The Bruins lost to the Detroit Red Wings today in the NHL's first-ever Thanksgiving Tradition something or other, which I love, especially when you pair the defending Cup Champs, who play 40 miles from the site of the first Thanksgiving, and the other team in the who's the best team in the league argument with the Penguins. As a hockey fan, you couldn't have asked for a better game to watch; two Original Six teams playing at a high level, with plenty of stars on display. Both teams showed up and played hard. They both obviously wanted the W and it showed. Excellent game.
It's no surprise the Red Wings won once it got beyond OT, the only time of the game where Detroit could dictate open ice. Tuukka Rask was shown a lot of confidence getting to start this high profile matchup in net instead of Tim Thomas, and Tuukka acquitted himself well; but he was overmatched in the Shootout against the likes of Pavel Datsyuk (a player who should get much more mention in the league's best player debate) and the other Detroit snipers, including Todd Bertuzzi, who scored the game winner.
The difference in this game was UMaine alum Jimmy Howard in goal for Detroit. The Bruins' depth and tenacity dominated large portions of this game but Howard kept the Bruins to only two goals. The Bruins forechecked Detroit to death. Seriously, how many teams can "get away" with that against Detroit with all their skilled offensive players? The Bruins outshot Detroit 43-31, which is a stunning stat when you consider the styles of these two teams.
You have a hard time after watching this game coming away with any other conclusion than the Bruins along with Detroit and Pittsburgh are the best teams in the league. What's odd about the Bruins though is this: As I've said many times, I think the Bruins are the deepest team, the toughest team, the tightest team but certainly not the most skilled team, which shows when you get to a Shootout and think who's a real threat one-on-one against the goalie other than Tyler Sequin? Which is why you saw Benoit Pouliot in the Shootout last game.
So the Bruins will take the point and head to Winnipeg to start a new streak tomorrow night.