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Detroit Red Wings vs. Nashville Predators: Updates, Lineups, Keys to the Game

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NHL: Nashville Predators at Detroit Red Wings Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Updates

Lineups

Let me start off with a HUGE caveat here that what I’m going off of is a report of the lines yesterday in practice where I’ve replaced Ehn with Athanasiou. I can’t speak for the validity of this setup because AA is playing tonight after having to miss practice yesterday for a personal day.

My fan hope is that Tyler Bertuzzi was holding Athanasiou’s spot on the first line and Abdelkader is holding Bertuzzi’s on the third, but if I had to take an educated guess on the likelihood of the lines reported below, I’d go about 50/50 between what’s beneath and Bertuzzi being on the fourth line after holding AA’s place in practice yesterday.

DETROIT

Gustav Nyquist - Dylan Larkin - Tyler Bertuzzi
Anthony Mantha - Frans Nielsen - Thomas Vanek
Darren Helm - Luke Glendening - Justin Abdelkader
Michael Rasmussen - Jacob de la Rose - Andreas Athanasiou

Nicklas Kronwall - Nick Jensen
Jonathan Ericsson - Filip Hronek
Dennis Cholowski - Luke Witkowski

Jimmy Howard
Jonathan Bernier

Nashville

Ryan Hartman - Ryan Johansen - Viktor Arvidsson
Kevin Fiala - Calle Jarnkrok - Craig Smith
Miikka Salomaki - Nick Bonino - Austin Watson
Phil Di Giuseppe- Frederick Gaudreau - Rocco Grimaldi

Roman Josi - Ryan Ellis
Mattias Ekholm - PK Subban
Dan Hamhuis - Matt Irwin

Pekka Rinne
Juuse Saros

Keys to the Game

Be Decisive

The Wings’ decision-making during this streak of badly-played games has been either inconsistent or slow. I’d rather see them play with confidence, even if that might be unearned confidence. No hesitation on the puck in this game or the Preds will burn you.

Actually Play Hockey in the 2nd Period

At this point, I may be ready to accept a blowout loss due to disastrous first and third periods just to see the Red Wings actually play well in the middle frame. Maybe it’s something about the long change that makes them terrible, but I’m tired of it.

Play as a 5-Man Unit

Another thing that’s creeped into the Wings’ habits of late is the separation between forwards and defensemen. Detroit plays best when the entire unit is moving in unison and the gaps are neither too big nor too small. It can be difficult to do because even small variations in timing can cause unnecessary stretching or compression, but it’s great to see when it’s working right.