Morning Skate: Nyquistmania

After four-straight losses, we all wanted a little bit of a shake-up, and, ladies and gentlemen, we got it.

Tonight will be the NHL debut of Gustav Nyquist.  

Nyquist was selected in the 4th round of the 2008 draft.  He spent three seasons at the University of Maine (Jimmy Howard's alma mater) and was a two-time Hobey Baker finalist.  I can throw some of his impressive stats at you, and some say numbers never lie, but let me tell you, the kid passes the eye test.  Living and working out here in Boston the last three years, I've had the chance to work on and watch some Hockey East games and have seen Nyquist quite a bit.  The kid is a stud.  His preseason performance was not a fluke or a flash-in-the-pan couple of games.  He has a real chance to make an impact on this team and be a legitimate NHL player this season and for many seasons in the future.

Hopefully this move is just what the doctor ordered for the Red Wings.  We know the story: five straight wins followed by four straight losses.  Many of us wanted a little bit of a shake-up or message sender.  I personally thought the team would just stay the course as usual, but this is a welcome move.  Hopefully the person who sits today is someone with a little bit of a significance on one of the top three lines.  If you just sit one of the fourth liners who are in the healthy scratch rotation, the message to the rest of the team may not be received.  Sit someone like Todd Bertuzzi.  Give Nyquist solid minutes on the top lines.  Let him shine with offensive talent around him and finally end this losing streak.

 

Hockey Wilderness is your SBNation WIld blog.

Puck drop is just after 7:30p ET

 

The Expected Lineup

 

Henrik Zetterberg -- Pavel Datsyuk -- Tomas Holmstrom

Todd Bertuzzi-- Johan Franzen -- Gustav Nyquist

Danny Cleary -- Valtteri Filppula -- Patrick Eaves

Drew Miller -- Darren Helm -- Justin Abdelkader

 

Nicklas Lidstrom -- Ian White

Niklas Kronwall -- Jakub Kindl

Brad Stuart -- Jonathan Ericsson

 

Jimmy Howard (starting)

Ty Conklin

 

 

Scratches: With the shake-up in the lineup, we could see Mike Commodore make his Red Wings debut tonight, but until word comes out about the lineup, we'll list him as a scratch.  Expect to see one of the usual Miller/Eaves/Emmerton scratched with the potential of seeing someone like Bert or Hudler or scratched too.  As always, we'll update when the lineup is announced.  UPDATE: Commodore, Cory Emmerton, and Jiri Hudler are your official scratches.  Nyquist will play on a line with Mule and Bert.  Gus will also see time on special teams tonight.

Injuries: Jan Mursak (ankle)

 

WILD HOW THEY MATCH UP RED WINGS
4-4-3 Record 5-4-0
1.90 (LAST) Goals Per Game 2.44 (T-20th)
2.20 (T-5th) Goals Against Per Game 2.56 (T-13th)
12.5% (26th) Power Play % 15.4% (19th)
71.1% (T-23rd) Penalty Kill % 78.8% (21st)
Matt Cullen (4 goals) Goal Leader Johan Franzen (4 goals)
Dany Heatley (7 points) Points Leader 3 tied with 7 points

 

  • The Red Wings are 28-7-3-4 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Wild.
  • Not sure I remember a time when the Wings' goals against per game was higher than their goals per game.
  • Detroit hasn't lose five-games-in-a-row since January 17-31, 2009.  If you don't remember, that was the year that everyone and their mother was injured and Graham, myself, and J.J. were playing as the fourth line.
  • The Wings are tied for 12th in the Western Conference, however, they're tied for the fewest games played in the NHL.  Two straight wins and the Wings have tied the amount of games played by the Central Division leading Blackhawks and would only be two points back.
  • This has nothing to do with the Wings, but Edmonton has won five straight games and Ottawa has won six straight.  All those first round picks are finally paying off.  Props to The Stache...getting the job done up in Canada.

 

Prediction: Wings win 4-1.  Nyquist scores a goal (possibly more) and is your player of the game. 

 

Let's Go Red Wings.

 

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