Fast Facts: Columbus has won 6 straight games vs Detroit and 15 of the last 19. Detroit, however, is 4-1 in their last 5 openers.— Ken Kal (@KenKalDRW) October 4, 2018
I’m glad he called these “fast facts” instead of “fun facts” because that’s not fun at all.
#RedWings Filip Hronek says his parents won’t make it to the game because they’re home in the Czech Republic. He said his dad is excited, “maybe more than me.”— Dana Wakiji (@Dwakiji) October 4, 2018
MAYBE THEY COULD HAVE MADE IT WITH A LITTLE MORE TIME TO PLAN THE TRIP - J.J.
#RedWings Dennis Cholowski will have his parents, older brother, aunt and girlfriend at the game. Michael Rasmussen will have his parents, two sisters and girlfriend here. Christoffer Ehn's parents and younger sister will be here as well. #NHLdebut— Dana Wakiji (@Dwakiji) October 4, 2018
Big surprise to start off:
#RedWings Howard in starter’s net for the home opener tonight vs #CBJ. pic.twitter.com/xQAP2AWe4R— Dana Wakiji (@Dwakiji) October 4, 2018
Then kind of a decently-sized surprise in front of that:
#RedWings morning skate. Looks like D pairs will be:— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) October 4, 2018
Jensen appears to be healthy scratch.
If that’s the case, 5 Wings will make NHL debut vs. @BlueJacketsNHL
Rasmussen, Cholowski, Ehn, Sulak, Hronek. pic.twitter.com/pB1UXgfoPf
And then no surprises up front:
#RedWings lines have been the same last three days:— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) October 4, 2018
Helm-Ehn-Glendening (who will take faceoffs despite playing wing)
Frk and Witkowski will be the scratches.
I appreciate how annoyed Khan seems to be with having to report the same lines three days in a row (maybe I’m reading too much into this? - J.J.)
On the other side of the ice, our pals over at The Cannon have their lineup prediction as so:
Panarin - Dubois - Atkinson
Foligno - Wennberg - Bjorkstrand
Jenner - Dubinsky - Anderson
Duclair - Nash (not that one) - Milano
Werenski - Savard
Murray - Nutivaara
Kukan - Carlsson
Keys to the Game
Start fast, then be fast in the middle, and then end fast
Ken Holland doesn’t believe in handouts, he believes in bootstraps and GRIT. The kids need to hit the ice with hot wheels but not so much that they become tire fires.
A mix of aggressive hustle energy while minimizing giveaways and bonehead penalties is what Blash and co. will be looking for from the newbies. They need to force management into full rebuild mode, nothing they do may ever be enough, but the pressure is on them to put pressure on management.
It makes perfect sense if you are Ken Holland.
Is it too early to whine about the powerplay? No, it isn’t. They Wings are forever promising to turn around the powerplay and it looks like right now they’re trying to make Net Front Rasmussen a thing.
The Jackets aren’t necessarily a goon squad, but they can be, and we had so many one goal games and 3rd period tragedies last season we need to press every advantage we can get.
The Setup Man
We saw last year how well Hank, and to some extent Nyquist, nurtured Bertuzzi into becoming a permanent fixture on the team. We have some great playmakers, not as good as Hank obviously, but still able to setup idiot proof goals to help the rookies build their confidence.
We saw glimpses of the bright future ahead during preseason, but we also saw what work needs to be done to get our prospects sustaining NHL level play.
I know, I know, some of our elder statesmen make the dumbest plays without getting dinged for it.
But hey, they at least sent Witter down to Grand Rapids. That’s kind of like embracing the rebuild. OH YOU THOUGHT???
(To be fair, there’s no point in calling up another rookie, having them sit on the bench, and then sending them back to GR).
Spare Key to the Season
Choosing pictures that don’t include Zetterberg :(