1:00p ET, First Niagra Center
TV: MSG-B, BELL TV, FS-D
Radio: 97.1 The Ticket
Sabres Blog: Die By The Blade
The Red Wings have already played though the "learning the system" doldrums with Jeff Blashill. What they're in now is something else. Brad Richards told the diggers the other day that what's happening is they get one thing going well and then something else falters off and they can't get everything together at once. I think that's a pretty fair assessment, but describing a problem and fixing a problem are two different things.
What's scarier is that right now the answer seems to be "the Red Wings need to try harder." It sounds so simple doesn't it? Yeah, that's some Randy Carlyle-level coaching horseshit. "You're not trying hard enough" is a last-resort criticism and it ignores that other teams seem to be adjusting to Detroit's new system more than Detroit's system seems to be working. I don't think it's an effort issue and if it is, then you've got a deep personnel issue in what is a very veteran team.
The forwards and the defensemen are too far apart on breakouts and on zone entries. The layering of support just inside their own blue line and the lack of presence of players who have earned prime body position in the danger areas of the offensive zone are the problems at five-on-five. Static power plays that are all too happy to use the space given to them on the outside and penalty killers who don't move side-to-side effectively are killing the special teams.
The mental mistakes need to stop. The Sabres aren't going to be much in the mood to help the Wings pull themselves out of this slump.
Red Wings Expected Lineups
|Dylan Larkin||Henrik Zetterberg||Justin Abdelkader|
|Darren Helm||Pavel Datsyuk||Brad Richards|
|Gustav Nyquist||Riley Sheahan||Tomas Tatar|
|Joakim Andersson||Luke Glendening||Tomas Nosek|
|Niklas Kronwall||Mike Green|
|Danny DeKeyser||Jonathan Ericsson|
|Brendan Smith||Alexey Marchenko|
|Petr Mrazek (starting)|
Scratches: Jakub Kindl
Injuries: Drew Miller (jaw), Teemu Pulkkinen (shoulder), Johan Franzen (concussion), Kyle Quincey (ankle), Tomas Jurco (upper body)
Sabres Expected Lineups
|Jamie McGinn||Ryan O'Reilly||Sam Reinhart|
|Zemgus Girgensons||Jack Eichel||Brian Gionta|
|Evander Kane||Johan Larsson||Matt Moulson|
|Nicolas Deslauriers||David Legwand||Marcus Foligno|
|Josh Gorges||Rasmus Ristolainen|
|Jake McCabe||Zach Bogosian|
|Mike Weber||Cody Franson|
(Not sure about the starter for this one)
|SABRES||THE MATCH-UP||RED WINGS|
|15-19-4 (34 pts; 6th in Atlantic)||Record||18-13-7 (43 pts; 4th in Atlantic)|
|2.29 (28th in NHL)||Goals Per Game||2.50 (20th in NHL)|
|2.58 (15th)||Goals Against Per Game||2.66 (17th)|
|19.3% (14th)||Power Play %||17.7% (20th)|
|77.4% (25th)||Penalty Kill %||79.8% (17th)|
|Ryan O'Reilly (15 goals)||Goals Leader||Dylan Larkin (13 goals)|
|Ryan O'Reilly (33 points)||Points Leader||Henrik Zetterberg (28 points)|
The Red Wings are 58-53-13-2 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time in the regular season against the Sabres.
Let's Go Red Wings!!!
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.