Last game of 2017!
Wakiji shared that the Wings’ lineup looked the same as last game with Witkowski skating as a placeholder for whichever center is going to be taking shifts with Frk and Booth as the 10th and 11th forwards, so we’re sticking with that tonight. However, the Wings did share that Mantha skated this morning prior to sharing confirmation that won’t last:
Mantha is out tonight, per Blashill. Could be back for Wednesday’s game.— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) December 31, 2017
Per the Penguins’ website, Evgeni Malkin isn’t feeling well and could join guys like Rust, Schultz, Ruhwedel, and Letang on the sideline.
Gustav Nyquist - Henrik Zetterberg - Tyler Bertuzzi
Tomas Tatar - Dylan Larkin - Andreas Athanasiou
Darren Helm - Frans Nielsen - Justin Abdelkader
Martin Frk - David Booth
Jonathan Ericsson - Trevor Daley
Danny DeKeyser - Mike Green
Niklas Kronwall - Nick Jensen
Chad Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Patric Hornqvist
Conor Sheary - Riley Sheahan - Daniel Sprong
Carl Hagelin - Garrett Wilson - Phil Kessel
Tom Kuhnhackl - Carter Rowney - Ryan Reaves
Brian Dumoulin - Matt Hunwick
Ian Cole - Jamie Oleksiak
Olli Maatta - Frank Corrado
Keys to the Game
We know our situation, Jimmy has the starter’s role in an iron grasp and shows no signs of letting go. A big penalty shot save and a solid shootout performance gave us a much-needed lift against the Rangers, and when Mrazek has gotten the nod he has held his own remarkably well considering how difficult it is to come in ice cold and find your groove immediately.
The Pens have been rotating Matt Murray and Tristan Jarry, Murray has been playing ok but not great, and he was out Friday with a “day-to-day” injury so we will have to wait and see who gets the nod tonight. The Pens have faith in Jarry, and he may be trade bait for them who they’ll want to start showing off.
Normally, this would be where I list out the various Red Wings ailments and injuries and lament our general state of woe, but instead it’s the Penguins who are the walking wounded. Kris Letang, Chad Ruhwedel, and Bryan Rust are all on IR. Justin Schultz has been out all month, too. As previously mentioned, Matt Murray was out Friday and in addition to Casey DeSmith for him the Pens have also called up three other guys from Wilkes-Barre.
Something to mention in our camp, however, is that Red Wings prospect Michael Rasmussen is out for a month or two after having wrist surgery. The hopes is having the surgery now will set him up to have a big impact in the playoffs and not hold him up from putting in hard work over the summer. Dare we hope to see him sporting a Griffins jersey next season?
Keep it up, Bert!
Tyler Bertuzzi is making his case to sport the Wheel on a regular basis, including showing his stuff as a net front guy on the powerplay. And getting to work with Zetterberg is always a huge plus to young guys, we know how hard he works and how good of an influence he is.
I, for one, will be ignoring all commentary articles that imply he is getting his chance because Mantha is squandering his opportunity - because how, why, and what does that even mean - when we know it’s because LGD is injured. Again, insert colorful language here expressing displeasure with the heart/hustle/grit storyline some people love to force into existence.
Let’s Go Red Wings!