Optional skate this morning for the Red Wings. Lineup should be status quo. With that said, don't expect the actual lines to stay the same. As we discussed on the podcast, Jeff Blashill was shaking things up all last game (a lot of that due to guys playing on the PP and PK). You can probably expect that 2nd line to start out with Darren Helm on the left side and Tomas Tatar and Tomas Jurco each bumped down a line. The good news is that 11 of the best 12 forwards are playing tonight. We're slowly getting to the best lineup possible.
Red Wings Lineup
|Henrik Zetterberg||Pavel Datsyuk||Justin Abdelkader|
|Tomas Tatar||Dylan Larkin||Brad Richards|
|Gus Nyquist||Andreas Athanasiou||Tomas Jurco|
|Darren Helm||Riley Sheahan||Luke Glendening|
|Kyle Quincey||Danny DeKeyser|
|Brendan Smith||Jakub Kindl|
|Jonathan Ericsson||Alexey Marchenko|
- Zetterberg-Datsyuk-Abdelkader (net front)-Richards-Smith
- Nyquist-Larkin-Tatar-Helm (net front)-Kindl
|Mike Hoffman||Kyle Turris||Bobby Ryan|
|Zack Smith||Jean-Gabriel Pageau||Mark Stone|
|Shane Prince||Mika Zibanejad||Alex Chiasson|
|Ryan Dzingel||Curtis Lazar||Chris Neil|
|Marc Methot||Erik Karlsson|
|Dion Phaneuf||Cody Ceci|
|Patrick Wiercioch||Mark Borowiecki|
Dion Phaneuf vs the left side
Big changes on the Ottawa blue line tonight. Newly acquired Dion Phaneuf makes his debut for the Sens. Not only is it a new team and new system for Phaneuf to adjust to, he's apparently going to be playing on the left side on his D pair with Cody Ceci. It will be interesting to see how Phaneuf adjusts to playing on the left instead of his more familiar right side. The Red Wings need to take advantage of any struggles out there as he gets used to his new role.
Ottawa PK vs Red Wings PP
We know the Wings power play is mediocre (16th in the league at 18.3%), but the great news is the Sens are dead last on the PK (30th in the league at 74.6%). Sounds like a key matchup if I've ever seen one! We'll keep this one simple... scoring on the power play is key for the Wings. They can exploit the Sens weakness and help themselves get some goals. The wild card here is Phaneuf and how much he changes what Ottawa does on the PK. Of course, does any of it really matter? We've got D-Boss.
Let's Go Red Wings.