Time: 7:00pm ET
Place: Little Caesars Arena – Detroit, MI
TV: BSDET, BSN
Radio: 97.1 FM The Ticket
Wild Blog: Hockey Wilderness
After a first couple weeks to the season, Detroit has had a rough week this week. Back to back drubbings at the hands of the New Jersey Devils and Boston Bruins has shown some flaws in the Red Wings game. Tonight they will look push past those issues and get back into the win column as they welcome the Minnesota Wild into the Dough Joe.
Minnesota comes in almost the opposite of Detroit. They got off to a slow start losing their first three games and struggling to keep the puck out of their own net. Since then, the have won three of their last four including their last two earlier this week. They have not had too difficult a time in scoring however, potting at least three in every game so far this season. Offensively up front they are led by the names you would expect, Mats Zuccarello (5G/6A), Kirill Kaprizov (5G/5A), Matt Boldy (3G/3A), and Joel Eriksson Ek (3G/3A). On the blueline however, it is the youngster Calen Addison (0G/7A) leading the way offensively so far for the typically stout Wild blue line. It has been the net that has been the weak point for Minnesota so far this season, with the seemingly ageless Marc-Andre Fleury showing real signs of aging early on in the season posting a .879 save percentage in six games and young backup Filip Gustavsson showing no better in two games.
For Detroit tonight, the depth that they spent this offseason building will be tested some more as Michael Rasmussen will be out the next two games as he was suspended for his hit on David Krejci in the loss to Boston on Thursday. No word yet on how they plan to replace him in the lineup but it is like his spot as the third line center will likely be filled by either Joe Veleno or Pius Suter.
This feels like one of those crossroads kind of games where a still young and developing Red Wings team can dig down, push through, and find a way to win or they can continue to struggle with getting the puck out of their own zone or finishing the chances they get and the top end talent on the Wild will find a way to punish them. This one tonight really can go either way, but look for Lalonde to continue tinkering with the lineup as he looks to try and find some long term consistency from this still forming group.