DETROIT, Michigan (NEWS CENTER) - It's only fitting that some Black Bears should have to face the Bruins in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
UMaine alums Jimmy Howard and Gustav Nyquist will open their 2014 postseason on Friday night in Boston when the eighth seed in the NHL's Eastern Conference takes on the President's Trophy winners (the team with the best regular season record).
For Howard it will be his fifth straight playoffs in the Red Wings goal, while teammate Gustav Nyquist will be playing in his third postseason with Detroit, but for the first time in his young career he'll be expected to lead a relatively young Wings squad. The NHL's leading goal-scorer since January 20th will be banking on his previous time in the playoffs to help him assume his new role.
"I learned a lot from the older guys I think from just being around them. They've gone through this so many time and I think a lot of them have gone the whole way, so you know, it's great as a young guy to have the opportunity to be around those guys and see what it takes," he said.
Howard echoed his teammate's sentiments that players get more comfortable with the postseason the more they're in the spotligh.
"You know, every single time you play in it you get more and more confident with yourself. You know, it's a lot of fun. I look forward to this time of year and you know I can't wait to get on the ice Friday," Howard said.
Despite the drastic difference between the Red Wings and Bruins in the standings, Detroit won three of their four regular season games against the Bruins.
This is Detroit's 23rd straight season in the Stanley Cup playoffs.