Goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood afternoon Winging It In Motown! Here are today's game day updates and corrections from the morning skate.
First off, forget that familiar face. Congratulations are in order for Kylemcilmurray as he correctly predicted that disappearing act and former Red Wing Damien Brunner will not be in the lineup tonight for New Jersey. Peter DeBoer, head coach of the Devils, told Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record that Brunner's scratch, "probably tells you the point we're at with him where he's not in tonight." He has about three points since the first week of the season.
Todd Bertuzzi, as previously mentioned, is fully ready to go for this evening. Hopefully we'll see Kyle Quincey to Dallas (free cap space) since they're in need of defensive help, though that has nothing to do with anything, unless of course Q screws up tonight (which he inevitably does in somebody's eyes).
Also, some good news is on the horizon as Pavel Datsyuk resumed skating the other day, and he took a picture with Igor Larionov this morning, so that means things must be going well, right? Danny DeKeyser also skated on Wednesday and hopes to be ready by the Winter Classic.
Darren Helm's shoulder has fluid in it, and he'll be out for this weekend. The injury will be re-evaluated on Monday.
Other than that, there are no significant updates from the Red Wings' camp.
Here are the projected lines for the opposition:
|Dainius Zubrus||Travis Zajac||Jaromir Jagr|
|Adam Henrique||Patrik Elias||Steve Bernier|
|Reid Boucher||Andrei Loktionov||Michael Ryder|
|Tim Sestito||Jacob Josefson||Cam Janssen|
|Andy Greene||Mark Fayne|
|Eric Gelinas||Jon Merrill|
|Anton Volchenkov||Marek Zidlicky|
|Cory Schneider (Starting)|
That's right. The Devils are electing to run a fourth line with Tim Sestito and Cam Janssen over playing Damien Brunner. Wow.
The first line of the Devils is very, very good. The lineup is not as scrappy as it appears either. Travis Zajac is one of the best two way centers in the game, despite the fact that we're spoiled by Selke finalists in red and white every year. Expect the first line of the Devils to see quite a bit of ice time.
Cory Schneider is getting the start in goal, and with the exception of the other night, is a brick wall. If the Wings can score on the rush, perfect. If not, the cliched "bodies in front of the net" is a fantastic idea.
Here's the best asset that the Wings have tonight, even without Darren Helm in the lineup: SPEED. The Devils don't really carry any quick players in their lineup, especially with Brunner out. Look for a lot of stretch passes coming from guys like Ericsson up to Franzen (recall the goal against the Hawks in the playoffs last year) and a lot of Babcock rolling the first and third lines against the bottom D pairing of New Jersey. One guy is a more offensive defenseman (Zidlicky) and the other is basically a pylon who blocks shots (see Hal Gill, thanks Michelle).
Without last change, it'll be difficult, but it can be done. Also, the first two pairings on defense for the Devils happen to be very good and Eric Gelinas happens to be a great fantasy pickup if one guy in your league happens to have picked up every single Norris candidate like a bum, which by the way, is exactly what I did without anybody noticing.
Anyway, that's all until tonight. LGRW!
Feel free to check out the game preview offered up by In Lou We Trust's John Fischer. It's not that bad. Really.
*Tonight's game will be live tweeted on our GameThread twitter. Feel free to follow along and use the handle @WIIMGame when reaching out to us. As always, the regular GT on SB Nation will open 30 minutes before game time.