the flu. He’s been a battler throughout his career. I don’t think there’s any conspiracy there. There’s no controversy. One of them is gonna play. They’re both NHL goaltenders. If Jimmy Howard is able to play I’m sure he’ll play. … I don’t think there’s any controversy,” said Eliot.
One player that provided a much-needed lift to the Red Wings was Henrik Zetterberg, who’s been out with a back injury since the Olympic break.
Zetterberg’s presence and impact was felt from the get go as the Bruins, who’d been so successful and dominant to start the first period in their first two series wins, came out flat and fell to a 2-0 deficit early in the contest.
However, Zetterberg’s lack of condition really caught up to him in the latter stages of the game.
“Zetterberg has tremendous heart, guts, leadership — all that. I think the reality though is he didn’t have much in the third period and overtime. The Bruins imposed their will. Henrik Zetterberg was really really good early on. He gave all he had, and it wasn’t much at the end of the game,” said Eliot.
Another player that gives his all, albeit sometimes in a pest-like manner, is Bruins winger Brad Marchand. After his perceived embellishment in Game 3, the Little Ball Of Hate is not a fan favorite in the Motor City.
“What do people in Detroit think of Brad Marchand right now? Is he public enemy number 1?” asked Rich.
“What do you think?” joked Eliot.
This led into a discussion about hateable Bruins from a Detroit perspective. Not surprising, Milan Lucic made the list.
“Lucic was the turning point player [last night]. Lucic was the dominating player. He was doing whatever he wanted to on the forecheck and was very, very effective getting to the net, obviously scoring the tying goal. I would say Marchand [is public enemy number 1]. He’s a hateable character. He fills that role, he wears that well and he seems to embrace it. He’s an effective player in that role,” said Eliot.
Listen below for the full discussion: