Zetterberg calls out Wings for being ‘way too easy to play against’ after loss to Bruins

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The Detroit Red Wings are all but out of the Eastern Conference playoff picture, and it’s starting to look like the wheels are falling off.

Detroit has now dropped all four games they’ve played this month (Flames, Oilers, Leafs, Bruins), but they’ve been particularly bad in losses to Toronto and Boston in the last two days.

On Tuesday, they fell behind 3-0, but managed to make the score respectable because Gustav Nyquist was able to beat Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen twice. But there was nothing respectable about the score (6-1) in last night’s game against the Bruins.

The Wings were down 4-0 after the opening frame and it was 5-0 early in the second period.

“I don’t think (the Bruins) are working hard enough for getting chances against us,” said captain Henrik Zetterberg, per the Detroit Free Press. “We are way too easy to play against. Guys just skating by us in the neutral zone, not winning battles in our own end. Turn the puck over again. Can’t play like that.”

Maybe this is what the Red Wings front office had in mind when they traded Thomas Vanek, Brendan Smith and Steve Ott last week, but this kind of losing can’t be easy for veterans like Zetterberg or Niklas Kronwall, who scored Detroit’s only goal last night.

Things won’t get much easier for Detroit this weekend. They’ll host two tough opponents in the Blackhawks (Friday) and the Rangers (Sunday).

Things should get interesting next week, as they’ll be able to stack themselves up against Colorado (twice) and Arizona. The Wings are last in the Eastern Conference, but they’ve still accumulated 61 points in 65 games, while Colorado has just 39 in 65 and Arizona has 53 in the same number of games.

Krejci, Marchand trigger Bruins’ lopsided win over Red Wings

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It wasn’t just Jared Coreau.

The Boston Bruins dominated the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night, ultimately beating them 6-1.

You could argue that the game might have already been in the bag once the Bruins chased Coreau with a 3-0 a little more than midway through the first period, but things were pretty rough for Petr Mrazek, who also allowed three goals.

David Krejci‘s strong performance might have been the most promising sign for the Bruins overall. He generated two goals and one assist with a +4 rating.

Other standouts with two-point nights included Drew Stafford, Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak and Zdeno Chara.

Stafford seems revitalized thanks to this change of scenery (and generally the opportunity to play with some talented Bruins linemates), but if Krejci can be more of a factor, Boston could be onto something interesting.

They’ve certainly played well under new head coach Bruce Cassidy, and even if they haven’t been able to climb over Montreal or Ottawa in the Atlantic, this surge makes a return to the playoffs seem increasingly likely.

Bruins bring night of woe to Coreau with three quick goals

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It had been quite some time since Jared Coreau started for the Detroit Red Wings. It might be quite a while before he does so again.

In his first appearance since Feb. 12, Coreau allowed three goals on eight shots before being pulled in 13:32 of action, making way for workhorse Petr Mrazek. Total blame can’t go to Coreau alone – Danny DeKeyser was exposed during the first two goals, depending upon who you ask – but that’s an abysmal start.

The first two tallies came in especially rapid succession.

Considering the fact that the Red Wings recalled Jimmy Howard today, you’d think that Coreau’s days (hours?) are numbered.

Drew Stafford‘s 3-0 goal ended Coreau’s night, while David Krejci and Brad Marchand started the scoring with some nifty bits of work.

Check out the Stafford goal, which was the last straw for coach Jeff Blashill (who’s sporting quite the shiner tonight):

WATCH LIVE: Red Wings at Bruins – Wednesday Night Rivalry

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So far, the Boston Bruins have been trending up with Bruce Cassidy behind the bench, but they’ve also lost two of their last three.

With the Toronto Maple Leafs nipping at their heels for third in the Atlantic, the Bruins host the fading Detroit Red Wings, who lost to said Maple Leafs last night.

So, yes, this is one of those games that could really come back to bite the Bruins … but for a team in the “cellar,” the Red Wings still have some potential as spoilers.

You can watch the action on NBCSN, online and via the NBC Sports App.

Click here for the livestream.

NHL on NBCSN: Last-place Red Wings look to play spoiler against Bruins

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NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2016-17 campaign tonight when the Boston Bruins host the Detroit Red Wings at 8:00 p.m. ET. If you want to watch the game online, you can do so here.

For the first time in a long time, it looks like the Detroit Red Wings will be on the outside of the playoff picture. Not only will they miss the playoffs this season, but they’ll also enter tonight’s game in last place in the Eastern Conference.

The Wings were down 3-0 to the Maple Leafs early in the second period of last night’s game and although they got two goals from Gustav Nyquist, they weren’t able to get complete the comeback. The defeat at the hands of Toronto was their third in a row and their seventh in their last 10 games.

“This team has shown lots of character all year in terms of staying with it and continuing to grind,” coach Jeff Blashill said after the loss to Toronto, per the Detroit Free Press. “We need more out of more people. We need a little more out of more people, that’s as simple as it comes – production and competitiveness.

“Zetterberg’s line was our best line. We need other lines to step up and be the best line. We need to individually pick up our games a little bit.”

The poor string of results aren’t exactly shocking. Detroit was clearly a seller at last week’s trade deadline, as they shipped veterans Brendan Smith, Thomas Vanek and Steve Ott out of town. So don’t be surprised if the continue to falter down the stretch.

With the way their roster is constructed, don’t be surprised if this turns out to be a multi-year absence from the post-season for the Red Wings.

Speaking of multi-year absences from the playoffs, it looked like the Bruins were headed for a third straight season outside the postseason, but they’ve turned things around in a hurry.

Thanks to a coaching change that saw them go from Claude Julien to Bruce Cassidy, the Bruins have managed to get themselves back in prime playoff position.

Boston’s 7-3-0 in their last 10 contests and it’s that kind of run that has propelled them back into one of the top three spots in the Atlantic Division.

They enter tonight’s game in third place in the division. They trail Ottawa, who they lost to on Monday night, by four points (Sens have two games in hand) and they trail Montreal by 10 points, but they’ve played two games less than their rivals.

After their loss to the Sens, the Bruins were stuck in Ottawa because of a plane delay, so Cassidy decided to ease up on his players by keeping them off the ice yesterday.

“We’ve had a pretty intense schedule lately,” said Cassidy, per the Boston Herald. “We got in late last night and I thought it would be better to get some stretching and some off-ice workouts and get the blood flowing.

“Hopefully we’ll be energized (on Wednesday).”

As meaningless as this game might be for the Red Wings, it’s the exact opposite for the Bruins. Boston needs to keep pace with the teams their chasing and they need to stay ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are two points behind with a game in hand.