Time: 7:30pm ET
Place: Little Caesars Arena – Detroit, MI
TV: BSDET, TSN3
Radio: 97.1 FM The Ticket
Jets Blog: Arctic Hockey
The west coast road trips have always been rough for Wings fans with their 10:30pm ET puck drops. This past one was also rough for the Red Wings themselves as they return to Detroit having lost all three games. Tonight, they return to LCA and a much friendlier 7:30pm ET start to take on a Winnipeg Jets team that has not played since last week Thursday, a 7-1 shellacking by the Colorado Avalanche.
Winnipeg is strong up front, led by of Kyle Connor (19G, 16A). Pierre-Luc Dubois (15G, 11A), Nikolaj Ehlers (13G, 12A), Mark Scheifele (9G, 14A), and Andrew Copp (8G, 14A) round out a strong top six with the likes of Paul Stasny (who is listed as a game time decision for tonight), rookie Cole Perfetti, and former Red Wing Evgeny Svechnikov providing some quality depth for the Jets. They are going to need to lean on that depth as well as it appears COVID is working its way through the Jets locker room. Four players (Ville Heinola, Logan Stanley, Kristian Reichel, and Nathan Beaulieu) were added to Winnipeg’s COVID list on Tuesday, joining the likes of Nikolaj Ehlers (who was placed on the list Monday), Jansen Harkins, and defenseman Dylan DeMelo.
Speaking of defensemen, Winnipeg’s blue line does not have the same name recognition it did a few years ago but they are still a quality group along the blue line led by Josh Morrissey, Nate Schmidt, and Neal Pionk. In net they are lead by the always stout Connor Hellebuyck, who in 27 games is carrying a .9013 save percentage. Backing him up is another former Red Wings, Eric Comrie, who is having himself a nice season so far, albeit in a somewhat limited role. In seven games Comrie has posted a .914 save percentage and has only surrendered 17 goals.
Winnipeg comes into the game tonight scuffling with injuries and trying to regain any hope they have at clawing back into the playoff race out west. They are a tough team that has thrived in playing a physical game and relying on their outstanding goaltender and rock-solid blue line to shut down their opposing teams chances. This is the exact type of team that has caused issues for the Red Wings this season but they have been a much different team at home this season, and after a less that ideal road trip and fast fading playoff hopes expect a energized and hungry Red Wings team to take the ice tonight as well.