Game Day Updates
Dropping like flies...
UPDATE: The #RedWings have placed Givani Smith, Carter Rowney, Alex Nedeljkovic, head coach Jeff Blashill and assistant coach Alex Tanguay in the NHL's COVID-19 protocol.— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) December 18, 2021
#RedWings assistant coach Doug Houda will be joined behind the bench tonight by Griffins head coach Ben Simon and assistant coach Todd Krygier.— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) December 18, 2021
Appreciate Yzerman’s stance, but it seems to be all but a certainty NHL players won’t be there in February...
Yzerman says he's "fine with whatever everyone decides to do" RE: the Olympics. He's a big supporter of NHLers at the Olympics, thinks it's great for the game and league. But under circumstances says he understands league's apprehension and player concerns over quarantines— Max Bultman (@m_bultman) December 18, 2021
We’ll see what happens in terms of goalie tonight, it will either be Jon Gillies or Akira Schmid, but here’s how things went down at #NJDevils morning skate.— Amanda Stein (@amandacstein) December 18, 2021
Noticeable change is the reuniting of Johnsson-Mercer-Bratt. pic.twitter.com/N1TfjZJUfH
Note: With players being added to the COVID list constantly, these lineups are a best guess, with the knowledge that rosters are changing all the time
Tyler Bertuzzi - Dylan Larkin - Lucas Raymond
Vladislav Namestnikov - Pius Suter - Filip Zadina
Adam Erne - Joe Veleno - Sam Gagner
(2 or 3 of these players rotating in)
Taro Hirose - Riley Barber - Kyle Criscuolo
Danny DeKeyser - Moritz Seider
Nick Leddy - Filip Hronek
Marc Staal - Gustav Lindstrom
(maybe) Jordan Oesterle
Pavel Zacha - Jack Hughes - Tomas Tatar
Andreas Johnsson - Dawson Mercer - Jesper Bratt
Janne Kuokkanen - Yegor Sharangovich - Marian Studenic
Jimmy Vesey - Michael McLeod - Nathan Bastian
Ty Smith - Dougie Hamilton
Jonas Siegenthaler - Damon Severson
Mason Geertsen - Kevin Bahl
Keys to the Game
1. Strike First
With the exception of the win over the Islanders on Tuesday, Detroit has been forced to chase a lot of games lately. They have given up early goals in the first period to get behind from the jump and spend the rest of the night trying to catch up. Against a New Jersey team likely lacking in confidence during their current slide, it will be important for Detroit to score first and play with the lead. Adding to that importance is Detroit’s quickly depleting forward group. Currently they have 9 forwards with potentially 3 emergency callups who generally wouldn’t see action with the big club. Essentially running 3 lines adds urgency to score early.
2. Pepper Gillies/Schmid
New Jersey’s go to man between the pipes while Bernier is out has been Mackenzie Blackwood. But he’s a late scratch with an apparent neck injury. New Jersey will be relying on their 3rd and 4th strong goalie when the season started. Gillies (28) has played in 13 career games, the last of which was in the 2017-18 season. If they elect to go with the younger Schmid (21) he’s played in 2 games this year, one of which was in relief.
With that much inexperience being thrust into the spotlight the Wings would be wise to throw everything at either of these goaltenders and see if they can get an ugly goal or two.
3. Use the Home Crowd Boost
While this seems like a given for any home game, take particular note of the crowd noise tonight. With positive tests ravaging rosters and skyrocketing case counts across North America, the needle is pointing toward arenas with reduced capacity, or worse yet no fans. In Canada we have seen Montreal already play a game without fans, Ontario’s teams have been ordered to only fill the arena to 50% capacity. Just today more teams announced a temporary shutdown. The rest of the league may not be far behind for a full shutdown altogether. With Monday’s game postponed, Detroit’s next home date after tonight is December 31. The landscape could be very different by then.
So enjoy the crowd noise on the broadcast, tolerate the wave, and embrace the Ric Flair WOOOO’s because we may not hear it again for awhile.