Red Wings at Sabres: GDU, Lineups, Keys to the Game
Robby Fabbri out with an injury, Anthony Mantha finally returns
Game Day Updates
Welcome back Big Tony!!!
MO IS BACK! pic.twitter.com/HOUjlIJUyb— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) February 11, 2020
Other big news coming out today, the Red Wings have placed Jonathan Ericsson on waivers, and Robby Fabbri has been ruled out for tonight’s game. One would think that means Brendan Perlini would get the nod to fill the extra spot. Bertuzzi back to the top line with Mantha and Larkin?
Blashill said Roby Fabbri won’t play tonight for Red Wings at Buffalo.— Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) February 11, 2020
The team also made another waiver move later this afternoon, both Taro Hirose and Givani Smith have been assigned back to Grand Rapids to make room for Mantha and Frans Nielsen. HSJ says on Twitter that based on the morning skate, Darren Helm should be ready to go tonight.
The Detroit #RedWings today assigned LW Taro Hirose and RW Givani Smith to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins.— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) February 11, 2020
Additionally, the Red Wings removed RW Anthony Mantha and C Frans Nielsen from injured reserve.
Details: https://t.co/IFSkBYEO70 pic.twitter.com/uucnS2rqQb
From Buffalo, this likely means Carter Hutton has returned to the team after dealing with a personal matter:
We have assigned Andrew Hammond to @AmerksHockey.— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) February 10, 2020
Tyler Bertuzzi - Dylan Larkin -Anthony Mantha
Andreas Athanasiou- Frans Nielsen - Luke Glendening
Darren Helm - Valtteri Filppula - Brendan Perlini
Adam Erne - Christoffer Ehn - Justin Abdelkader
Scratch: Robby Fabbri
Patrik Nemeth - Alex Biega
Filip Hronek - Mike Green
Trevor Daley - Gustav Lindstrom
Scratch: Madison Bowey, Jonathan Ericsson
Jimmy Vesey - Jack Eichel - Sam Reinhart
Jeff Skinner - Evan Rodrigues - Conor Sheary
Zemgus Girgensons - Curtis Lazar - Michael Frolik
Scratch: Johan Larsson, Scott Wilson
Brandon Montour - Rasmus Ristolainen
Rasmus Dahlin - Colin Miller
Jake McCabe - Henri Jokiharju
Scratch: Lawrence Pilut
Keys to the Game
1. Capitalize On a Struggling Squad
This usually applies to the other team in reference to the last place Red Wings. But tonight it’s Detroit that have a chance to smell blood in the water. The Sabres are reeling, plain and simple, losing 6 of their last 8. They’ve essentially played their way out of any hope of making the playoffs. Big time fan ‘Duane’ will tell you all about how bad it’s gotten for the Buffalo faithful. After last week’s loss to Detroit, Sam Reinhart was asked about his effort level on his backcheck on Dylan Larkin’s goal at the end of the first period. A visibly offput Reinhart tried to laugh off the question stating “I’m not going to answer that”.
The Wings have a chance to double down on creating misery for this bunch and they have to be chomping at the bit to do so.
2. Bernier Needs to Stay in Peak Form
Any chance for a Red Wings victory will generally always rely on a big performance from Jonathan Bernier. The netminder has been terrific for the last two months and if it weren’t for the team around him, more pundits would be discussing his play. Unfortunately for him, a single mistake or fluke goal usually buries this team. But Bernier has provided no reason not to be confident in his ability to steal a win, coming off another magnificent performance against Boston on Sunday. Keep an eye on the matchup between him and Jack Eichel.
3. The Big Return of Anthony Mantha
This is perhaps the biggest key. The Red Wings welcome back their big goal scorer after a lengthy injury. It’s no secret now that Mantha’s ailment was a punctured lung which caused his month and a half long absence. The likelihood is it will take him some time to get back to game speed. But the big man has probably been anxiously awaiting his chance to get back out there and so expect to see some fireworks in his first game back driven by adrenaline. But fireworks of the goal scoring variety, under absolutely no circumstance shall Mantha engage in any fisticuffs whatsoever. NO FIGHTING TONY.