Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill addressed the Wings’ need to step up their physical play as the second half of the season approaches during today’s media availability, and the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan filed a notebook article regarding Blashill’s remarks:
“The physicality, it’s just the decision we’re going to match physicality and finish checks and make the opponent pay a price when they have the puck,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “There’s been times we’ve passed on checks, not all, but some. Throughout the lineup, we have to make sure we’re making the opponent pay a harder price.”
The Bruins appeared to thrive on that part of the game Sunday and used it to their advantage.
The leadership of veteran forwards Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand paced the Bruins, who rallied for a win Saturday in Boston against Buffalo. Twenty-four hours later at Little Caesars Arena, the Bruins set the tone for how they wanted the game to go against the Wings.
“Maybe it’s because they played the day before, but the start of that game, they were more ready to compete at that high level you must compete at,” Blashill said. “Certainly a lot of it was driven by the Bergeron line, and there were moments we competed hard back. But we have to make sure we recognize how hard you have to compete. We want it to be a separator for us, so that’s every game, not a lot of games.”