Game Day Updates
Kevin Lankinen will start for the Blackhawks tonight in Detroit. No word yet on any other lineup changes.— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) February 17, 2021
Fabbri, Namestnikov provide Red Wings secondary scoring at center https://t.co/EcwlHkjMbg— MLive.com Red Wings (@RedWingsMLive) February 17, 2021
Filip Zadina - Dylan Larkin - Mathias Brome
Bobby Ryan - Robby Fabbri - Anthony Mantha
Valtteri Filppula - Vladislav Namestnikov - Sam Gagner
Frans Nielsen - Luke Glendening - Adam Erne
Jon Merrill - Filip Hronek
Marc Staal - Troy Stecher
Patrik Nemeth - Christian Djoos
Alex DeBrincat - Pius Suter - Patrick Kane
Brandon Hagel - Dylan Strome - Domin Kubalik
Philipp Kurashev - Carl Soderberg - Mattias Janmark
Reese Johnson - David Kampf - Lucas Wallmark
Duncan Keith - Ian Mitchell
Calvin De Haan - Lucas Carlsson
Nikita Zadorov - Nicolas Beaudin
Keys to the Game
1. Anything for a Powerplay Goal
The powerplay continues to ride a brutal slump, going without a goal through the entire month so far. The expectations are low, to the point where the powerplay is just being relied on to kill 2:00 without the other team scoring. But if the team is to get more consistent winning results, a lot of it will have to come from improved powerplay results. So the key tonight, is just get one. It doesn’t matter if Detroit gets 10 powerplays, just score one and a giant weight will be lifted. To do that, they’ll have to do what they haven’t and be less predictable with their puck movement. The bodies on the powerplay need to move around the zone and create seams that don’t involve touching it around the perimeter until a pass gets mishandled and cleared. We need to see Mantha, Zadina, and Hronek firing the lights out trying to put one through the goaltender if they have to. It doesn’t have to be pretty either, crash and bang for rebound, and do whatever has to be done to finally get one.
2. Outpace the Hawks Stars
The bottom line is the bottom six for either of these teams are not great. Despite some contributions of late from down lineup players for the Wings, that’s not their formula for victory. The Hawks are similarly built, relying heavily on Kane and DeBrincat. The Wings don’t have to blank those two again, as that is asking a lot. But if they want to win this one, they need the likes of Larkin, Mantha, and Zadina to outscore those two and Kubalik.
3. Bernier Charm
Bernier’s statistics aren’t on par with where he was at when last season abruptly ended. But that hasn’t seemed to matter. Despite Detroit’s rough record, Bernier is 3-1-0 in his starts. He has made the saves he has to make to keep his team in the game. Bernier looked good in his return against Nashville on Saturday stopping 21 of 23 shots in the win. The Wings will need another similar performance from him. In particular whenever Detroit does end up with a man on the box, they will be counting on Bernier for some key saves to keep the Blackhawks 4th ranked powerplay off the board.