The Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings haven't met in the playoffs since Eisenhower was president. I don't care much for Original Six mythology, but I do love a league that can offer a curiosity like that.
Of course the chief reason they are meeting is because now they're in the same conference and division. Bruins-Wings playoff matchups are suddenly much more likely (as is the specter, like in the '50s, of a Cold War).
There are three series in play tonight, and this is your evening watch thread, but the rest of this post focuses on Detroit and Boston and how you might think it all plays out.
Bruins vs. Wings Schedule, TV, Bracket
|Game||Date||Time (ET)||Eastern Conference First Round||National TV|
|1||Fri, Apr 18||7:30 p.m.||Detroit at Boston||NBCSN, TSN|
|2||Sun, Apr 20||3 p.m.||Detroit at Boston||NBC, TSN|
|3||Tue, Apr 22||7:30 p.m.||Boston at Detroit||NBCSN, TSN|
|4||Thu, Apr 24||8 p.m.||Boston at Detroit||NBCSN, TSN|
|5*||Sat, Apr 26||3 p.m.||Detroit at Boston||NBC, TSN|
|6*||Mon, Apr 28||TBD||Boston at Detroit||TSN|
|7*||Wed, Apr 30||TBD||Detroit at Boston||TSN|
Everyone feared the Wings when they made the switch to the East, like they would somehow legitimize the NHL's weaker conference, but then they ended up squeaking into the wild card after their two most important players spent lengthy spells on the sidelines.
Now Pavel Datsyuk is back, but Henrik Zetterberg is still expected to be on the shelf until the second round, which is to say he won't play again this season.
The Bruins have some injuries too, but Daniel Paille and Chris Kelly are role players -- important to Claude Julien's Bruins, but not critical.
A fun sidenote, which will probably be repeated on air until you are sick of hearing it, is that Reilly Smith and Brendan Smith are brothers on the opposite sides of this series. How very Sutter.
This is the last series to get underway. Vote in the poll at the bottom of this post, fill out our playoff bracket pool if you like, and here are previously posted series-by-series polls in the playoff stream:
- Pick 'em: Penguins vs. Blue Jackets
- Pick 'em: Lightning vs. Canadiens
- Pick 'em: Ducks vs. Stars
- Pick 'em: Rangers vs. Flyers
- Pick 'em: Blues vs. Blackhawks
- Pick 'em: Sharks vs. Kings