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WGD 69: RED WINGS @ SHARKS

This week the Wings are in California this week to soak up the sunshine and shot attempts against. First, it’s the San Jose Sharks as they battle it out in the SAP Center.

An impressive six-game losing streak heading into tonight are keeping tanking spirits high and dumb “want to win for the culture” spirits low.

These final fourteen games have Wings fans hoping for a glimpse into the future – seeing some young prospects play for the big team and give reason to actually watch these games. But unfortunately, Blashill has other things in mind when he decided to play Evgeni Svechnikov a total of 5:25 in Friday night’s game against the Blue Jackets.

Jeff, please give us something to actually look forward to other than the Draft Lottery.

THE RED WINGS

Red Wings Lines via DailyFaceoff

LW C RW
Tyler Bertuzzi
TYLER BERTUZZI
Henrik Zetterberg
HENRIK ZETTERBERG
Gustav Nyquist
GUSTAV NYQUIST
Justin Abdelkader
JUSTIN ABDELKADER
Dylan Larkin
DYLAN LARKIN
Anthony Mantha
ANTHONY MANTHA
Martin Frk
MARTIN FRK
Andreas Athanasiou
ANDREAS ATHANASIOU
Evgeny Svechnikov
EVGENY SVECHNIKOV
Darren Helm
DARREN HELM
Luke Glendening
LUKE GLENDENING
Luke Witkowski
LUKE WITKOWSKI
LD RD
Jonathan Ericsson
JONATHAN ERICSSON
Trevor Daley
TREVOR DALEY
Dan DeKeyser
DAN DEKEYSER
Nick Jensen
NICK JENSEN
Niklas Kronwall
NIKLAS KRONWALL
Mike Green
MIKE GREEN

Looking unchanged from the Columbus game, the Wings look helpless against a stronger opponent – yet again.

Even if Svechnikov isn’t getting the icetime that fans want, to see Tyler Bertuzzi staying up on the wing of Henrik Zetterberg is a pleasant thing to see. Three assists in his last five games – it looks like the increase of Blashill’s confidence in Bertuzzi is paying off.

It’s a little sad to see Xavier Ouellet out again, since he’s one of only five Red Wings players to have a 5v5 CF% above 50%. Limited minutes, but Ouellet is someone that should be getting more icetime to see what he can do. There is no point to the rest of the season if you aren’t able to experiment and see what you have with the players on your roster. He’s only 24 after all.

THE SHARKS

Sharks lines via DailyFaceoff

LW C RW
Evander Kane
EVANDER KANE
Joe Pavelski
JOE PAVELSKI
Joonas Donskoi
JOONAS DONSKOI
Tomas Hertl
TOMAS HERTL
Logan Couture
LOGAN COUTURE
Mikkel Boedker
MIKKEL BOEDKER
Timo Meier
TIMO MEIER
Chris Tierney
CHRIS TIERNEY
Kevin Labanc
KEVIN LABANC
Barclay Goodrow
BARCLAY GOODROW
Eric Fehr
ERIC FEHR
Marcus Sorensen
MARCUS SORENSEN
LD RD
Joakim Ryan
JOAKIM RYAN
Brent Burns
BRENT BURNS
Marc-Edouard Vlasic
MARC-EDOUARD VLASIC
Justin Braun
JUSTIN BRAUN
Brenden Dillon
BRENDEN DILLON
Dylan DeMelo
DYLAN DEMELO

With injuries to Joe Thornton, Joel Ward and Melker Karlsson, the Sharks are still able to put out a strong and deep lineup.

This is how a team that doesn’t normally get top-10 draft picks, can still perform well and fill out their roster. There are a total of seven players under-25 on their roster – and they drafted six of them and they signed one as a young UFA. That is something.

Brent Burns is currently outscoring every player on the Red Wings – he would also have more goals than both Zetterberg and Larkin. Again, I find myself jealous of another team.

BETWEEN THE PIPES

Jimmy Howard vs. Martin Jones

A battle of both team’s starters is set to play out a little one-sided.

Since the All-Star break, Jones is posting a .932 sv% – meanwhile Howard has a .909 sv% during the same timeframe.

Among all netminders that have played at least 1000 minutes, Jones has a Goals Saved Above Average of 4.81 and that’s good for 16th in the entire league. Using the same critieria, Howard is 26th in the league with a -1.14 GSAA. A tale of two different seasons from these goalers.

WHERE TO WATCH

Brew my favorite coffee or chug some RedBulls because puck-drop between the Red Wings and Sharks is at 10:30 p.m. ET at the SAP Center. Like most games, you can watch it on Fox Sports Detroit. CSNCAL too if you’re living your best life out in California.

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. Because we’re the damn best Wings blog out there.