Nick Bjugstad is on the ice for morning skate so it looks like he’s getting close. #MNWild— Dane Mizutani (@DaneMizutani) February 14, 2022
Matt Dumba is out tonight with a lower body injury. Evason sounds concerned. Won’t say it’s day to day yet. Says it’s being evaluated. Jordie Benn will play.— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) February 14, 2022
Kaapo Kahkonen will start tonight. The goaltender rotation continues. #MNWild— Dane Mizutani (@DaneMizutani) February 14, 2022
Optional morning skate for Red Wings here at Xcel Energy Center. Face Wild at 8 pm ET. pic.twitter.com/DgofBEL9xN— Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) February 14, 2022
Per Blashill, both Gemel Smith and Givani Smith will be in the lineup tonight.— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) February 14, 2022
Many thanks to everyone who reached out and supported me following Saturday’s call of the win over the Flyers. Here’s hoping the Wings get back-to-back wins while I’m in the booth. That’s what really matters! #LGRW https://t.co/GCoM7BRxB2— Trevor Thompson (@iamtrevort) February 14, 2022
He’s back in the booth tonight! Trev got pressed into service at the last minute Saturday and was terrific. Ken Daniels is still under the weather. @iamtrevort with Mickey Redmond calling Wings-Wild on @BallySportsDET pic.twitter.com/NKmABQPocx— John Keating (@JohnKeatingBSD) February 14, 2022
Red Wings Lines
[With the skate optional, the lines below reflect how the team skated in practice on Sunday. Seems the answer on Namestnikov is set, but Leddy is a question mark for this matchup - J.J.]
Zadina - Larkin - Raymond
Bertuzzi - Suter - Fabbri
Veleno - Rasmussen - Erne
Givani Smith - Gemel Smith - Gagner
DeKeyser - Seider
Staal - Stetcher
Leddy - Lindstrom
Kaprizov - Hartman - Zuccarello
Fiala - Gaudreau - Boldy
Greenway - Eriksson Ek - Foligno
Duhaime - Sturm - Dewar
Goligoski - Spurgeon
Brodin - Benn
Merill - Kulikov
Three Keys to the Game
I could give you my thoughts on the X’s and O’s of tonight matchup, but as a Michigan ex-pat living in Minnesota, I’ll let you in on the real three keys to the game.
During the game, observe loudly to any who listen that Mo Seider is big, like Lake Michigan, and Jared Spurgeon is small, like whatever pond in Minnesota your buddy has a cabin on. This sort of hard-hitting analysis will make you very popular in whatever mixed-fanbase hockey-savvy crowd you find yourself in despite COVID-19 restrictions. Refer back to this simile whenever Seider makes a particularly slick or physically dominating play. Your buddy may circle around to your earlier point about his cabin and claim that the appeal is in its remoteness and coziness. Tell him his position is invalid because your lakes and defensemen are bigger. Do not let him bring up Lake Superior.
When trash talking, tell Wild fans that the Wings will drop them like the green line on Power Tower at Cedar Point. They won’t get what Cedar Point is, but the park’s sister site is here in the Twin Cities, Power Tower included, so they’ll understand the sick burn. When they pull out their phones and tell you that Cedar Point is in Ohio, which sort of undercuts your argument, bring up the Toledo Strip War. By the time they’ve read that Wikipedia article and realized Sandusky wasn’t part of the disputed territory, Larkin will have sniped one past Cam Talbot and you can safely change topics. They will be too polite to bring it up again.
When the Wild get physical with the Wings, be sure to tell your Minnesotan-born friend sitting next to you on the couch, “that wasn’t very Minnesota nice!” It won’t be annoying at all. You’ll totally be the first outsider to realize that the term ‘Minnesota nice’ is kind of nuanced and not stupidly straightforward. Some swear-adjacent words will come out of your friend’s mouth before he brings up his condolences for Dennis Cholowski, who he really liked during his one season at St. Cloud State, despite the criticisms. Then your East-coast wife will tell the both of you to stop bickering, get back to blogging, and say you’re both basically the same anyway. Then all three of you will share a moment of quiet respect as everyone appreciates Detroit’s back-checking efforts through the neutral zone.