Game Day Updates
#RedWings lines at practice:— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) December 13, 2019
Bertuzzi-Nielsen-Fabbri (Abdelkader working in)
Larkin is not practicing. Has been sick last two days but played last night. pic.twitter.com/TvWgjFB0Js
#RedWings have only five defensemen in practice:— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) December 13, 2019
Hronek, Green, Daley, Biega, McIlrath.
Nemeth not skating. Ericsson injured last night and out for tomorrow. Bowey was recalled but not here.
Howard (groin) practicing again but not expected to play this weekend.
Sounds like Jeff Blashill anticipates both Mantha and Athanasiou will play for Red Wings at Montreal.— Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) December 13, 2019
Les Canadiens ont procédé aujourd’hui au rappel de l’attaquant Ryan Poehling du Rocket de Laval.— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) December 13, 2019
The Canadiens have recalled forward Ryan Poehling from the AHL’s Laval Rocket.#GoHabsGo pic.twitter.com/1D06uShGvT
Tyler Bertuzzi - Dylan Larkin - Robby Fabbri
Anthony Mantha - Valtteri Filppula - Filip Zadina
Andreas Athanasiou - Luke Glendening - Darren Helm
Brendan Perlini - Frans Nielsen - Justin Abdelkader
Scratches: Christoffer Ehn - Adam Erne
Patrik Nemeth - Filip Hronek
Trevor Daley - Mike Green
Alex Biega - Madison Bowey
Scratch: Dylan McIlrath
Tomas Tatar - Phillip Danault - Brendan Gallagher
Artturi Lehkonen - Max Domi - Joel Armia
Nick Cousins - Nick Suzuki - Jordan Weal
Ryan Poehling - Nate Thompson - Riley Barber
Ben Chiarot - Shea Weber
Brett Kulak - Jeff Petry
Otto Leskinen - Cale Fleury
Keys to the Game
1. Make Use of the Depth Suddenly Available
It’s been awhile since Detroit has had the scoring options they will have on the ice tonight. This might be their most competent scoring group up front in any game this season. The group won’t be mistaken for world beaters by any stretch but it gives the Red Wings and Jeff Blashill some options. Athanasiou looks to be the odd man out on the third line with Helm and Glendening. But don’t rule them out as a group just yet, Helm has been serviceable this season, and Glendening is capable of at least getting Athanasiou some space to roam. If all else fails Blashill at least has something to work with for his line blending.
The Wings will have 6 or 7 possible offensive threats tonight and they’ll need them all on their ‘A’ game as Price has returned to form and the Red Wings defense is a walking wounded group susceptible to giving up chances in bunches.
2. Make Your Luck
One of the biggest factors in snapping the 12 game losing streak on Thursday against Winnipeg was the Wings finally got some bounces. That includes bounces in the offensive end like the ones that resulted in three goals off of Jets players including both of Fabbri’s goals and Zadina’s powerplay marker. There were bounces in the defensive end as well including several missed opportunities for the Jets on pucks that hopped over sticks in the slot.
Yes, luck is inherently out of one’s control in one sense. But making your luck consists of putting yourself in position to get those bounces and to capitalise on it when it goes your way. The Wings did a good job of putting a lot of shots towards the net and as a result got some bounces along the way. They’ll need to do the same tonight against Price to earn another victory.
3. Be Dangerous on the Powerplay
It’s no secret the Red Wings special teams have been abysmal this season. Their powerplay is operating at a 16.2% success rate, good enough for 24th in the league. But you may have noticed that position has moved up a few spots since just over a week ago when they were 30th on the powerplay. That’s because the Wings scored two powerplay goals against Pittsburgh last Saturday and two more against Winnipeg on Thursday.
They’ll want to stay hot on the man advantage moving ahead to help keep games within reach. Given the aforementioned weapons returning to the lineup there’s no reason this squad shouldn’t have a decently productive powerplay. They’ll even potentially be able to field two good units. Mantha and Zadina each are options as triggermen from the right boards. Hronek has a deadly shot from the opposite side. With other options that include Larkin, Fabbri, Athanasiou, Bertuzzi at net front, and to a lesser extent Mike Green at the top of the zone, this team should have a good powerplay.