Game Day Updates
Sounds like #tblightning will go 11/7 again tonight, with Jon Cooper pointing to the early success with it. Would mean Volkov a healthy scratch. Expect Andrei Vasilevskiy to make his ninth straight start in net. McElhinney will get in on the back to back Monday-Tuesday— Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) February 5, 2021
Hopefully Blashill doesn’t get any ideas from his old friend Jon Cooper.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Detroit Red Wings: It’s Reverse Retro night https://t.co/7uA3eB3HDI— 2020 Stanley Cup Champions Raw Charge (@RawCharge) February 5, 2021
The Bolts are going with the Reverse Retros tonight, hopefully that’s not the only thing that looks different from Wednesday
Filip Zadina excited to return to Red Wings lineup: 'I was losing my head' https://t.co/UEJpYxpSfC— Detroit News Sports (@detnews_sports) February 5, 2021
Zadina’s return gives fans a reason to watch tonight if they were having mixed feelings after last game
I wrote about Michael Rasmussen and Dennis Cholowski (whose AHL seasons start tonight) and what it may take for them to make it back to Detroit this season:https://t.co/eorYgCToWK— Max Bultman (@m_bultman) February 5, 2021
An interesting read on some of the Wings top prospect’s (Note: The Athletic has a paywall)
(Filip Zadina will slot into the lineup, but we haven’t been told where yet)
Robby Fabbri - Dylan Larkin - Bobby Ryan
Taro Hirose - Vladislav Namestnikov - Anthony Mantha
Frans Nielsen - Valtteri Filppula - Sam Gagner
Darren Helm - Luke Glendening - Adam Erne
Patrik Nemeth - Filip Hronek
Jon Merrill - Christian Djoos
Marc Staal - Troy Stecher
Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point - Steven Stamkos
Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - Tyler Johnson
Blake Coleman - Yanni Gourd - Barclay Goodrow
Pat Maroon - Mathieu Joseph
Victor Hedman - Jan Rutta
Ryan McDonough - Erik Cernak
Mikhail Sergachev - Luke Schenn
Keys to the Game
1. Get the Offense Going
While the team has generally improved defensively from last season, they still rank 30th in goals scored this season at 1.91 per game. This team has to find a way to start working that average up closer to 2.50 to get more competitive. That is especially true against an offensive juggernaut like Tampa.
The Wings have to score in every way possible, whether it’s looking more potent on the powerplay, getting in the dirty areas and throwing pucks into traffic, or through nice passing to open up opportunities.
It won’t be easy to against Tampa who are arguably better defensively than they are offensively. The Wings will have to get lucky, but in order to do that they have to create more chances than they have been. They’re not as deep as the Bolts, but there are some players on this squad who know how to put pucks in. Whether it’s a goal or two from the top line, or Anthony Mantha continuing his streak, just find a way to get it done. Speaking of options who can do that...
2. Welcome Back Filip Zadina
Detroit’s top pick from the 2018 draft returns after spending time on the Covid reserve list. Zadina looked to be showing he was a more complete player through his first few games, making some sneaky takeaways and winning board battles with his skill. The next challenge for him will be to do what he promised fans on draft day and “fill their net with pucks”. Zadina hasn’t tallied a goal as of yet, and it might be asking a lot to have him do so in his first game back, playing against the defending Cup champions. But look for Zadina to come out strong tonight in his return.
3. The Goalie Has to Steal This One
Even if the Wings are successful with the two keys above, there’s a good chance they still will be in an uphill fight against the Bolts. Even if they can pop in 3 or 4 goals, Tampa isn’t likely to just roll over. Detroit needs their goaltender tonight, whether that be Greiss or Pickard, to be at the top of their game tonight. There can’t be any easy ones, and they’ll probably have to make a few big saves to keep Tampa’s deep offense at bay.