7:00p EST, Little Caesars Arena
Radio: 97.1 FM The Ticket // 1270 AM CBS Sports Radio
We have seen boring games, exciting finishes, heartbreaking overtime loses, losses by controversial goals and even last-minute goals during this season with the Red Wings. Not to be outdone however, the Red Wings decided to cram all of those into one game the last time out when a boring game turned exciting before the Red Wings lost to the Buffalo Sabres on a somewhat controversial goal (depending on how you see goaltender interference these days) with less than a second to go in overtime. Oddly that loss and their recent stretch of 3 wins in their last 10 games still finds them only seven points back from a Wild Card spot (nope, they are still not going to make it). Most of the fans understand that seven points in today’s NHL is very tough to make up (the players likely do as well), especially with four other teams between them and Columbus. Nonetheless, they still have to push for wins and while extremely unlikely, crazier things have happened. If they hope to start making up ground they need to start tonight with one of the teams ahead of them, the Carolina Hurricanes.
Carolina comes in having lost last night in Pittsburgh to the streaking Penguins before travelling up to Detroit. Two parts of the Hurricanes roster is quite comparable to the Red Wings. The scoring from their forwards is fairly spread out with Sebastian Aho (21)and Jeff Skinner (20) being the only two with 20 or more goals but seven others having at least 10 (the Wings have one, Anthony Mantha, over 20 and six more with at least 10). In net, Cam Ward has similar numbers to Jimmy Howard and Scott Darling has been, well probably about as good as I expect Jared Coreau would be after 32 games. It is the last part of the roster however that is quite different and why the two teams are on opposite standings elevators. Carolina’s blue line may not be full of big names but it is certainly full of rock solid, young NHL defensemen with a lot of potential. Led by Justin Faulk and Noah Hanafin they are very good at moving the puck, getting into the play and making things happen in the offensive end without sacrificing defensively.
The Wings and Hurricanes have played a lot of close, hard fought games over recent years and I expect this one to be no different. A win tonight would put the Wings four points behind Carolina and leap frog them over tomorrow night’s opponent in the New York Rangers. With the Trade Deadline looming this is make or break time for the Red Wings players if they want to solidify a spot here for the rest of the season and maybe try a late season rally for a playoff spot or to increase their chances of a team with Cup aspirations trading for them at the deadline.
DETROIT RED WINGS
Gustav Nyquist - Henrik Zetterberg - Anthony Mantha
Tomas Tatar - Dylan Larkin - Andreas Athanasiou
Darren Helm - Frans Nielsen – Justin Abdelkader
Tyler Bertuzzi – Luke Glendening - Martin Frk
Jonathan Ericsson – Trevor Daley
Niklas Kronwall – Xavier Ouellet
Danny DeKeyser – Nick Jensen
Scratches: Luke Witkowski, David Booth, Mike Green
Injuries: Johan Franzen (LTIR)
Sebastian Aho – Elias Lindholm – Teuvo Teravainen
Brock McGinn – Victor Rask – Justin Williams
Jeff Skinner – Derek Ryan – Lee Stempniak
Joakim Nordstrom – Josh Jooris – Phil de Giuseppe
Jaccob Slavin – Brett Pesce
Hayden Fleury – Justin Faulk
Noah Hanafin – Trevor Van Riemsdyk
Game Day Prediction Contest
Would you like to predict the outcome of the game and potentially become internet famous? Well you're in luck, because here's your opportunity. Here's how it works.
First off, if you don't have an SBN Username, make one! We'd love to have you, plus it's much easier to track your predictions season-long. Then make your guess on the winning team, final score, and who the Red Wings player of the game will be. Enter the required information into the form below using the formats indicated. If you don't use those formats, your answers will be disregarded. All submissions are timestamped and will be accepted only until the official game start time. Only one submission per person, please. The Red Wings POTG will be determined by the collective of WiiM writers.
Each correct winning team prediction is worth 1 point. Each correct player of the game prediction is worth 3 points. Each correct final score prediction is worth 5 points. If you get all three correct, you'll receive 15 points.