7:30p ET, Joe Louis Arena
TV: Fox Sports Detroit, CSCA
Radio: 97.1 The Ticket
Sharks Blog: Fear The Fin
What's that? The Detroit Red Wings have won four out of their last five games? Say it ain't so. Tonight we draw a familiar foe in the San Jose Sharks. It's a different team than it was a year ago without noted Red Wing-killer Todd McLellan, and it certainly looks like the team that used to be a Western Conference power has dwindled down to a lackluster group of talented players who haven't much to show over the past couple of seasons.
Bad news - John Scott is gone. No more true leadership for the Sharks of San Jose.
Good news - Mike Brown still plays for them. Woof.
I still think the Sharks are an OK team, but they are completely beatable for the Red Wings on home ice. The key in this game will be exploiting their dismal penalty kill, which is currently bottom-ten in the league at 77%. The Wings' power-play isn't great by any means, but they have a good opportunity to get it going this evening, as long as they get the calls.
The headline for tonight? Return of star center Pavel Datsyuk. While it hasn't been 100% confirmed yet, head coach Jeff Blashill seemed pretty confident in the Magic Man making his season debut against San Jose. We'll update that with the gameday updates post, but for now it looks like his status to play is very likely. That would structure the lines a bit differently, for the better. Joakim Andersson would be scratched, and Riley Sheahan would be moved to Andreas Athanasiou's wing. Dylan Larkin would then have his own line centering Tomas Tatar, and Gustav Nyquist. That's a whole lot of fun right there. Let's have a look at the probables:
Red Wings' Lineup
|Justin Abdelkader||Henrik Zetterberg||Pavel Datsyuk|
|Gustav Nyquist||Dylan Larkin||Tomas Tatar|
|Riley Sheahan||Andreas Athanasiou||Teemu Pulkkinen|
|Drew Miller||Luke Glendening||Darren Helm|
|Niklas Kronwall||Mike Green|
|Danny DeKeyser||Jonathan Ericsson|
|Brendan Smith/Jakub Kindl||Alexey Marchenko|
Scratches: Joakim Andersson, Tomas Jurco, Jakub Kindl or Brendan Smith
Injuries: Johan Franzen, Landon Ferraro, Kyle Quincey
|Joonas Donskoi||Joe Thornton||Joe Pavelski|
|Patrick Marleau||Tomas Hertl||Joel Ward|
|Melker Karlsson||Chris Tierney||Tommy Wingels|
|Matthew Nieto||Michael Haley||Mike Brown|
|Paul Martin||Brent Burns|
|Marc-Edouard Vlasic||Justin Braun|
|Brenden Dillon||Matt Tennyson|
|SHARKS||THE MATCH-UP||RED WINGS|
|7-8-0 (14 pts, 4th in Pacific)||Record||8-6-1 (17 pts, 2nd in Atlantic)|
|2.60 (18th in NHL)||Goals Per Game||2.27 (26th in NHL)|
|2.67 (17th in NHL)||Goals Against Per Game||2.40 (8th in NHL)|
|11.4% (30th in NHL)||Power Play %||17.6% (18th in NHL)|
|77.1% (21st in NHL)||Penalty Kill %||83.3% (10th in NHL)|
|Joel Ward (8 goals)||Goal Leader||Gustav Nyquist (6 goals)|
|Joel Ward (14 points)||Points Leader||Henrik Zetterberg (15 points)|
Game Day Prediction Contest
Would you like to predict the outcome of the game and potentially become internet famous? Well you're in luck, because here's your opportunity. Here's how it works.
Make your game predictions on the winning team, final score, and who the Wings player of the game will be. Enter the required information into the form below using the formats indicated in the questions. If you don't use those formats, your answers will be disregarded. All submissions are timestamped and will be accepted only until the official game start time. All other submissions after that will be disregarded. Only one submission per person, please. POTG will be determined by the collective of WiiM writers.
Each correct winning team prediction is worth 1 point. Each correct player of the game prediction is worth 2 points. Each correct final score prediction is worth 5 points. If you get all three correct you'll receive 15 points.