Bruins at Red Wings Picks
By Adam Markowitz
The Detroit Red Wings saw their 25-year postseason streak come to an end last year and are in danger of missing out on the postseason yet again. Detroit is sitting in 13th in the Eastern Conference after 29 games with just 27 points. Averaging under a point a game is not a recipe for success and the Red Wings know they need to turn things around soon. They will try to start getting back on track when they host the Boston Bruins on Wednesday.
Boston Bruins at Detroit Red Wings
Date and Time: Wednesday, December 13, 2017, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan
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Bruins at Red Wings TV Coverage: NBCSN
Detroit has been in a freefall lately and needs to snap out of it. The Red Wings have lost eight of their last nine and have been blown out in most of those games. The nadir was last week when they lost 10-1 to Montreal, when Paul Byron had a hat trick midway through the second period.
In those nine games, the Red Wings gave up 43 goals, an average of nearly five goals per game. That’s an incredible number and highlights how bad the defense has been. Unsurprisingly, the over cashed in seven of those nine games.
On the other hand, Boston has really been coming on strong. The Bruins are 8-2 over their last 10 games and have received some awesome goaltending over that stretch. Boston has limited opponents to an average of two goals a game over its last 10.
However, the Bruins have been a much different team on the road when compared to home. Boston is 9-4-2 at home, but just 5-5-2 away from Beantown.
Detroit has one of the worst goal differentials in the NHL. The Red Wings are getting outscored by over a half-goal per game on average and it’s a wonder that they aren’t in the cellar. Both Jimmy Howard and Petr Mrazek have been getting beat in goal and no one outside of Anthony Mantha has been scoring with regularity.
Special teams play has been what has kept Detroit competitive. The Red Wings have a top ten power play and a top ten penalty kill and that has helped make the goal differential better. At even strength, this team has been really bad and that’s concerning.
No matter who is in goal for Boston on Wednesday, the Bruins will have the goaltending edge. While Mrazek and Howard have had their share of woes, Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobinhave been great and have really come on strong.
Rask struggled at the start of the season, but has started to look like his old self recently and has reclaimed his starting spot. His GAA and save percentage are still both a little higher than usual, yet those numbers are much more in line with his averages than what we saw a few weeks ago.
Khudobin emerged as a solid backup while Rask was struggling. Khudobinhas a 7-1-2 record and has a .922 save percentage on the season. He has taken a back seat to Rask again, but will likely either get the start here or the next night when the Bruins host Washington.
Bruins at Red Wings Free Picks
Checking the injury report, while Detroit is pretty much injury free, Boston has a few issues to keep in mind. LW Peter Cehlarik and C Ryan Spooner are both still on injured reserve and C Noel Acciari is considered day-to-day.
I believe that Detroit will be a slight favorite in this one because it is playing at home and Boston has been struggling on the road. However, while Boston will be well-rested with three full days off before this one, Detroit played a game on Monday night against Florida.
Boston has been playing better more complete hockey and I think the extra time off will help the Bruins overcome their road woes. Back the Bruins here, especially if they are an underdog.
Bruins at Red Wings Pick: Back the boys from Beantown
Bruins at Red Wings Score Prediction: Bruins 3 – Red Wings 2