The 2018-19 Red Wings are a tough team to figure out. Early on they were getting steamrolled by anybody and everybody, and probably would have keeled over to a wet paper towel tube on skates. They couldn’t even put up 20 decent minutes of hockey. But fast forward to November and they dominate teams over the course of the full 60 minutes, and even when they don’t they still find a way to pull a fuzzy, adorable win out of the magician’s top hat. The criticism has been that the Wings played good teams in October and have been playing mostly bad teams since November started, but that is all about to change. Now they face surprising early-season cup-hopeful, the Boston Bruins.
Except most of the Bruins will be watching the game, probably from the new wing of Beth Israel Medical Center that Jeremy Jacobs paid to have built for all of his injured players. The only recognizable names on the blue line are Kevan Miller and Torey Krug. Bergeron just had a shoulder... thing and will be MIA for at least a month. All this being said, the Wings have a golden opportunity to get a win against a team that should be better than them but is severely depleted by injuries. They showed a lot of resiliency last weekend in fighting for that win in Jersey after all of their travel issues, so it will be interesting to see whether the young Red Wings (savor that description, ladies and gentlemen) can build upon their previous success.
Then again, expect all those unknown Bruin defenders to score goals. Count em, that 4 guys you’ve never heard of, so who is scoring a hatty for Detroit to keep it competitive?
Vanek is coming back, which is why Megan was sent down yesterday. As of this writing, we don’t know precisely where he will fit, so we’re taking our best guess until we know more, which will come your way in the Game Day Update.
Abdelkader - Larkin - Mantha
Nyquist - Nielsen - Bertuzzi/Rasmussen?
Vanek - Athanasiou - Bertuzzi/Rasmussen?
Frk - De La Rose - Glendening
Daley - Green
Kronwall - Cholowski
DeKeyser - Jensen
Bjork - Krejci - Pastrnak
Marchand - Nordstrom - DeBrusk
Heinen - Forsbacka Karlsson - Acciari
Wagner - Kuraly - Backes
Grzelcyk - Miller
Krug - Clifton
Lauzon - Kampfer
Again, I’m kind of just throwing my arms up in the air with Vanek’s placement in the lineup and going with what makes sense to me. I imagine Blashill is going to want to shelter him on the third line, which means some shuffling has to happen with Athanasiou, Bertuzzi, Glendening, and Rasmussen. I’d think with the way Ras has been playing he’ll get the promotion, but Bertuzzi is a guy you can trust just about anywhere (the modern Dan Cleary before our very eyes.) This is all assuming Athanasiou returns to center duty, which makes for Glendening on the fourth line. Whatever ends up happening, we’ll keep you posted later today.