September 19, 2013

Wings wallop Bruins, 8-2, in B's third preseason game

By Jesse Connolly

Nick Johnson's third goal of the preseason was one of the few highlights for the Bruins in Thursday's loss to the visiting Red Wings. (Photo: Sharon Bradley/New England Hockey Journal)

Final: Detroit 8, Boston 2

Recap: Every time I looked up the Red Wings had scored another goal. OK, that might be a stretch, but here's an style recap. 

Justin Abdelkader put the Wings ahead 1-0 five minutes into the contest. The lead was doubled when Luke Glendening -- briefly a P-Bruin in 2011-12 -- got two whacks at a loose puck from the top of the crease and David McIntyre followed through with a third straight Detroit shot that Malcolm Subban couldn't keep from finding the back of the net.

After goals from Henrik Zetterberg and Dan DeKeyser made it 4-0, Jarome Iginla made it a 4-1 game, as the winger redirected a pass from Matt Bartkowski along the goal line past Jimmy Howard. Detroit outscored Boston 4-1 in the first 40 minutes and repeated that feat in half the time in the third. The Wings scored four times, three of which went unassisted, with a Nick Johnson goal for Boston sandwiched in between. 

Records: Boston 2-1-0; Detroit You-Don't-Care

Connolly's Commendations: Johnson's goal (pictured above, courtesy of NEHJ photographer Sharon Bradley) was a beauty and gives the under-the-radar forward three tallies now in a pair of preseason appearances. With plenty of pro experience under his belt, the 27-year-old forward is most definitely now among the candidates to earn a spot on the B's third line. If he isn't, that's just silly and unfair.

It's hard to applaud any member of a group of defenders that coughed up eight goals, but Torey Krug and Matt Bartkowski were both impressive in their second preseason games. The former even got in an unexpected bout, beating the snot of McIntyre late in the second period.

Connolly's Critiques: This list, sadly, could be miles long, but we all have better things to do than read or write about everything that went wrong in a preseason hockey game, so I'll try to be brief.

Dougie Hamilton looked dismal at times. The NHL sophomore lost his man on Detroit's first strike (Abdelkader's power-play goal), never seemed to put his body to use in his own zone and saw a failed clearing attempt turn into another Detroit tally on the man advantage. If you're among the crowd thinking Hamilton might be bound for a tour of duty in the AHL, this game certainly provided some ammunition.

Iginla found the back of the net again, but that instantaneous chemistry he and his linemates displayed in a 6-3 win over Montreal seemed to be missing in action on Thursday. I can't remember David Krejci or Milan Lucic making many plays, shy of the latter getting denied by Howard when he barreled in on a partial break early in the contest.

Reviews have been pretty positive when it comes to Carl Soderberg's performance during training camp, but the Swede -- who I admittedly still expect to be on the third line to start the season -- has been very quiet in each of his two preseason appearances.

The same goes for Jordan Caron, who you might not have noticed at all until he was guilty of boarding a Red Wing with under eight minutes left in the game.

Final Thoughts: For starters, more on Subban tomorrow. In the meantime, this Detroit team wasn't too far off from the lineup Mike Babcock will use on opening night, so the Bruins were definitely at a disadvantage when it came to bona fide NHLers. Nevertheless, preseason or not, this one was a doozy. 

Next: The Bruins will be back in action on Saturday when they face the Wings in Motown. 

Twitter: @JesseNEHJ