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...
Jeff Blashill says Robby Fabbri questionable for Thursday. Red Wings host Minnesota. Hronek & Lindstrom also questionable.— Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) February 26, 2020
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...
Robby Fabbri & Gustav Lindstrom are out tonight, per Blashill.— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) February 27, 2020
Filip Hronek is in. #MINvsDET
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.
Looks like Stalock will get the start for #mnwild tonight vs. Detroit.— Sarah McLellan (@sarah__mclellan) February 27, 2020
Detroit Red Wings
Tyler Bertuzzi — Dylan Larkin — Anthony Mantha
Brendan Perlini — Valtteri Filppula — Sam Gagner
Darren Helm — Frans Nielsen — Luke Glendening
Adam Erne — Christoffer Ehn — Justin Abdelkader
Patrik Nemeth — Filip Hronek
Dennis Cholowski — Madison Bowey
Trevor Daley — Alex Biega
Gerald Mayhew — Eric Staal — Kevin Fiala
Zach Parise — Joel Eriksson Ek — Jordan Greenway
Marcus Foligno — Alex Galchenyuk — Mats Zuccarello
Ryan Donato — Mikko Koivu — Ryan Hartman
Ryan Suter — Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin — Mathew Dumba
Brad Hunt — Greg Pateryn
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.