The Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings are in action on Sunday afternoon at Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit. It’s a classic Original Six battle featuring two teams who have a lot of history in the NHL. They’ve both enjoyed success over the years, with the Bruins the only side knowing what success tastes like in recent memory. The Red Wings missed the playoffs for the first time since 1990 in 2017 and it’s been all downhill from there.
A tear down and rebuilding process was inevitable for the Red Wings, and it’s hit them especially hard in 2019-20. Whether head coach Jeff Blashill can survive the chopping block in the offseason remains to be seen. Steve Yzerman has said he backs Blashill, though sediment might be different behind the scenes.
With that said, Blashill shouldn’t be completely held responsible for how bad this season is going for the Red Wings. There isn’t much depth to speak of on this roster, and some of the talent they do have has been injured throughout the year. Andreas Athanasiou and most importantly, Anthony Mantha, have had the injury bug hit them. Mantha was out for over a month, and didn’t have much ice time before puncturing his lung and getting sent back to the IR.
He’s an underrated player that often gets overlooked on this bad Red Wings team. Mantha would be contributing greatly on a contending team. So, his loss is not that irrelevant, or what would be perceived to be to a casual observer. Athanasiou returned to play about a week ago, but as soon as that happened, their prized rookie, Filip Zadina, was removed from the ice with a lower-body injury. Zadina is scheduled to be out for 2-3 weeks. There isn’t any reason to rush him back, and if he’s not at 100%, hold him out because he’s going to be heavily relied on next season.
Reaggravating an injury and making a short-term injury into something long-term would be the worst-case scenario for the 20-year-old Zadina. The Red Wings will be without Zadina and Mantha in a tricky matchup against the Bruins on Sunday afternoon. Their best chance of beating the Bruins is going to be catching them sleeping on a back-to-back. Boston were 4-2 winners over the Arizona Coyotes yesterday afternoon. Head below for our free Bruins vs. Red Wings pick.
Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings Betting Odds:
Bruins vs. Red Wings Prediction:
The Detroit Red Wings are in desperate need of hitting the reset button once this season is over with. It can’t be done soon enough and they can start focusing on the future. They head into Sunday with a record of 13-39-4 and 30 points, though there were some promising signs in their last two outings. They were winners in a shootout, 4-3, against the Sabres on Thursday night, while playing a tight game against the Columbus Blue Jackets the next day. Jimmy Howard turned back the clocks for a vintage performance, yet it wasn’t good enough in a 2-0 losing effort.
For as bad as Howard has been this season, that’s one he cannot be blamed for. Despite the standout game for Howard, he owns a 3.98 GAA and 0.889 save percentage with a horrid record of 2-21-2. There isn’t a goaltender in the NHL with a record worse than that abomination. Jonathan Bernier has been the better option for the Red Wings, as he sports a 2.89 GAA and 0.908 save percentage.
Neither has been able to stop the bleeding in the defensive zone for the Red Wings this season, though. The Red Wings are way behind the 8-ball in that regard, as they rank 31st in the league with 3.77 goals against per game. Little Caesars Arenas has helped slightly, but not enough as they’re still allowing 3.43 goals per game in Detroit. That’s not nearly enough on a team that is scoring just 2 goals per game. They are dead last offensively as well, with only 2.02 goals notched a game.
Jaroslav Halak has been confirmed as the starting goalie for the Bruins in Detroit for this contest. He’s been a solid backup behind Rask, as he goes into this one with a 2.36 GAA and 0.921 save percentage. Halak is on a roll recently with a goal allowed in each of his previous two outings. He hasn’t allowed more than 2 goals in an outing since January 19 against the Penguins. Halak has mostly been sharp on the road, having posted a 2.33 GAA and 0.923 save percentage in 14 games.
The Red Wings are sitting last in the league, while their opponent is first in the defensive zone. Boston have yielded only 2.38 goals per game, along with 2.46 goals a game on the road. In their last ten outings, the Bruins have notched 3.3 goals per game while allowing an average of just 2 goals. Conversely, the Wings are on the opposite end of the spectrum. They’ve scored 1.4 goals per game and have allowed 3.7 goals per game. The Red Wings upset the Bruins in their first meeting this season by a score of 4-2. That is their best win of the year in an otherwise shoddy campaign. Expect the Bruins to come to Detroit better prepared this time around.