Well, I totally forgot to write this GameDay preview this morning, my apologies, so let’s take a quick look at the Red Wings game tonight.
Detroit is coming off of a huge shootout win in Philadelphia and they have a great chance to make it two in a row with the Canucks in town. The Red Wings have been a much better team on home ice. They come in averaging 2.88 goals for and 2.38 goals against in eight games at Joe Louis Arena, while the Canucks have struggled on the road and all together really. Vancouver is averaging 2.14 goals for and 3.43 goals against in their seven road games.
The Canucks are the lowest scoring team in the NHL and come in having lost nine of their last 10 games (1-8-1). This is a very beatable team and a team that the Red Wings have had success against over the years. In the last three seasons, Detroit has gone 4-1-1 in six games versus Vancouver.
Let’s break down tonight’s lineups and starting goalies.
THE RED WINGS
The Red Wings’ lineup will remain the same as on Tuesday, but with some different lines from how they started in Philadelphia. Gustav Nyquist and Henrik Zetterberg played very well together vs. the Flyers, so it isn’t surprising to see them together again tonight. Andreas Atahanasiou should see some more minutes following his performance on Tuesday.
The blueline will remain the exact same. Niklas Kronwall has transitioned back into the lineup fairly well, but has yet to pick up a point in three games. Brendan Smith is shooting more than he ever has, but has only found the back of the net once in 14 games. The Red Wings blueline has only produced five goals so far, with three of them coming from Mike Green in one game. They aren’t really known as offensive defensemen, but slightly more production would certainly help the cause.
The Canucks’ offseason signing of Loui Eriksson hasn’t paid off so far, but their top line still remains dangerous heading into tonight. But, if the Red Wings can slow them down, they have great chance to win. The Sedin Twins and Eriksson have combined for 10 goals this season, which 38.5 percent of the Canucks’ offence.
Tonight they will be without Jannik Hansen, who has rib injury and Chris Tanev will be missing on the blueline because of a lower-body ailment. Rookie Troy Stecher has been taking Tanev’s spot and is still searching for his first career goal.
Overall, this team is lacking depth and overall quality and will finish near or at the bottom of the league, so this is two points the Red Wings must have.
BETWEEN THE PIPES
Jimmy Howard will be making his second straight start tonight. He stopped 25 off 27 shots in the shootout win on Tuesday and has an impressive 1.26 GAA and .958 SV% in five starts this season. With another win tonight, we could very well be seeing Howard for the third straight time on Saturday. He is outplaying Petr Mrazek right now and will start as long as he is doing so.
Ryan Miller gets the call for Vancouver. The Canucks’ netminder has lost his last six games while posting a 3.27 GAA and .897 SV% and he is seeing some of the lowest goal support in the NHL. Miller has struggled vs. the Red Wings over his career, going 4-10-3 with a 3.20 GAA and .899 SV% in 17 career starts.
WHERE TO WATCH
Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m. ET at Joe Louis Arena. You can watch the game on Fox Sports Detroit or listen to it on 97.1 FM The Ticket.
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