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.
Detroit Red Wings
Justin Abdelkader — Dylan Larkin — Anthony Mantha
Gustav Nyquist — Frans Nielsen — Andreas Athanasiou
Tyler Bertuzzi — Luke Glendening — Michael Rasmussen
Martin Frk — Jacob de la Rose — Thomas Vanek
Trevor Daley — Mike Green
Niklas Kronwall — Dennis Cholowski
Danny DeKeyser — Nick Jensen
St. Louis Blues
Zachary Sanford — Ryan O’Reilly — Vladimir Tarasenko
Robby Fabbri — Brayden Schenn — Robert Thomas
David Perron — Tyler Bozak — Patrick Maroon
Samuel Blais — Ivan Barbashev — Oskar Sundqvist
Joel Edmundson — Alex Pietrangelo
Vince Dunn — Colton Parayko
Jay Bouwmeester — Jordan Schmaltz
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.
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.