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WGD: Game 59: RED WINGS vs. PREDATORS

The first game of the post-Mrazek era for the Red Wings and it comes up against the Nashville Predators.

After a teeth-grinding, nail-biting last minute loss to the Leafs on the weekend we’re treated to watching yet another surging successful franchise as our precious Red Wings continue to simmer in this mediocre soup.

The Red Wings are 5-4-1 in their last ten and the Preds are 6-2-2. These records are way too even to be reflective of how these teams are performing. As Nashville fights to stay on top of the Central division, the Wings are fighting the impossible fight to make the playoffs – every Wings fan just wants the tank and rightfully should.

The Red Wings

LW C RW
Gustav Nyquist
GUSTAV NYQUIST
Henrik Zetterberg
HENRIK ZETTERBERG
Anthony Mantha
ANTHONY MANTHA
Tomas Tatar
TOMAS TATAR
Dylan Larkin
DYLAN LARKIN
Andreas Athanasiou
ANDREAS ATHANASIOU
Darren Helm
DARREN HELM
Frans Nielsen
FRANS NIELSEN
Justin Abdelkader
JUSTIN ABDELKADER
Tyler Bertuzzi
TYLER BERTUZZI
Luke Glendening
LUKE GLENDENING
Martin Frk
MARTIN FRK

LD RD
Jonathan Ericsson
JONATHAN ERICSSON
Trevor Daley
TREVOR DALEY
Niklas Kronwall
NIKLAS KRONWALL
Luke Witkowski
LUKE WITKOWSKI
Dan DeKeyser
DAN DEKEYSER
Nick Jensen
NICK JENSEN

With Mike Green still out, the lines will stay the same against Nashville as they were against Toronto this weekend.

He is targetting to be back Thursday against the Sabres and has discussed a trade with Holland before the deadline a week from today.

So not all hope is lost for a Green trade, but this injury is certainly playing with the hearts of Wings fans everywhere.

Also Martin Frk is back in tonight, if you paid attention.

The Predators

 

LW C RW
Filip Forsberg
FILIP FORSBERG
Ryan Johansen
RYAN JOHANSEN
Viktor Arvidsson
VIKTOR ARVIDSSON
Kevin Fiala
KEVIN FIALA
Kyle Turris
KYLE TURRIS
Craig Smith
CRAIG SMITH
Scott Hartnell
SCOTT HARTNELL
Nick Bonino
NICK BONINO
Calle Jarnkrok
CALLE JARNKROK
Miikka Salomaki
MIIKKA SALOMAKI
Colton Sissons
COLTON SISSONS
Austin Watson
AUSTIN WATSON
LD RD
Roman Josi
ROMAN JOSI
Ryan Ellis
RYAN ELLIS
Mattias Ekholm
MATTIAS EKHOLM
P.K. Subban
P.K. SUBBAN
Alexei Emelin
ALEXEI EMELIN
Yannick Weber
YANNICK WEBER

That top-6 is one of the most dangerous in all of hockey right now and if I were any Wings defenceman, I would be terrified. ForsbergJohansen and Arvidsson have combined to make some terrific plays this year and are damn productive as well.

Among lines that have played minimum 200 minutes together, the Johansen line is 4th in CF% with 58.72. That is pure dominance when they are on the ice.

The Preds blueline has been talked about relentlessly for years and years. Even before they acquired Subban, Nashville has the reputation of having all-star defenceman for the past decade.

It’s just unfair.

Between The Pipes

Jimmy Howard vs. Pekka Rinne

This matchup would have been one to watch about 5 years ago. One has kept his play, while the other has not.

Rinne does have one of the best defensive units in front of him, meanwhile Howard is playing with some arguably just-ok defenceman.

Pekka’s .926 sv% has been an impressive bounceback from a couple years ago where it seemed like the Preds wanted to move on from the Finnish goaler.

Meanwhile, Howard is performing at just a .910 sv% level and is nowhere near a suspected bounceback season.

Jimmy will need to stand on his head to make this game a close one.

How To Watch

Tune into Fox Sports Detroit at 7:00 p.m. to see all the action from LCA.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter, because we’re the Red Wings blog leading all the Libor Sulak hype.