Today was an optional morning skate, but as of yesterday, the Wings are on track to have a healthy lineup heading into tonight’s game:
As of today's practice, Red Wings will have everyone available for Wed. game vs. Chicago. First time this season the Wings have been at full health. Tomorrow is game 61.— Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) February 19, 2019
And, with that in mind, it would be nice to see the Wings come out and pack a punch tonight in the spoiler role. If not, this could happen...
The Wild lose again. If the Blackhawks win tomorrow in Detroit, and the Avs lose to the Jets, the Blackhawks will be in a playoff spot. Just as we all predicted back in December.— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) February 20, 2019
This was also an encouraging sign from today’s morning skate...
Nice to see #RedWings Svechnikov skating this morning. pic.twitter.com/vMrVB3eUET— Dana Wakiji (@Dwakiji) February 20, 2019
#RedWings Howard in starter’s net.— Dana Wakiji (@Dwakiji) February 20, 2019
Again, it doesn’t appear there will be much change from their previous game other than Gustav Nyquist returning from an illness and there have been rumblings that the Wings may send Rasmussen to the WHL so he can play in the playoffs for the Griffins when his team’s WHL season is over.
#Blackhawks Colliton said Ward in goal tonight vs #RedWings.— Dana Wakiji (@Dwakiji) February 20, 2019
Red Wings Lineup
#RedWings lines at practice:— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) February 19, 2019
Helm-de la Rose-Abdelkader (Rasmussen rotating in)
Team considering sending Rasmussen to junior club Tri-City, which would make him eligible for AHL playoffs with @griffinshockey
Looks like #RedWings defense pairs will stay the same as previous game:— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) February 19, 2019
#RedWings, Blackhawks. Puck drops at 7:30 PM. #CHIvsDET #LGRW pic.twitter.com/0tOxyrvy6B— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) February 20, 2019
Drake Caggiula — Jonathan Toews — Patrick Kane
Alex DeBrincat — Dylan Strome — Dominik Kahun
Brandon Saad — Artem Anisimov — Dylan Sikura
Brendan Perlini — Marcus Kruger — John Hayden
Duncan Keith — Erik Gustafsson
Gustav Forsling — Slater Koekkoek
Carl Dahlstrom — Connor Murphy
Keys to the Game
This is the tail end of the NHL season and for a team in Detroit’s position, it would be easy to pack it in and hope for the highest possible draft pick this June. But, you have a familiar Original Six rival coming to town and an opportunity to play spoiler on their playoff chances. For the younger group getting their shot, remember to stay motivated and relish an opportunity like this. The coaching staff and front office are watching your every move and a strong performance in games like this carry a lot of weight heading into next year.
Play Sound Defense
The Hawks are on a role offensively, primarily the second line of DeBrincat-Strome-Kahun, with their speed and determination. It’s unlikely the Wings’ defensive group can match them stride for stride, so the key will be strong possession between the neutral zone and high pressure at the blueline. Don’t get beat deep and stay assertive on the rush at your own blueline.