Game Day Updates
From Friday’s practice the Wings projected lineup with Larkin out:
Just noticed I had Carter Rowney in the Red Wings lines twice earlier. My bad! Should be:— Max Bultman (@m_bultman) October 15, 2021
An update on Larkin’s health following the brutal hit from behind the other night, fingers crossed it was just a minor maintenance day for a player that won’t be in the lineup anyway:
Blashill says Dylan Larkin could not practice today, will see a specialist today. Hearing with the NHL was taking place as we were in press conference— Max Bultman (@m_bultman) October 15, 2021
The longer this goes on the more the concern grows:
Blashill said Larkin still going through evaluation process regarding injury, so no update today. #RedWings— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) October 16, 2021
Here’s how J.T. Miller capped off a great night after posting 2 goals and an assist in regulation, probably best to keep an eye on him:
The presumed starting goalies for tonight:
Asked Travis Green after his Zoom ended to identify his starting goalie for Saturday’s game vs. DET.— Thomas Drance (@ThomasDrance) October 16, 2021
“You’re a smart guy, you know who I’m starting,” Green answered walking out of the media room.
I don’t know about that, but I’d assume it’s Jaroslav Halak. #Canucks
Thomas Greiss is the first goalie off the ice today for the Red Wings— Max Bultman (@m_bultman) October 16, 2021
Vancouver likely trotting out the same lineup from last night
#Canucks Luke Schenn, Brock Boeser, Nick Petan and Brad Hunt were skating this morning in Detroit, per my watchful @TheAthleticNHL colleague @m_bultman.— Thomas Drance (@ThomasDrance) October 16, 2021
Strongly suggests that Vancouver will ice the same lineup on Saturday that won in Philadelphia last night.
Tyler Bertuzzi - Robby Fabbri - Lucas Raymond
Adam Erne - Pius Suter - Filip Zadina
Vladislav Namestnikov - Michael Rasmussen - Sam Gagner
Givani Smith - Mitchell Stephens - Carter Rowney
Danny DeKeyser - Filip Hronek
Nick Leddy - Moritz Seider
Marc Staal - Gustav Lindstrom
J.T. Miller - Elias Pettersson - Nils Hoglander
Tanner Pearson - Bo Horvat - Conor Garland
Justin Dowling - Juho Lammikko - Vasily Podkolzin
Matthew Highmore - Jason Dickinson - Alex Chiasson
Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Tyler Myers
Quinn Hughes - Tucker Poolman
Jack Rathbone - Kyle Burroughs
Keys to the Game
1. Take Advantage of the Canucks on Back End of Back to Backs
It’s no secret that playing the second of back to backs against an opponent who is fresh is always an uphill battle. The Canucks are a top heavy team and they leaned heavily on those top players last night, all playing big minutes. That’s a good opportunity for the Wings to take advantage of. If Detroit can dictate a high paced game and keep it close heading into the 3rd period, the Canucks could run out of gas, or have to rely on the unproven portion of their lineup.
2. Show Some Teeth on the New Powerplay
With the powerplay now being run by Alex Tanguay, the unit showed some promise in the preseason and had many onlookers clamouring that the powerplay could be much more lethal this season. Well after one game the Wings do have a powerplay goal, but it was on a 4 on 3. At 5 on 4 the team did move the puck better than in previous seasons, with a notable increase in pace. But they didn’t seem to generate a ton of good chances. Albeit it was one game and against the defending Cup champs, but the powerplay needs to show it’s improvement, especially since the team is missing Larkin at 5 on 5.
3. Test Halak and the Canucks Depth
Jaroslav Halak is a proven netminder who has been around for a long time and is perfectly capable of strong play, even stealing a game. But this will be his first start of the season, and there can always be some rust to shake off. While the Red Wings only have one game under their belt themselves, it’s a bit more of an issue for the guy stopping the pucks to be a bit slow to react. Detroit should test him early and often to see if he’s ready for the season yet.
As noted before, the Canucks have some strong star power at the top of their lineup both offensively and defensively. But as you get into the lower half of their roster, there’s not a lot of names that most fans would even recognize. Nobody’s claiming Detroit’s depth is anything to be proud of, but this is a team they could jump on when the bottom lines and pairings are out there.