Game Day Updates
David Rittich gets the start in net tonight vs. Detroit. #Flames— Pat Steinberg (@Fan960Steinberg) October 17, 2019
From yesterday’s practice:
#RedWings PP:— Dana Wakiji (@Dwakiji) October 16, 2019
Athanasiou-Larkin-Mantha-Bertuzzi (net front)-Cholowski;
Hronek-Filppula-Hirose-Abdelkader (net front)-Green
The #RedWings who did not practice yesterday — Nemeth, DeKeyser, Erne — all skating this morning in the optional.— Dana Wakiji (@Dwakiji) October 17, 2019
#RedWings Blashill said he anticipates Nemeth playing but DeKeyser and Erne are game-time decisions.— Dana Wakiji (@Dwakiji) October 17, 2019
Confirmed Howard vs. Rittich tonight. If Nemeth can’t go, Jonathan Ericsson is ready. Also possible DeKeyser is feeling well enough to play, but we won’t know until just before puck-drop.
Tyler Bertuzzi - Dylan Larkin - Anthony Mantha
Luke Glendening - Frans Nielsen - Andreas Athanasiou
Taro Hirose - Valtteri Filppula - Christoffer Ehn
Darren Helm - Jacob de la Rose - Justin Abdelkader
Trevor Daley - Filip Hronek
Patrik Nemeth - Mike Green
Dennis Cholowski - Alex Biega
Keys to the Game
1. The big boys Mantha, Larkin, and Bertuzzi need to right the ship
It’s no secret that this line is going to be the key to success on most nights for this team. They did score a goal 30 seconds into the game the other night in Vancouver but were otherwise held off the score sheet. These three need to be dangerous often and to cash in on their chances until the rest of the lineup can provide any secondary scoring, which may not be anytime soon. If this line can get the magic going again and find a way to pop in 2 or 3, that is going to be what it takes to get a chance for the W.
2. Stop the bleeding on goals and chances against
The Wings blue line is starting to see some bodies drop, reminding some fans of the infirmary along the blue line that was the case early last season. Regardless of who the six on the back end are when the puck drops tonight, they are going to have to tighten up and reduce the opportunities against as Howard and Bernier have faced a barrage of opportunities lately and can’t be counted on to steal games away on a regular basis as the last two contests showed. The Flames look to be a good opportunity to lower the damage against as they have struggled to put up goals early in the season. But be wary as despite being in the bottom 10 for goals for per game (2.43) the Flames are piling up 32 shots per game ranking 12th in the league.
3. Shut down the Flames top line
The Flames have faced a similar problem as the Wings. They have had a highly productive top line and are not receiving much support behind them. The trio of Gaudreau, Monahan, and Lindholm have combined for 16 points (9 goals) through 7 games. The rest of the forwards have combined for a total of 4 goals so far, two of which are from Tkachuk. The Wings will need to focus on shutting down that top line. With the Flames having the last change at home, it’ll have to be a task by committee to keep them off the scoreboard. But if the Wings can keep this line from burying them in this contest, it’s not likely the rest of the Flames attack is going to hurt them. From an entertainment perspective it would be great viewing if the Flames decide to let their big line go head to head with the Wings big three all night.
Bonus Key: Do not be the team that gives up Milan Lucic’s first goal as a Flame!