NHL on NBCSN: Bruins, Red Wings look for a spark (and some offense)

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NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign when the Detroit Red Wings host the Boston Bruins at Joe Louis Arena at 8 p.m. ET tonight. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game online.

The Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings come into Wednesday’s game with remarkably similar viewpoints about how they need to improve upon sluggish starts to the 2014-15 season.

“I think our group’s been more than fine,” Detroit head coach Mike Babcock told MLive.com on Monday. ” … We just got to keep grinding and getting better, but I’m happy with the way we played.”

“Our record is pretty bad . . . 1-3. I thought we played a decent game last game. If we play like that [against the Red Wings] and put some pucks in the net then we’ll come out with the win,” David Krejci told CSNNE.com. “We just need to play the same way, crash the net and get a win. It’s a bad record, but this road trip could help us get back on track.”

While the Bruins must clearly be in a more uncomfortable state of mind – Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith admitted as much – both teams seem like they’re unhappy with only producing four goals this season (even if Detroit’s came in two games versus four for Boston).

Each squad is also dealing with some substantial inconveniences when it comes to injuries, but don’t expect these common threads to make the two teams chummy tonight.

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $10,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Wednesday night’s NHL games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $1,000. Starts Wednesday at 8pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

Recent history

On one hand, the Red Wings have gotten the best of the Bruins quite a bit lately. The most obvious example is last Thursday’s 2-1 win against Boston, a very much grinding victory as both teams combined for just 38 shots on goal. As MLive.com notes, Detroit is 8-1-0 with a 29-15 scoring differential against the Bruins in nine games since 2009-10.

Of course, most would agree that the B’s still have some serious bragging rights considering the fact that they dispatched the Red Wings from the first round of the 2014 playoffs in just five games.

Boston looks for answers

Bruins head coach Claude Julien admitted to CSNNE.com that the team is still “experimenting” to get the right mix together. Adding Simon Gagne to the mix provides more options, but also more variables.

“We’ve got some young guys in different places, so there are still opportunities there,” Julien said. “We’ll hopefully put that puzzle together to the extent that we really like it at some point, but I think we’re still experimenting. Sometimes you have to do that as a team. Just because you have training camp doesn’t mean you have all the answers. We’re trying to get those answers.”

Considering the veteran players and coaches on both sides, it must be strange to ponder the Bruins and Red Wings searching for answers. Maybe tonight’s game will prove at least one of these teams with a few breakthroughs?