Red Wings-Panthers Game Day Updates, Keys to the Game

Game Day Updates


Keys to the Game

1. Zadina Time

As mentioned in the Morning Skate, Zadina has 8 points in 13 games so far this season with the Red Wings. Six of those points, including all three goals, have come in the last seven and he has seen an increase in ice-time by 30 seconds during that stretch as well. With Mantha out, someone needs to step up and it’s the perfect time for that someone to be Zadina. Bobrovsky has been one of the worst starting goalies in the NHL this year, Aaron Ekblad is doubtful and the Panthers have allowed the 10th most goals in the league. The hope is we see more of Zadina with Larkin, but either way, this could be a big game for the young Czech star.

2. Howard Bounce Back Game

Jimmy Howard’s first game back from injury in almost a month was, well, awful. He hasn’t won a game since October 29th vs. Edmonton. During that stretch his GAA is 4.93 and SV% is .861%. There’s plenty of blame to go around, more than just Howard’s poor play, but certainly that doesn’t help anything. I know it seems far-fetched now, but I still think both Howard and Bernier could make for trade pieces down the road. For that to happen, Howard needs to step up and start playing better. I think the game tonight could be the perfect chance for him to do just that.

3. Contain the Panthers 1st Line

As of now, the Panthers 1st Line should be Huberdeau-Barkov-Dadonov, which have combined to produce 34% of the Panthers scoring so far this year. They have had guys like Acciari, Connolly and Hoffman step up on offense at times this year, but really it’s the top dogs that carry this team. The Red Wings defense is bad. Their goaltending is bad. Everything is bad. But if they want to come out of the holiday break and pick up a win, they are going to have to stop the Panthers big boys.