The Red Wings schedule has been a grind as of late. Since February 9th, they’ve played eight games in 15 days, including a back-to-back last weekend and another one this weekend. Tonight, the Carolina Hurricanes are in town as they continue their hunt for a playoff spot. Currently, they are a mere one point out of the second Wild Card spot, but they’re 3-5-2 in their last ten games, coming off of a big 6-1 loss against the Pittsburgh Penguins last night. The Red Wings are also 3-5-2 in their last ten and they are coming off of an overtime loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday. The Wings, of course, are not in the hunt for a playoff spot, but I’m sure they wouldn’t mind spoiling the Hurricanes chances a little bit.

The last time these two teams met was on February 2nd and Detroit won 4-1.


Red Wings lines courtesy of DailyFaceoff

With the trade deadline quickly approaching, the Red Wings roster has been in a bit of a state of flux. The biggest question mark, of course, is the status of Mike Green. At the time of this writing, the Wings haven’t had their morning skate, but Green missed the last three games with a sore neck. Both Green and Blashill expect him to play tonight and the Wings really need him in the lineup to prove to buying teams that he is still worth his value by Monday’s deadline.

If Green is back, expect Xavier Ouellet to come out of the lineup. XO is another player who the Wings are actively shopping. He doesn’t get much time on the roster anymore, so they are trying to give him a fresh start somewhere else.

Detroit’s top line remains untouched for now as the second line remains a big source of offense for them. Dylan Larkin and Andreas Athanasiou connected for a beautiful goal against the Preds on Wednesday night that gave fans hope for them again. Tomas Tatar has points in two of his last three games, upping his trade value for the approaching deadline. It’s highly unlikely, but Tatar’s name has been floated by teams in need of top-6 scoring. So has Gustav Nyquist‘s.

Martin Frk is still day-to-day so David Booth is holding his spot on the fourth line. We’ll know more about Frk later this afternoon, but if he’s healthy, expect him to slot in beside Luke Glendening on the fourth line. Glendening, for now, remains in the lineup. It sounds like Holland is working on dealing him to Toronto.

Of course, with the deadline on Monday, these lines could be blown up at any moment. Keep your eyes on the Twitter-verse for updates.


Carolina Hurricanes lines courtesy of DailyFaceoff

I say this every time I cover the Hurricanes, but man that defense leaves me with a lot of envy. Noah Hanifin, Justin Faulk, and Haydn Fleury are all top-4 talent. Faulk is an interesting watch as Elliotte Friedman speculated that a one-for-one trade, Faulk for Athanasiou, could be interesting. Our own Thomas Williams wrote about it here.

As for the forward group, the top line is a scary group. Both Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen are pushing 50 points, which Aho already breaking through the 20-goal barrier. Justin Williams, though older, is still having a 40 point season. So is Jeff Skinner.

And don’t forget about Elias Lindholm and Victor Rask, both of whom will be 15 goal scorers. This team has depth and they are only going to get better from here on out. They may be on the cusp of the playoffs this year, but they’ll be in them for sure next year. Mark my words.


Jared Coreau vs. Scott Darling

Both of these goalies are not confirmed starters yet, but the Wings are on the first half of a back-to-back and tomorrow’s game is against the New York Rangers. Because of Jimmy Howard‘s track record against the Rangers, I’m guessing that he’ll start that game and Coreau will get the start tonight. Coreau’s played in 14 NHL games in his short career and has a .887 save percentage. He’ll have his work cut out for him facing snipers like Aho and Teravainen, but this call-up is finally his shot at being a legit NHL back-up goalie. The Wings have three more back-to-backs on the schedule, so I’d expect him to get at least three more starts this season in addition to this one.

The Canes played last night and Cam Ward started, so I’d expect Darling to get the start tonight. Darling and Ward have been splitting starts pretty much 50/50 all season and neither of them have a .910 save percentage. Through 32 starts this year, Darling has a .891 save percentage. He started the last game Carolina played against the Wings and allowed four goals on 38 shots. I gushed above about the Hurricanes depth, but the one department they need help is between the pipes. With a stud starting goalie, this team could be very dangerous. I’m surprised they didn’t make a play for Petr Mrazek.


Join Kenny, Mickey and the gang on Fox Sports Detroit tonight for the 7:00 P.M. ET puck drop from Little Caesars Arena. If you’re tuning in from the Raleigh area, you can catch the game on Fox Sports Carolina.

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