Malkin and Letang will be game-time decisions tonight v Detroit, per #Pens HC Sullivan -SK— Pens Inside Scoop (@PensInsideScoop) April 4, 2019
Blashill says Witkowski is questionable for tonight in Pittsburgh.— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) April 4, 2019
Tyler Bertuzzi - Dylan Larkin - Anthony Mantha
Taro Hirose - Andreas Athanasiou - Darren Helm
Ryan Kuffner - Christoffer Ehn - Martin Frk
Matt Puempel - Dominic Turgeon
Niklas Kronwall - Filip Hronek
Joe Hicketts - Madison Bowey
Jake Chelios - Dylan McIlrath
Jared McCann - Sidney Crosby - Jake Guentzel
Bryan Rust - Evgeni Malkin - Phil Kessel
Dominik Simon - Nick Bjugstad - Patric Hornqvist
Teddy Blueger - Matt Cullen - Garrett Wilson
Jack Johnson - Justin Schultz
Olli Maatta - Zach Trotman
Marcus Pettersson - Erik Gudbrandson
Keys to the Game
One of the main reasons the Red Wings have found success recently is they have upped the aggressiveness on their forecheck. They are pushing into the offensive zone as well as pressing the puck in the neutral zone and at their own blue line. This has resulted in more turnovers, and with their speed those turnovers are resulting in goals. Even when they do not get the puck the opposing players are often tired or at the end of their shift and end up dumping the puck in for an easy recovery.
Another reason for the turn around and exciting play recently…they are letting their creativity flow, especially Larkin and Mantha. Mantha’s goal last night was a perfect example. Larkin looked up and saw Anthony in a 1 v 1 situation so he lofted the puck down to an open area in front of him and let him try to outskate the defender to the spot. The work they are putting in when they do not have the puck is allowing them to let their skill shine through when they do.
This team is having fun playing the game right now. There is no pressure on them, and they are just playing hockey. That is good and needs to be incorporated into their approach even when the games start to matter again come October.