Morning Skate: Blackhawks at Red Wings
8:00p ET, Joe Louis Arena
TV: NBCSN, SN1, TVA Sports
Radio: 97.1 FM The Ticket // 1270 AM CBS Sports Radio
Blackhawks Blog: Second City Hockey
The afterglow of the Stadium Series victory over the Avalanche has worn off, and the Wings were able to beat a very good Stars team in overtime on Tuesday, but now shit gets real.
The defending champs are in town for the first time this season, and if ever the Red Wings wanted to know if they can play with the contenders, tonight will be a big test.
The Blackhawks have the future Calder Trophy runner-up Artemi Panarin doing wonderful things for them, and he's paired with he-who-shall-not-be-named-because-he's-a-dickhead to form a formidable scoring line for Chicago. Jonathan Toews gets his lap dog Andrew Ladd back in a massive overpayment by Stan Bowman, but when you've won 3 Cups in 6 years you get to do whatever you want because you've got the track record to fall back on. Newly acquired Dale Weise won't make the trip to Detroit due to immigration issues, and Marian Hossa, the one Blackhawk worth watching, won't be in the lineup due to a leg injury. However, Tomas Fleischmann will be in the lineup on the third line, making that a dangerous trio.
The Hawks look to once again be a strong favorite for the Cup, but looking at their roster, one has to wonder whether Duncan Keith and Nicklas Hjalmarsson are able to play 35 minutes a night. Because while people like to rag on Detroit's defense as a weakness, the pairings behind Keith and Hjalmarsson range from mediocre to hot garbage. They traded for the corpse of Christian Ehrhoff to solidify the third pairing, a player who was so good that the Kings didn't want him and traded him for Rob Scuderi. That would be the same Rob Scuderi that Chicago intentionally acquired for Trevor Daley.
On the Wings' side, we'll see if Jeff Blashill makes any changes to the lineup after 3 straight wins. The Eurotwins continue to look strong since being reunited, while Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist had the day off to rest their vocal chords so they could scream for more ice time tonight. The big revelation has been the play of the third line, particularly Andreas Athanasiou, who had 2 goals and drew 2 penalties the other night against Dallas. It will be very interesting to see how the Wings match up their forward lines against the Hawks, particularly the big line of Panarin-Anisimov-fuckstick. It will also be interesting to watch Dylan Larkin show Panarin why the Blackhawk "rookie" is not deserving of the Calder, besides the fact that he's 30 years old and already has an overseas professional hockey career on his resume.
Special teams will probably play a big part in who is able to win tonight. The Blackhawks come in to the game with the NHL's 2nd best power play, and the Wings' PK, which has been very good lately, will need to be up to the task of slowing down Chicago's offense. Conversely, the Wings' PP, which got off the schneid with Datsyuk's OT goal on Monday, might be able to create chances against the league's 22nd ranked PK unit.
It's the first game of a home-and-home where the games are separated by 3 full days and one of the teams plays someone else in the middle. The rivalry may be dead, but games against the Hawks are always fun. Especially when it's like last year and the Wings swept the season series.
Red Wings Expected Lineups
|Henrik Zetterberg||Pavel Datsyuk||Justin Abdelkader|
|Gustav Nyquist||Riley Sheahan||Tomas Tatar|
|Brad Richards||Andreas Athanasiou||Dylan Larkin|
|Darren Helm||Luke Glendening||Tomas Jurco|
|Kyle Quincey||Danny DeKeyser|
|Niklas Kronwall||Alexey Marchenko|
|Jonathan Ericsson||Mike Green|
|Petr Mrazek (starting)|
Scratches: Teemu Pulkkinen, Brendan Smith
Injuries: Drew Miller (torn meniscus/ACL surgery), Johan Franzen (concussion)
Blackhawks Expected Lineups
|Andrew Ladd||Jonathan Toews||Andrew Shaw|
|Artemi Panarin||Artem Anisimov||Nope|
|Andrew Desjardins||Teuvo Teravainen||Tomas Fleischmann|
|Brandon Mashinter||Dennis Rasmussen||Richard Panik|
|Duncan Keith||Nicklas Hjalmarsson|
|Erik Gustafsson||Brent Seabrook|
|Christian Ehrhoff||Michal Rozsival|
|Corey Crawford (starting)|
|Blackhawks||THE MATCH-UP||RED WINGS|
|39-20-5 (83 pts; T-1st in Central)||Record||32-20-11 (75 pts; 4th in Atlantic)|
|2.80 (7th in NHL)||Goals Per Game||2.52 (21st in NHL)|
|2.39 (7th)||Goals Against Per Game||2.51 (13th)|
|22.6% (2nd)||Power Play %||17.3% (24th)|
|79.4% (22nd)||Penalty Kill %||82.2% (12th)|
|Turd For Brains (36 goals)||Goals Leader||Dylan Larkin (19 goals)|
|Drinks His Pee (85 points)||Points Leader||Henrik Zetterberg (41 points)|
Let's Go Red Wings!!!
Game Day Prediction Contest
Would you like to predict the outcome of the game and potentially become internet famous? Well you're in luck, because here's your opportunity. Here's how it works.
Make your game predictions on the winning team, final score, and who the Wings player of the game will be. Enter the required information into the form below using the formats indicated in the questions. If you don't use those formats, your answers will be disregarded. All submissions are timestamped and will be accepted only until the official game start time. All other submissions after that will be disregarded. Only one submission per person, please. POTG will be determined by the collective of WiiM writers.
Each correct winning team prediction is worth 1 point. Each correct player of the game prediction is worth 2 points. Each correct final score prediction is worth 5 points. If you get all three correct you'll receive 15 points.