Morning Skate: Red Wings vs Blues

Game 71

12:00p ET, Joe Louis Arena


TV: NBC, Sportsnet 360

Radio: 97.1 The Ticket

Blues Blog: St. Louis Game Time

I hate the Blues. I hate Steve Ott. I hate Barret Jackman and his stupid face. I hate that they get to have Vladimir Tarasenko and all his glory, and I hate their thuggery and punchable faces. I also hate losing, so if the Wings could kick St. Louis' arse this afternoon, that would be perfect.

It's not all rainbows and sunshine for the Wings, and losing 6 of their last 8 games have left many fans angry, depressed, and filled with doom and gloom. I'm not going to blow hot air up your tailpipe, the Blues are good, dangerous, and based on the Wings recent play I'm a little nervous about this game. Without Datsyuk the Wings don't match up against any team as well and the Blues have Tarasenko who makes me feel things.

Despite the poor play and/or poor results for the Wings since essentially the trade deadline, I do still have optimism for the rest of the regular season and the playoffs. There's a mantra in hockey that when you're winning games you should lose, you're in dangerous territory and trending in the wrong direction, and conversely when you're coming out of a slump, you lose some games you should win. After the loss to Tampa Bay, Mike Babcock said

"You know when you're on a winning streak like we were, you win some games sometimes maybe you shouldn't," Babcock said. "And then crawling out of these things, sometimes you lose a couple more than you should. But as long as you keep doing good things, good things are going to happen to you. I was impressed with the way we competed, I was impressed with a lot of our players, now let's just build off it."

Before the trade deadline the Wings weren't playing great but they were still winning games, then they sort of bottomed out in play and execution. Next we lost games we deserved to lose, and the last 3 games we've played better but have still lost. The Wings are due to win a game they deserve to win and I really hope it's against the Blues today. I do think the Wings are getting back to playing better, but it's going to take a really good, balls to the walls team effort to beat the Blues tonight. Are you up for the challenge, Wings?

Jonathan Ericsson needs to sit out and Alexey Marchenko should be called up but I think the chances of that actually happening are lololol so here's the expected lineup.

The Expected Lineups


Erik Cole Henrik Zetterberg Justin Abdelkader
Tomas Tatar Riley Sheahan Darren Helm
Gustav Nyquist Joakim Andersson Teemu Pulkkinen
Drew Miller Luke Glendening Tomas Jurco


Niklas Kronwall Jonathan Ericsson
Danny DeKeyser
Kyle Quincey
Brendan Smith Marek Zidlicky


Jimmy Howard (starting)
Petr Mrazek

Scratches: Daniel Cleary & Jakub Kindl, Stephen Weiss

Injuries: Johan Franzen (concussion) Jonas Gustavsson (head), Pavel Datsyuk (lower body)


Alex Steen David Backes T.J. Oshie
Jaden Schwartz Paul Stastny Vladimir Tarasenko
Dmitrij Jaskin Jori Lehtra Patrik Berglund
Steve (N)Ott Marcel Goc Ryan Reaves


Carl Gunnarsson Alex Pietrangelo
Jay Bouwmeester Zbynek Michalek
Barret Jackman Robert Bortuzzo


Jake Allen (Starting)
Brian Elliott

Line Matchups

Let's take a look at how the expected lines match up against each other.

* For all stats in the following graphics, data is only calculated for Erik Cole and Marek Zidlicky from their time with the Red Wings, all prior team stats are excluded.

Pavel Datsyuk has 23 goals this season, so the Wings' pie chart is disproportionate. The Blues top line has a combined 66 goals, and their 2nd line has a combined 70 goals. St. Louis (219) has only scored 17 more goals this season than the Wings (202) but the Backes and Stastny lines carry a majority of their scoring. Man, have I mentioned how good Tarasenko is?



Next we have a nifty gauge comparison of each line's average Corsi for % at 5 on 5 in close situations. Close is defined as a score that is tied (including a scoreless tie) or within 1 goal in the 1st or 2nd period, or when the game is tied in the 3rd period.

At 5on5 in close situations, the lines actually match up pretty evenly. Even strength goals have been hard to come by for the Wings lately, and if we look at just 5on5 goals, St. Louis has a +31 goal differential, but Detroit only has a +1. The Wings power play has been very good and has accounted for 63 of our goals while St. Louis has 50 power play goals.

DET STL Line Gague 3.22.15


Ok, now for the defensemen. This graph is taken from and it's awesome. All stats are at 5on5 in close situations.

DET STL D Men 3.22.15


Below are the individual game save % for each expected starting goaltender.

Jiimmy Howard hasn't been playing and putting up numbers like himself since the groin injury (game 32) and this team very much relies on him.



Jimmy Howard is 20-12-9 this season with a 2.37 GAA and .914 SV% and 1 shutout.

Jake Allen is 16-8-3 this season with a 2.48 GAA and .905 SV% and 2 shutouts.

You can see Jimmy Howard's SV% chart in a scatter plot with trend line here.

You can see Jake Allen's SV% chart in a scatter plot with trend line here.


45-21-6 (96 pts; 2nd in West) Record 38-21-11 (87 pts; 3rd in Atlantic)
2.96 (4th NHL) Goals Per Game 2.84 (8th in NHL)
2.42 (7th) Goals Against Per Game 2.5 (14th)
22.6% (3rd) Power Play % 25.2% (2nd)
82.7% (11th) Penalty Kill % 81.5% (13th)
Vladimir Tarasenko (35 goals) Goal Leader Tomas Tatar (26 goals)
Vladimir Tarasenko (70 points) Points Leader Henrik Zetterberg (59 points)

  • The Red Wings are 120-111-37-8 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time in the regular season against the Bues./

  • Last 10 Games: Detroit 4-6-0, St. Louis 5-3-2

  • Jimmy Howard is 11-7-2 all-time against the Blues in the regular season with a 2.63 GAA, .914 SV% and 1 shutouts./

Let's Go Red Wings!!!