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Red Wings vs. Blues — Updates, Projected Lines and Keys to the Game

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Wings try to bounce back from three-game skid as they renew rivalry with Blues

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Detroit Red Wings Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Gameday Updates

Jaden Schwartz did not travel with the Blues on this road trip, which is one less headache for the Red Wings to worry about.

Here’s hoping Jeff Blashill doesn’t put the slow-footed Jonathan Ericsson back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch the past two games.

Dennis Cholowski has seen his minutes dip recently, but found the back of the net and added an assist in Monday’s loss to the Blue Jackets. I’d rather continue to see his presence on the man advantage than lugging Ericsson out there.

This is cool.

Projected Lineups

Detroit Red Wings

Forwards

Justin AbdelkaderDylan LarkinAnthony Mantha

Gustav NyquistFrans NielsenAndreas Athanasiou

Tyler BertuzziLuke GlendeningMichael Rasmussen

Martin Frk — Jacob de la Rose — Thomas Vanek

Defense

Trevor DaleyMike Green

Niklas KronwallDennis Cholowski

Danny DeKeyserNick Jensen

Goalies

Jimmy Howard

Jonathan Bernier

St. Louis Blues

Forwards

Zachary Sanford — Ryan O’ReillyVladimir Tarasenko

Robby FabbriBrayden SchennRobert Thomas

David PerronTyler BozakPatrick Maroon

Samuel Blais — Ivan BarbashevOskar Sundqvist

Defense

Joel EdmundsonAlex Pietrangelo

Vince DunnColton Parayko

Jay BouwmeesterJordan Schmaltz

Goalies

Jake Allen

Chad Johnson

Keys to the Game

If it Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix it

The Wings just didn’t look themselves on Monday night, falling behind 5-1 to the Blue Jackets early, before clawing back and eventually losing 7-5. It was a minor blip in an otherwise solid November — the Wings are 7-4-1 this month — and there have been plenty of positives. The old adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” suggests not to tinker with things too much and in this case Blashill shouldn’t panic after an off night. This means sticking with the group of players that performed over this last stretch and gravitating away from his old line juggling tendencies. Blashill has done a good job instilling confidence in his players by allowing the chemistry to grow between linemates of late, so let’s continue that trend. Basically, keep Ericsson out of the lineup and leave Cholowski right where he is for starters.

Strike Early

These two teams have struggled offensively over the course of the season — the Blues’ 67 goals are tied for 23rd and the Wings’ 66 goals are good for 25th in the NHL. Whoever lights the lamp first in this game may very well end up victorious by the end considering goals will be at a premium coming in. The Wings needs to take advantage of Jaden Schwartz and Alexander Steen’s absences in the Blues top six, driving the play with their speed and creating offensive chances.