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Morning Skate: Columbus Blue Jackets @ Detroit Red Wings- Preview, How to Watch

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Carolina Hurricanes v Detroit Red Wings Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images

How to Watch

Time: 12:00pm ET

Place: Little Caesars Arena – Detroit, MI

TV: FSD, NBCSN

Radio: 97.1 FM The Ticket // 1270 AM

Blue Jackets Blog: Jackets Cannon

Preview

Two games down, two vastly different performances ending in two different results for the Red Wings. After a shaky opener where the Wings kept it close in terms of the score but never really looked like a threat to Carolina, they turned it around and took the game to the Hurricanes at times enroute to a 4-2 victory, their first of the 2020-21 campaign. They will need to keep that drive and energy up in a rare weekday matinee against a typically well organized, scrappy, and difficult Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Jackets come in looking to rebound from a difficult opening set as they dropped their first two games of the seasons to Nashville Predators. The normally stout defensive team surrendered eight goals (one in an empty net) in the two games with Nashville, including five in their last game.

Offensively they have had no issues getting puck to the net as they are averaging 37 shots per game so far, but they only have three goals to show for it (the Wings conversely have four goals while averaging only 17 shots a game and being shutout once). Whereas Carolina used their outstanding blue line to get the puck from the Red Wings forwards and the skills of their talented forwards to keep it moving to generate shots, Columbus will likely look to use their strength and tenacity upfront to work pucks on net and collapse in on the goalie.

Defensively they rely heavily on their top pairing of Seth Jones and Zach Werenski (did you know he and Dylan Larkin are good friends, went to UofM together and that Zach is originally from Grosse Pointe) to eat a lot of minutes in every situation, so expect to see them on the ice A LOT.

In net they have a young duo in Joonas Korpisalo and Elvis Merzlikins that both posted above .910 save percentages last season in splitting the net duties after the departure of Sergei Bobrovsky. Korpisalo looked steady in the season opener stopping 34 of the 36 shots he faced but Merzlikins got lit up a bit in the second game surrendering five goals on thirty-eight shots.

With the game being a noon start there will not be a separate update article so here is the projected lineups as well as a couple keys for the Red Wings to come away with their second win of the season.

Projected Lines

With no morning skate these are based on each team’s last game lines. We will update them once the teams announce the lineups later or this morning.

RED WINGS

Forwards

Tyler Bertuzzi Dylan Larkin Anthony Mantha
Bobby Ryan Robby Fabbri Filip Zadina
Vladislav Namestnikov Valteri Filppula Sam Gagner
Mathias Brome Luke Glendening Adam Erne

Defensemen

Patrick Nemeth Filip Hronek
Danny DeKeyser John Merrill
Mark Staal Troy Stecher

Goalie

Jonathan Bernier
Thomas Greiss

BLUE JACKETS

Forwards

Mikhail Grigorenko Pierre-Luc Dubois Oliver Bjorkstrand
Nick Foligno Max Domi Cam Atkinson
Boone Jenner Alexandre Texier Emil Bemstrom
Liam Foudy Riley Nash Eric Robinson

Defensemen

Zach Werenski Seth Jones
Vladislav Gavrikov David Savard
Michael Del Zotto Dean Kukan

Goalie

Joonas Korpisalo
Elvis Merzlikins

Keys to the Game

Take your shots when they are there

I know Jeff Blashill prefers the team to play a low event style in order to try and balance out the talent gap the Red Wings will face most games. This is not necessarily one of those games though. Unlike Carolina, Columbus does not step onto the ice the clearly more talented team. This is a team that while probably still above Detroit’s weight class, is not so far ahead of the Wings in terms of talent that Detroit has to play a near perfect game to have a shot at the win. Especially with some questionable speed on the Jackets blue line behind Jones/Werenski and a team that comes in struggling offensively, the Wings need to look to get at least 30 shots on net.

Clear the Front

Columbus’ forwards like to play physical and use that to grind down their opponent to free up space in front of the net. We saw on Opening Night what happens when the Wings get pushed around early and we saw on Saturday what happens when the Wings are the ones doing the pushing.