Game Day Updates
We’ll have to see if Brome draws back into the lineup. Smith played well yesterday and should keep his place in the lineup, but we’ll have to see.
There wasn’t much else floating around the Twittersphere this morning regarding either team.
Filip Zadina - Dylan Larkin - Givani Smith
Anthony Mantha - Robby Fabbri - Bobby Ryan
Frans Nielsen - Vladislav Namestnikov - Sam Gagner
Darren Helm - Luke Glendening - Adam Erne
Christian Djoos - Filip Hronek
Patrik Nemeth - Jon Merrill
Marc Staal - Troy Stecher
Carter Verhaeghe - Aleksander Barkov - Anthony Duclair
Jonathan Huberdeau - Alexander Wennberg - Patric Hornqvist
Frank Vatrano - Eetu Luostarinen - Owen Tippett
Vinnie Hinostroza - Juho Lammikko - Noel Acciari
Mackenzie Weegar - Aaron Ekblad
Markus Nutivaara - Anton Stralman
Keith Yandle - Radko Gudas
Keys to the Game
1. Holy Moly We Need a Goalie
Jonathan Bernier’s been out for a little while now. In his absence Thomas Greiss has struggled, even if he doesn’t carry the weight of this losing streak alone. The Red Wings simply aren’t good enough to win many games without at least average goaltending. So whomever finds themselves between the pipes today, they have to make some saves. In Friday’s game against Tampa, the Wings were holding their own and then Greiss gave up a squeaker that turned out to be the game winner. No weak ones allowed today. This team’s psyche isn’t in a place to handle those right now. Let’s see a big performance in goal tonight.
2. Score, Just Score
The Red Wings need to do what they’ve only done three times this season, and score 3 or more goals. Getting to 3 is a key number. More often than not if you get to 3 you win the game. The team has almost their entire roster back intact. Bertuzzi is a critical absence, especially as the team’s leading scorer. But there’s no excuse for the rest of this group not to be able to contribute a little more. This goes for beyond the usual suspects in Larkin and Mantha. Zadina has played well, but it’s time to put one in. Bobby Ryan, it’s been a little too long since that hot start, time to get back on the horse here. Namestnikov, time to shake the bad luck and score one that isn’t a flubbed shot or riccochet.
3. Defense Can Be Offense Too
I know the name of the position suggests their job is to keep the puck out of their own net. But they are allowed to contribute at the other end, I checked. One goal this season from the blueline, that’s it, and it’s from DeKeyser. Even if this roster of defencemen aren’t particularly offensively gifted, they have to be better than that. Only one defender has more than 2 points, with Hronek totalling 6 assists this season. Still, as one of the triggermen on the powerplay, it’s time for him to be the one finishing a play here. As for the rest of them, there’s not a high bar to reach. But collectively they have to provide more than 9 points in 12 games. Today’s the day, if the team can get a goal, or at least help, from the backend, that will go a long way towards a win.