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Gameday Updates: Red Wings vs. Blue Jackets, Line Combinations, Keys to the Game

NHL: Detroit Red Wings at Vegas Golden Knights Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve got multi-digger confirmation that Jimmy Howard is starting tonight, so in case you’re curious whether the guy who gave up five goals in Calgary would get another start for some reason, you can quash that.

We do have a missing player though:

With that, we’ve got Helm in Abby’s spot on the power play:

Abby got into a 2nd period fight with Troy Brouwer and his penalty ended before the period did, but didn’t see the first eight minutes of the third in Calgary, playing just 3:10 in the final frame spread over five shifts. Without confirmation that it was Brouwer who broke Abdelkader’s face, we’re assuming those five shifts in the third were with a broken cheekbone.

No word yet on the way the lineup will shake out, so we’re taking a few guesses.

Red Wings Projected Lineup

Anthony Mantha - Henrik Zetterberg - Gustav Nyquist
Tomas Tatar - Dylan Larkin - Darren Helm
Martin Frk - Frans Nielsen - Luke Glendening
David Booth - Andreas Athanasiou - Scott Wilson

Jonathan Ericsson - Trevor Daley
Xavier Ouellet - Mike Green
Niklas Kronwall - Nick Jensen

Jimmy Howard
Petr Mrazek

Blue Jackets Projected Lineup

Artemi Panarin - Alexander Wennberg - Cam Atkinson
Boone Jenner - Brandon Dubinsky - Oliver Bjorkstrand
Pierre-Luc Dubois - Nick Foligno - Josh Anderson
Sonny Milano - Tyler Motte - Gabriel Carlsson

Zach Werenski - Seth Jones
Jack Johnson - David Savard
Ryan Murray - Markus Nutivaara

Sergei Bobrovski
Joonas Korpisalo

Keys to the Game

Somewhere between a snake and a mongoose

If the Wings come out of the gate like they did the third period in Calgary we should be in great shape. I’m not sure what happened during that intermission, maybe a disappointed Zetterdad sigh and a stern falcon Kronwall stare, but they came out flying and didn’t let up.

The Jackets are a young team with a number of players who haven’t been on the team very long and there is the opportunity for us to force them to make mistakes we can capitalize on, this could be AA’s big night to dazzle us with his speedster trickery.

This isn’t a daytime talk show this is hockey

Let’s talk about the defense, again, just for a minute. You know who has a giveaway problem on the Red Wings? Those of you who tuned in last game saw some truly spectacular tomfoolery from Ericsson, again. The only thing surprising about Ericsson coughing up the puck leading to that goal is that Ozzie blamed it on AA and Larkin.

But Ericsson is only runner-up. The King of Turnover Mountain is actually Mike Green, by a wide margin. However, Green also blocks a lot of shots/attempts and has 13 assists with 6 on the powerplay so it’s easier to forgive him for the penalties and giveaways. Also, Mike Green isn’t a regular on the penalty kill and Ericsson is so his flubs can come at truly the worst moments.

Let’s Go Red Wings!