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Detroit Red Wings New Division Rivals: Boston Bruins

August 27th, 2013 at 8:14 PM
By Frank Vajcner

Our journey through the Atlantic Division has reached its final stop, as we look at another Original Six rival of the Detroit Red Wings.

We head back to the United States for a stop in Beantown to look at the Boston Bruins.

2012-13 Record: 28-13-6

Home Arena: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts

Playoff Apperances: 68

Most Recent: 2012-13 (Lost to Chicago Blackhawks in six games in Stanley Cup Finals)

Division Titles: 24 (Most recent was 2011-12 Northeast Division)

Conference Titles: Four (1987-88, 1989-90 Prince of Wales; 2010-11, 2012-13 Eastern)

Stanley Cups: Six (1928–29, 1938–39, 1940–41,1969–70, 1971–72, 2010–11)

PERSONNEL

General Manager: Peter Chiarelli

Head Coach: Claude Julien (seventh season)

Notable Players: RW Loui Eriksson, RW Jarome Iginla, LW Milan Lucic, LW Brad Marchand, C Patrice Bergeron ("A"), C David Krejci, C Gregory Campbell, D Zdeno Chara ("C"), D Dennis Seidenberg, D Torey Krug, D Dougie Hamilton, G Tuukka Rask

AHL Affiliate: Providence Bruins

Notable Prospects: C Ryan Spooner, LW Matt Lindblad, LW/C Justin Florek, LW Jared Knight, D Zach Trotman, D David Warsofsky, G Malcolm Subban, G Zane Gothberg

HISTORY WITH THE RED WINGS

Overall Series: Red Wings lead 263-254-95

Last Meeting: Red Wings won 3-2 in a shootout at TD Garden on November 25, 2011

Playoff Meetings: Seven, including twice for the Stanley Cup

Most Recent: 1956-57 (Bruins won in Semifinals 4-1)

Fun Facts: The Bruins beat the Wings for the Cup in 1941, while the Wings returned the favor in 1943. The two head coaches, Art Ross (Bruins) and Jack Adams (Red Wings) now have their names each attached to an NHL award. There will likely be a brother vs. brother showdown when both teams meet as Bruins forward Reilly Smith faces Red Wings defenseman and older brother Brendan Smith.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR NEXT SEASON

There is little doubt that the Bruins are a bona-fide Cup contender. Had they not blown a late lead in the final minute of Game 6, they might have been the team hoisting Lord Stanley. Despite their recent success, the team made a blockbuster move on July 4, 2013 when they sent Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverly, and Ryan Button to the Dallas Stars in exchange for Eriksson, Smith, Joe Morrow, and Matt Fraser.

Offensively, the Bruins will have no trouble scoring a lot of goals. The additions of Eriksson and Iginla bring more firepower to a group of wingers led by Lucic and Marchand (the latter of the two have a reputation around the league as being tough to play against). Bergeron should have some good battles with Pavel Datsyuk, as both players were finalists for the Selke Trophy this past season. Krejci can also play on the wing, much like Henrik Zetterberg. Campbell gained a lot of attention after he broke his leg during the Eastern Conference Finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins while on the penalty kill, yet still finished his shift on the ice. Bergeron also played injured in the Finals, as he sustained a dislocated shoulder, cracked rib, and a punctured lung.

The Bruins' blue line is one of the top in the NHL, led by the rugged Chara. Younger players like Hamilton and Krug, a Livonia native and former Michigan State star, will help offset the loss of Andrew Ference. Krug made some noise in the playoffs when he scored four goals in 15 games.

After an inglorious parting of ways with former Vezina Trophy and Conn Smythe winner Tim Thomas, Rask took over the starting gig between the pipes and performed well this past season, which earned him a six-year contract extension.

Granted, the Red Wings will never be as big of a rival to the Bruins as the Montreal Canadiens are, but this definitely looks like a highly underrated rivalry brewing. If Wings fans are worried about anything, it could be what Bruins' play-by-play man Jack Edwards might say during a game.

For more Bruins coverage, check out Bruins 101 and Stanley Cup of Chowder

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Tags: Boston Bruins, Detroit, Detroit Red Wings, Hockey, Montreal Canadiens, NHL

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