Morning Skate: Blues at Red Wings Preview

Dave Sandford

730p ET, Joe Louis Arena

Detroit, MI

TV: Fox Sports Detroit, NHL Network (U.S.)

Radio: 97.1 The Ticket

Tickets: Available for as low as $31

Blues Blog: St. Louis Game Time

Embarrassing.

That's pretty much the best way to sum up the Red Wings opening night loss in St. Louis. It was a 6-0 massacre. The Blues are a good team. They can score. They can play defense. They have two goalies that can win. St. Louis will try to hit you, outwork you, and they can beat you on the power play. I don't like saying it (and I'm sure you don't like reading it), but the Blues are one of the best teams in the league.

The Wings, however, are getting better. Take a look at their numbers in the matchup chart below. They're still mediocre at best, but they're improving. I like the fact that when I update the chart everything continues to go in a positive direction. Detroit isn't quite there yet. There is still a long way to go, but it's turning in the right direction. They're still a middle of the road team and will probably be for the most of the season. It's weird to say this, but tonight is a little bit of a measuring stick game. The roles are reversed from what we've expected the last 15 years though. Tonight the Wings will see how far they've come since January 19th and how far they still need to go.

The Expected Lineup

Damien Brunner - Henrik Zetterberg - Johan Franzen

Todd Bertuzzi - Valtteri Filppula - Pavel Datsyuk

Patrick Eaves - Justin Abdelkader - Daniel Cleary

Drew Miller - Cory Emmerton - Jordin Tootoo

*

Niklas Kronwall - Jonathan Ericsson

Kyle Quincey - Brendan Smith

Kent Huskins - Jakub Kindl

*

Jimmy Howard (starting)

Thomas McCollum

Scratches: Brian Lashoff

Injuries: Darren Helm (back), Ian White (laceration), Jonas Gustavsson (groin), Carlo Colaiacovo (shoulder), Mikael Samuelsson (groin) and Jan Mursak (shoulder)

BLUES THE MATCH-UP RED WINGS
6-1-0 (12 pts; 4th in West) Record 3-2-1 (7 pts; T-7th in West)
3.86 (T-2nd in NHL) Goals Per Game 2.33 (21st in NHL)
2.00 (3rd) Goals Against Per Game 2.83 (17th)
34.6% (2nd) Power Play % 9.4% (29th)
75.0% (21st) Penalty Kill % 73.3% (T-24th)
Vladimir Tarasenko (5 goals) Goal Leader Damien Brunner (3 goals)
Vladimir Tarasenko (9 points) Points Leader Pavel Datsyuk (8 points)

  • The Red Wings are 116-109-37-7 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the St. Louis Blues.
  • Last time the these two teams squared off was opening night. St. Louis won in a route 6-0. Nothing good came from that game for the Wings. It was a nightmare.
  • Last time the Wings played they got a Dallas team on the second night of a back-to-back. The Stars faced the Blue Jackets the night before. Tonight, St. Louis is playing the second night of a back-to-back. They won 4-1 in Columbus last night.
  • The Blues have won four straight games. Their only loss this season is to the Chicago Blackhawks.
  • Howard is 10-5-1 with a 2.52 GAA and .918 SV% with one shutout in his career against the Blues.
Prediction: The Red Wings get revenge. Detroit wins 3-2. Johan Franzen is your player of the game.

Let's Go Red Wings.
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