clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Red Wings vs Canucks Gameday Updates: Line Combinations, Key Matchups

NHL: Detroit Red Wings at Vancouver Canucks Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

The Wings had an optional skate this morning, so there wasn’t much information we could gather about what Jeff Blashill has in store for us tonight.

We are able to confirm that Jimmy Howard will find himself in the starter’s net again.

This is his first appearance since allowing 3 goals on 4 shots against the Maple Leafs on Wednesday night, so hopefully he’s put that start behind him. It’s early, but Howard’s a big reason why this Wings team started out 4-1 and the Wings are going to need him at his best if they think they can stay competitive this year.

Scott Wilson will make his Red Wings debut after the Wings acquired him from the Penguins yesterday.

For those wondering about Danny DeKeyser, the plan is for him to play sometime later in the week on the upcoming road trip.

Erik Gudbranson will return to the Canucks lineup after serving a one game suspension. Jacob Markstrom is confirmed to start too.

The Expected Lineup

Powerplay Units:

No reason to suspect the Wings would move away from the powerplay units from the previous game.

Vancouver’s Lineup

The Canucks also held an optional skate, but these were their lines heading into their game against the Sabres.

Key Matchups

1. Zero-in on their few productive players

The Canucks are missing two key players due to injury. Loui Eriksson and Alexander Edler were both injured in back-to-back games and both are expected to miss between four and six weeks. Things like that can kill you, as this Canucks team was having trouble finding offense to begin with. Derek Dorsett is their leading scorer (4G, 1A in 7GP), Brock Boeser has 5 points (2G, 3A) in 5 games and Michael Del Zotto’s had a nice start. Otherwise, there’s not much production coming from this lineup. Even the Sedins have 6 points between them thus far. Let’s take advantage of that tonight and get a win.

2. Pick it up on the powerplay

Tomas Tatar’s powerplay goal go-ahead powerplay goal against Washington was the first the Wings have scored since their game against the Arizona Coyotes earlier in the season. Tonight seems like it’d be a good night to score a few on the man advantage. I liked what the Wings did to start the season by involving Martin Frk on the powerplay, but it seems like the Wings haven’t been as coordinated there as of late.

3. Get Gustav Nyquist going

Other than his 3 point night against the Golden Knights, Gustav Nyquist has no points in the other 7 games the Wings have played. That’s not acceptable for a guy who’s supposed to be one of your wingers in the top-six. Tomas Tatar’s turned around what was a bit of a slow start for him, now it’s Nyquist’s turn to get involved in the scoring.