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Red Wings-Wild: Game Day Updates/Key Matchups

NHL: Detroit Red Wings at Minnesota Wild Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Game Day Updates

Key Matchups

1. Jimmy Howard vs. Minnesota’s offense

Howie has cooled off after a red-hot November. He’s just 1-6-1 his last 9 (granted, he hasn’t had much help) with a .897% and a 3.05 GAA. Safe to say, not the best. Despite having more of the usual names (Staal, Parise, Koivu, Granlund, etc.), the Wild rank just 23rd in goals scored this year. However, they have plenty of fire power and once they get going, they can really get going. So it’ll be interesting to see which player(s) can win this matchup.

2. No Matt Dumba vs. Red Wings attack

Despite not having Matt Dumba their last 11 games, the Wild are still 5-5-1, including having gone 5-2 in their last seven. However, their PP has really taken a hit without him as they have gone 2 for their last 22. The Red Wings offense has been struggling like Minnesota’s, but with an aggressive PK and a rather fast paced offense, the Red Wings have to take advantage of Dumba being out. I’m not saying they’ll need a PK goal to win, but it certainly would help out a ton. Keep an eye on the Red Wings when they’re shorthanded tonight.

3. Larkin/AA speed vs. complacent Wild

Let’s face it, Minnesota plays such an ugly, boring style of hockey, at least that’s my opinion. They aren’t the fastest team in the league, or the toughest, and certainly aren’t the most talented. They really are just kind of average at everything and lull you to sleep with their style of play. That’s where guys like Larkin and Athanasiou could be huge tonight. If they’re able to generate chances with that speed of theirs, the Red Wings could be in a good position to win. If not, and they fall into the trap that is Minnesota Wild hockey, than this could be a long night for Detroit. A lot of the offense tonight will fall on #71 and #72.