Not much in the way of news out of either camp today. The Wings won on Tuesday, so why change the winning formula? And the Caps have been winning lots in the past ten days, so I’m sure Trotz is as hesitant as Blashill to shake things up. Not that anything really should be shaken up; the win took so long to earn, you might want to keep the lines together to see how much they’ve matured from the adversity of the losing streak.
Also, the Caps’ blue lien got shuffled a bit and now looks something like this:
Kempny - Carlson
Orlov - Niskanen
Orpik - Djoos
Now that we’ve checked in on the confirmed lines and have had a real good look at Jensen’s agape mouth, let move onto the fun part.
Three Keys to the Game!
Keep coverage tight. The Caps’ blue line isn’t exactly a standout group amongst the better teams in the league, but their forwards are supremely dangerous. I’d like to see the Wings play their coverage tight tonight in an attempt to force errors on the opposing blue line, and also because bad things happen when you give Backstrom and Ovi time and space.
Match Larkin’s line against Orpik and Djoos. Washington’s bottom pair is... I’ve sat here for a while trying to figure out how to say this nicely. They’re something else, that’s for sure! Hopefully we will see Larkin’s line up against this pairing. Let the Zetterberg unit go up against Washington’s stronger pairings, since (eye test incoming) they seem to be better at keeping the pucks on their sticks, anyway. (Feel free to throw some stats my way to prove exactly how wrong I am.)
Win the board battles. Board battles are easy place to get mesmerized and leave a guy or two open on the other side of the zone. The Wings have top win these to prevent Backstrom from gobbling up a lose puck and sending it cross ice for the Ovi one-timer. It would be a great night for Detroit’s board-battlers to do exceptionally strong work.