Game time: 12:30 p.m. EST
Place: United Center
Radio: 97.1 FM The Ticket, 1270 AM
Hawks Blog: Second City Hockey
Early puck drop today, gang! Friday night we were generous enough to hand the Blackhawks both their first win of the season. If that wasn’t bad enough, it was also the first time the Hawks have allowed fewer than 5 goals this season.
Not much new to report, so far we haven’t seen anyone else show up on the COVID protocol list. The Jeff Blashill line blender has been making us all look foolish trying to predict anything before puck drop but I will guess that Bernier gets the start since Greiss took last game.
Jeff Blashill says no new Red Wings in COVID protocol, but Darren Helm (undisclosed) questionable for Sunday game at Chicago.— Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) January 23, 2021
Stay tuned for updates and see you at puck drop!
Keys to the Game
Fix the powerplay
Some blame can go to the lineup shift with COVID protocol, especially the absence of Zadina, but we were solidly in pooperplay territory last game. I would say I hope that yesterday’s practice helped the patchwork lines develop some chemistry, but Hope Is Not A Strategy.
The Blackhawks defense is not shutting things down, as shown by their first four games of the season, and the Wings actually are capable of connecting passes. Need to do a much better job of getting organized in our own end and carrying the puck through the neutral zone instead trying to make dump-and-chase work.
Roll with it
The lines have been all over the place with players on COVID protocol and whatever Helm has going on. With how quickly the roster can change, the Wings can’t afford to lean too heavily on any one player (except Captain Larkin) to spark the offense. For me, Zadina’s absence was definitely noticeable as he’s been playing the roll of setup man very well the first few games.
Credit where due, the Wings have been doing a great job of not collapsing every time something goes wrong. I have to say, not giving up 2 goals in the last 5 minutes of every period of every game is a refreshing change.