Morning Skate: Red Wings vs. Blackhawks — Preview and How to Watch
Time: 8:00 PM ET
Place: United Center
TV: ESPN+, NBCSCH, FS-D
Radio: 97.1 FM The Ticket / 1270 AM
Hawks Blog: Second City Hockey
The Red Wings were in need of another strong performance between the pipes on Thursday night against the Predators and that’s exactly what they got from Jonathan Bernier, who turned aside 37 of 39 shots for the win. Bernier improved to 5-3-0 on the year in 10 appearances and continues to elevate his trade value with a 2.59 GAA and .918 SV%. And, not to be outdone was Sam Gagner, who recorded a hat trick for the first time since a four-goal game back in 2012.
One key to Detroit’s success was their strong effort in the faceoff circle, winning 58% of the draws. However, as much as the fanbase loves to see a win, expectations need to be tempered because the Wings finished with a 47.87 CF% at 5-on-5 and are riding a four-game streak of less than 50%. This needs to improve if this club wants to win more hockey games moving forward.
Of course, the biggest storyline of Detroit’s season continues to be their inability to score on the powerplay.
0 for 40. They’ve actually failed on 40 straight power plays. Just staggering.— Brad Krysko WWP (@BradKrysko) February 26, 2021
For anyone keeping track at home, the Wings are currently operating at a 6.1% success rate on the man advantage, definitely challenging the NHL record of 9.35% set by the Lightning in the 1997-98 season. Don’t kid yourselves, the Wings might break it.
Tonight, it’s an Original Six battle as the Wings travel to Chicago and take on the Blackhawks for the first of a back-to-back weekend series. The Hawks own the season series so far, 3-0-1, and have outscored the Wings 15-5 in those meetings. And, the Hawks have been playing some great hockey as of late, winning eight of their last 10 games, much of that attributed to the stellar play of Patrick Kane who is currently tied for third in the NHL with 31 points. A this point of the season, Kane has to be in the running for the Hart Trophy amidst the adversity this Hawks team has dealt with navigating their schedule without Kirby Dach and Jonathan Toews.
Two teams on different trajectories to start the year and despite 743 meetings in the two clubs’ histories, it certainly never gets old watching this rivalry. The Red Wings lead the all-time record at 369-274-84-16.