The Detroit Red Wings will have their hands full tonight against the Boston Bruins, and they'll have to take on the top team in the NHL without veteran Daniel Alfredsson in the lineup. The former Ottawa Senator is in the midst of a strong season in Detroit and has notched 45 points in 63 games played as the Red Wings have struggled with injuries throughout the campaign.
Detroit desperately needs points at this juncture, and will need to come up with a monster team effort without Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and now Alfredsson.
Per Babs, Daniel Alfredsson is out tonight as well #RedWings— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) April 2, 2014
Only two points separate the Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs for the top wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. Five teams are battling for the last two seeds in the East, and points are at a premium. Detroit has miraculously been able to stay alive despite injuries to its top stars, but taking down the Burins on national television without four top-six forwards might be too large a task for the proud team.
The good news is that Gustav Nyquist is still healthy and still scoring. A strong performance against Boston would only add to the mythos that has been growing around the man they call "Goose" since he was recalled from the AHL in November.
With or without Alfredsson, this contest represents a potential first-round preview and it seems likely that both teams will be on their respective A-games. Will that be good enough for Detroit though?