Boston Bruins

Nov 8, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; Boston Bruins center Brad Marchand (63) skates with the puck as Detroit Red Wings center Dylan Larkin (71) defends in the first period at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The worst schedule in NHL history will finally get the Bruins back on the ice Thursday night, with the B’s slated to skate against the visiting Red Wings in their first head-to-head since Feb. 15, 2020.

That’s a whole lotta time between meetings for the Original Six rivals, and that break between showdowns has certainly come with some progress for the Wings, who have gone from cellar-dwelling walkover to pesky hard out. But that may not surprise the Bruins, all things considered, as the rebuilding Red Wings gave the Bruins fits even before this latest step forward.

“The last year that we actually played them, I think they beat us more than we beat them,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said. “Clearly, they’ve figured out a formula. We’ve got to get back to being better against them no matter who’s in the lineup.”

In net, the Bruins will give Jeremy Swayman the keys to the crease for his first start since last week’s 21-of-23 loss to the Hurricanes, and with the Bruins hoping a return to TD Garden ice will help get Swayman back to his usual self.

“He needs to play some games to build up some game stamina, some game situations, some confidence, all those things,” Cassidy acknowledged. “The Carolina game, he was solid but we put two in our own net. It’s hard to blame the goalie on those, and I’m not going to. I thought he was good in Carolina, we didn’t score for him. Let’s see where he goes. We haven’t changed our opinion on him: He’s a real good goaltender. He just needs to play.”

The 22-year-old Swayman is 1-2-0 with an .893 save percentage this season.

The Red Wings are expected to counter with Alex Nedeljkovic.

This will be the first of four head-to-heads between the teams in 2021-22.

The Bruins and NESN will also honor Jerry Remy, who died earlier this week after a long battle with cancer, in tonight’s game.

All of NESN’s Bruins broadcasters and the Bruins coaching staff will wear lapel pins with the No. 2, Remy’s number during his six years as a player with the Red Sox (1978-84). Fans watching NESN at home will be able to experience the moment of silence in TD Garden, as well as pre-game content honoring Remy’s life and legacy during his time with NESN.

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Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.