I must admit, I completely forgot to write Sunday’s GameDay preview. Oops. But I’m back and ready to talk about Red Wings vs. Jets as Detroit wraps up their three-game road-trip before they return home for a key five-game home stand.
The Red Wings played extremely well against the Islanders, particularly Mike Green, who had his second hat trick for a minute—before it was wrapped from his grasp thanks to Luke Glendening interfering with Jaroslav Halak.
Over their last seven games, the Red Wings have gone 4-1-2, picking up 10 of a possible 14 points. They sit one game above .500 (12-11-3), which places them tied with Florida for fifth in the Atlantic Division. The rest of the Division isn’t playing great, aside from Montreal, so Detroit is certainly has a chance to extend their playoff streak to 26 seasons.
@IneffectiveMath put together an interesting chart that outlines every team’s strengths and weaknesses.
Team strengths and weaknesses based on current rosters. pic.twitter.com/Yn9yJqFqwf
— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) December 5, 2016
According to this, the Red Wings’ strengths so far are their 5v5 goaltending and 5v5 defence. On the other hand, they struggle with 5v5 offence, 5v5 shooting and special teams, to a smaller scale.
Tonight will be the second meeting between the Red Wings and Jets. In the first meeting, Winnipeg won 5-3. Let’s see how these two teams stack up.
|Detroit Red Wings||Winnipeg Jets|
|Goals For||2.38 GF/PG (22nd)||2.61 GF/PG (13th)|
|Goals Against||2.65 GA/PG (17th)||2.89 GA/PG (t-22nd)|
|Power-Play||14.9% (24th)||15.9% (18th)|
|Penalty-Kill||83.5% (12th)||79.6% (24th)|
|Corsi||46.46 CF% (27th)||48.82 CF% (21st)|
THE RED WINGS
On Sunday, the top line of Tomas Tatar-Henrik Zetterberg-Anthony Mantha was the best line again and they continue to be the Red Wings’ only consistent offensive threat. Frans Nielsen, who probably had a little more jump because he was facing his former team, had one of his best games of the season, especially defensively. Green was excellent again, if only the Red Wings could squeeze that out of him every night.
Dylan Larkin has just three goals and no assists in his last 11 games and he was relegated to the fourth line the other night and could skate there again tonight. Skating with Steve Ott and Drew Miller certainly won’t help your offensive game, so hopefully it is only a temporary move from Jeff Blashill.
The Red Wings are expected to get some players back soon, but look for them to go with the same forward group tonight, but I would expect Brian Lashoff to come out on the blueline.
In the first meeting with the Jets, the Red Wings were dominated on the then top-line Nikolaj Ehlers-Mark Scheifele-Patrik Laine, who combined for three goals and six assists (nine points). Luckily for the Red Wings, Scheifele will not play tonight, but Bryan Little and Mathieu Perreault, who didn’t play last time are back in the lineup.
Laine has been great through his first 28 career NHL games. The Finnish winger is second in the NHL in goals with 16 and has done the majority of his damage on home-ice—he has 13 goals and two assists in 13 games at the MTS Centre.
Michigan native Jacob Trouba missed the first meeting, but he’s been back for the last 13 games and has played very well, but is still searching for his first goal of the season.
BETWEEN THE PIPES
Petr Mrazek is expected to start in Winnipeg after a solid game vs. the Islanders and he will go head-to-head with Connor Hellebuyck.
In four starts since Jimmy Howard got hurt, Mrazek has gone 2-0-2 with a 1.95 GAA and .935 SV%. He is starting to look more like the goalie we saw last year, which is huge news for the Red Wings. He sat out the first game vs. the Jets, but has gone 3-2-1 with a 3.02 GAA and .908 SV% in five starts and two relief appearances on the road this season.
Hellebuyck has won three of his last four starts while posting a 2.37 GAAm .926 SV% and one shutout. Hellebuyck had a slow start to the season, but has played very well lately and will start vs. the Red Wings again. The 23-year-old stopped 30 of 33 shots in the 5-3 win the first time around.
WHERE TO WATCH
Puck drop is at 8:00 p.m. ET at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg. You can watch the game on Fox Sports Detroit-plus or you can listen to it 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.
For the Winnipeg Jets angle, visit JetsNation.ca