Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you lovers out there! I still can’t get over Friday night’s shootout loss to the Avalanche. I mean, at least we got a point, but that damn team just continues to defy logic. However, doesn’t that game make you feel a little better about the Stadium Series game? That can’t happen twice can it? In other Red Wings’ news, it looks like we will be back in the Winter Classic in 2017, this time in Toronto! We should be able to win that one too, when you look at that roster. But, I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s focus on the now:
We come in with seven of a possible eight points in our last eight games and we take on a Bruins team that is one point ahead of us in the Atlantic Division. Boston won yesterday in Minnesota and they’ve now won four of their last five while averaging 3.40 goals per game. Let’s break it down!
THE RED WINGS
The Red Wings’ forward lines are expected to stay the same after dominating the Avalanche on Friday. It seems like I’m forced to write the same thing before every game: The Euro Twins continue to look great together, Pavel Datsyuk scored once on five shots on Friday and has three goals and three assists in four games since being reunited with Henrik Zetterberg. The Captain has one goal and three assists over that span and Justin Abdelkader has chipped in with some helpers. Dylan Larkin has been held off of the score sheet for two straight games, which has rarely happened this season—expect him to find the boxscore today.
On the blueline, it looks like Jonathan Ericsson will miss today’s game with a lower-body injury *cries happy tears* so the Red Wings recalled Xavier Ouellet from Grand Rapids (AHL). I put Ouellet in the lineup because I don’t think they would recall him without the intention of playing him, unless there’s another defenseman banged up that we don’t know about. If Ouellet plays, Jakub Kindl would be a healthy scratch. Ouellet has three goals and 14 assists (17 points) in 38 games with the Griffins this season.
The Bruins won Saturday’s game without centre Patrice Bergeron, who is travelling to Detroit with the team and is listed as a game-time decision. It would be a huge break for Detroit if Bergeron couldn’t play. The lines listed above are the groupings they used in yesterday’s win, but I wouldn’t be surprised if former Red Wings’ forward Landon Ferraro drew into the lineup. Detroit will need to keep a close eye on Brad Marchand, who comes in with goals in 11 of his last 12 games and 12 total goals over that span. He has a career-high of 28 goals, but is on-pace for 42 this season.
On the blueline, it is hard to miss Zdeno Chara, who has three points (1G / 2A) in his last three games. Even at 38-year-old, Chara has 30 points (8G / 22A) and plus-12 rating in 53 contests.
BETWEEN THE PIPES
The birthday boy Petr Mrazek will make his fourth consecutive start for the Red Wings. He allowed two goals on 21 shots in the shootout loss and comes in at 3-0-1 with a 0.98 GAA, .958 SV% and one shutout in his four previous starts. This afternoon will mark his third start against the Bruins this season—he is 0-1-1 with a 2.97 GAA and .887 SV% in the first two meetings.
Jonas Gustavsson started on Saturday, so look for Tuukka Rask to get the nod vs. the Red Wings. Rask is 3-1-1 with a 2.97 GAA and .917 SV% since the All-Star break and stopped 22 of 23 shots in the Bruins 3-1 win vs. Detroit back in November.
WORDS FROM THE ENEMY
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) February 13, 2016
Two interesting things from that Tweet. One: Congrats to Claude Julien on his 500th win, but Two: How did they ever find a picture of him smiling!? I thought all he did was scowl and yell at the refs all game?
WHERE TO WATCH
Puck drop is at 3:30 p.m. ET at Joe Louis Arena. The game will be televised nationally on NBC and aired locally on 97.1 FM The Ticket.
Also, make sure to follow us on Twitter; we’ll have live tweets, GIFS, and all the fun stuff that a topical social media platform has.