Red Wings Week Ahead: Welcome to November
The Red Wings looked to build off a thrilling come-from-behind victory over the Canucks last week, but back-to-back losses to the Hurricanes and Senators put the kibosh on any momentum they might have had. The Wings salvaged their week with a strong performance last night against Ottawa, capping the week with a 1-2-0 record.
For the first time since the opening weekend, the Red Wings scored more than 3 goals in a game. Dylan Larkin got back on the scoresheet with a brilliant wraparound goal while Danny DeKeyser and Jonathan Ericsson both notched their first goals of the season. However, despite last night's win, there are still plenty of things to work on, including sustaining offensive pressure and cutting down on shots against, particularly in the third period.
On the injury front, there aren't any immediate returns anticipated. Brad Richards (back), Kyle Quincey (concussion) and Mike Green (upper body) are all still out, Pavel Datsyuk is skating with the team, but is still around 2 weeks away from returning.
After the first month of the season, the Wings are a .500 team at 5-5-1, good for 6th in the Atlantic, but only 2 points behind second-place Boston. Their struggles haven't resulted in them being out of it, as Montreal is the only Atlantic team who has gotten off to a strong start.
The Wings are back in Detroit waiting for their next game, no doubt getting up early to watch the Lio......hahahaha who would do that? 3 divisional opponents are in action, with the Lightning facing the Hurricanes, Sabres against the Islanders, and the Carey Price-less Canadiens taking on the Jets.
Monday - Practice Day
The Wings will be back at practice, and it's possible that we could get some updates on the injured players. A relatively light NHL schedule awaits us, with the big matchup being Chicago-Los Angeles. Your other options are Dallas-Toronto or Vancouver-Philadelphia.
Tuesday - Lightning at Red Wings (7:30 pm on FSD)
The second matchup between these teams takes place Tuesday in Detroit. The Wings were victorious in the first meeting, but this time the Lightning will be rested and looking to get back on track after some early struggles of their own. The Wings haven't been able to string together two victories in a row since the 3rd game of the year, but they've been playing better lately and the Lightning still represent a quality opponent.
Wednesday The Fourth With You
Rivalry night actually lives up to its name with the Blackhawks taking on the Blues. You can decide who you are rooting for in this game, but I'm going with "not going to waste my time watching two teams I despise". The only divisional teams in action are the Panthers, who are on their West Coast trip and take on the Ducks, and the Leafs, who ended October as the worst team in hockey.
A slate of 9 games is on tap, unless your wife is like mine and commandeers the TV to watch ABC all night, relegating me to a different room to watch hockey. The most intriguing game could be Boston-Washington, as the Bruins have been playing better since an 0-3-0 start. The Canadiens face the Islanders in what could also be an entertaining game. If you remember must-see-TV from NBC and want to have some laughs, check out Colorado-Arizona and watch the Avs get destroyed by a team that employs 28 rookies
Friday - Red Wings at Maple Leafs (7:00 PM on FSD and TVAS)
The Red Wings have a light schedule this week, and they end their schedule on Friday with their first trip to Toronto to play the Leafs. Toronto is absolutely awful but they have good possession numbers so their fans will let you know that Mike Babcock is a genius and Jeff Blashill is not good because the Wings had a couple of very bad games that have skewed their numbers. But they're Toronto fans and know better and /wanking emoji. Because Toronto is so bad, the Wings should have no problems winning by at least 5 while giving up a lot of shots, leading Leaf fans to categorize the game as a win.
Saturday - Rare Off Night
The Wings get their first Saturday off of the year, but they'll be preparing to face the Stars on Sunday afternoon. Not surprisingly, the NHL is busy that day, highlighted by Boston-Montreal. Beyond that, there are a lot of very mediocre matchups.