Time: 7:00 PM EST
Place: Little Caesars Arena
How to Watch: BSDET, NBCSP
Radio: WXYT-97.1 FM
Flyers Blog: Broad Street Hockey
Tonight the Red Wings return home to take on the Philadelphia Flyers for the first time this season. The Flyers are just a point back of the Red Wings, albeit with Detroit having two games in hand. The teams are trending a in slightly different directions with Philadelphia going on a 7-3-0 in their last 10, while Detroit keeps attempting to kick out of their funk going 3-5-1 to start the new year.
Two players who are trying to carry Detroit out of these doldrums are Larkin and Raymond who each have 8 points in the last 6 games. Bertuzzi who was back playing with these two recently left Thursday’s game against Vegas with a minor injury. He may or may not play today and could be moved further down the lineup as a result.
Detroit is hopeful that a goal from Kubalik on Thursday night might get him kickstarted again. After a red hot start to the season, he has only 5 goals in the last 26 games. He’s bounced around the lineup as a result but as the Wings return to health up front there should be better depth to play alongside him.
Andrew Copp seen an uptick in ice time the last two nights receiving 22:04 and 18:28 of ice after largely being held under 17:00 since the Christmas break. He’s gradually improved since the beginning of the season after offseason surgery, but the team will need more consistent production from him as the second line center if they plan to take steps forward.
The defensive lineup has remained relatively unchanged since Walman was swapped in to play with Seider on the top pair. Walman’s performance and Seider’s resurgence as a result are enough to get many fans pushing for a Walman extension soon before his price increases.
Speaking of looking forward it was reported this week that there remains to be a sizeable gap between Larkin’s camp and the Red Wings front office. This is something that needs to get addressed immediately as the runway will disappear quickly and the negotiations frosty, particularly if the Wings continue to slide further down the standings.
For the Flyers, Scott Laughton is hot of late with 7 points in his last 5 games as part of 27 points through 42 games. Up front the Flyers are led by Konecny and Hayes who have both eclipsed 40 points this year. They’re the only members of the team even sniffing around a point per game pace.
On the blue line, DeAngelo remains a one way weapon for Philly with 26 points in 41 games. Provorov who was the subject of much criticism this week, has 15 points this season and has been often cited as a potential trade target leading up to the deadline.
In goal for Detroit, Husso is expected to start yet again. The workload may be getting to the netminder who is only 9 starts away from matching his total last season. Since mid December Husso has posted a SV% greater than .900 in only 3 of his 11 starts. This is hopefully just a result of fatigue as compared to what Nedeljkovic has gone through, who was hot through to December in his first season with Detroit before falling off ever since. However Husso did look great in the latter half of the game against Vegas on Thursday making some critical saves to preserve the victory.
Carter Hart is another goalie who has seen some major ups and downs in his young career. The netminder is only 24 but in his 5th season in Philadelphia, but looks to be gradually returning to the form that earned him a shot at such a young age in the first place. He sports a .907 SV% and a 3.00 GAA this season.
Long live WiiM! <3