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 wear No. 23 for #RedWings Expected to play on line with Glendening and Witkowski tonight.— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) October 22, 2017
For those wondering about Danny DeKeyser, the plan is for him to play sometime later in the week on the upcoming road trip.
Blashill says DeKeyser (ankle) should be ready later in upcoming road trip— Ted Kulfan (@tkulfan) October 22, 2017
Erik Gudbranson will return to the Canucks lineup after serving a one game suspension. Jacob Markstrom is confirmed to start too.
#Canucks: Markstrom starts. Gudbranson in for Biega. And Green says Gaunce is close. Decision to be made soon on next move for him— Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff) October 22, 2017
The Expected Lineup
No reason to suspect the Wings would move away from the powerplay units from the previous game.
#RedWings power-play units:— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) October 20, 2017
Nyquist-Zetterberg-Abdelkader (net front), Tatar-Kronwall/Daley
Larkin-Nielsen-Mantha (net front), Frk-Green
The Canucks also held an optional skate, but these were their lines heading into their game against the Sabres.
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.