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Red Wings vs Wild — Gameday Updates, Projected Lineups and Keys to the Game

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NHL: Minnesota Wild at Detroit Red Wings Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Gameday Updates

The Red Wings enter tonight’s game a little thin around the lineup. After the scary knee-on-knee hit delivered by Jack Hughes on Tuesday, Robby Fabbri is questionable for this one. But, it looks like Sam Gagner is set to make his Wings debut, while Dmytro Timashov could take a little bit longer as he continues to work out some visa issues.

The defense, already without Filip Hronek and losing Mike Green after his deal to Edmonton, could look even lighter tonight...

Despite Steve Yzerman’s comments the other day about it being important that Grand Rapids makes the AHL playoffs this year, the Wings went ahead and made a roster move just in case...

UPDATE:

NOTE: With Fabbri out and an optional morning skate, I (Peter) am completely guessing that Bertuzzi will go up to line 1. I’m also guessing on defense pairs. Take the lines and pairings below with a grain of salt.

Projected Lineups

Detroit Red Wings

Forwards

Tyler Bertuzzi — Dylan LarkinAnthony Mantha
Brendan PerliniValtteri Filppula — Sam Gagner
Darren HelmFrans NielsenLuke Glendening
Adam Erne — Christoffer EhnJustin Abdelkader

Defense

Patrik NemethFilip Hronek
Dennis CholowskiMadison Bowey
Trevor Daley — Alex Biega

Goalies

Jimmy Howard
Jonathan Bernier

Minnesota Wild

Forwards

Gerald MayhewEric StaalKevin Fiala
Zach PariseJoel Eriksson EkJordan Greenway
Marcus FolignoAlex GalchenyukMats Zuccarello
Ryan DonatoMikko KoivuRyan Hartman

Defense

Ryan SuterJared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin — Mathew Dumba
Brad HuntGreg Pateryn

Goalies

Alex Stalock
Devan Dubnyk

Keys to the Game

Stay the Course

This season has been anything but pretty and with 17 games left on the schedule, this team needs to stay the course. It’s hard to get motivated down the stretch when you’re in last place by a country mile, but you could sense the competitiveness and drive in Larkin’s voice after Tuesday’s loss — nobody is laying over, at least he isn’t. The team’s focus needs to be on playing spoiler and being the toughest version of themselves to play against. That starts tonight against a Wild team still very much in the Western Conference wild card race.

Lick Your Wounds and Move On

Tuesday’s loss hurt even more so because of the added chippiness throughout the game and even post whistle. The ugly knee shot on Fabbri set the tone in that third period and how John Hayden didn’t get a suspension for the lumber to Bertuzzi’s face is beyond me. But, Bert mentioned yesterday after practice that he’s moved on and even added that it’s part of the game, understanding that Hayden was sticking up for his teammate (Jack Hughes). Detroit has been stepped on a lot this year and out played on most night’s, but shake it off and finish the season on a high note.

Hold the Fort

The Hronek injury earlier this month doesn’t help any, considering he’s been the team’s best defenseman by far this season, but with Green gone at the deadline, who is going to step up? Cholowski comes to mind as he’s been recently called up and for a former first-round pick, I think he has a lot to prove the rest of the way and going into next season. Lindstrom has made great strides this season and might be a nice piece on the back end for years to come. They might be young, but this defensive core needs to show they belong at the NHL level.