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WGD 81: RED WINGS vs. CANADIENS

We can do it everyone, we can get through this season. I honestly don’t know how many of you are left watching this team, I’m struggling to stay interested in seeing Nielsen and Abdelkader skate around with no motivation. Their contract numbers just permanently bolted into my head and they will never leave for several years.

With that misery out of the way, let’s look forward to Jonathan Drouin potting a couple goals and increasing the Red Wings draft lottery odds.

The Red Wings

Red Wings Lines via DailyFaceoff

LW C RW
Tyler Bertuzzi
TYLER BERTUZZI
Henrik Zetterberg
HENRIK ZETTERBERG
Gustav Nyquist
GUSTAV NYQUIST
Andreas Athanasiou
DARREN HELM
 
Dylan Larkin
DYLAN LARKIN
Anthony Mantha
ANTHONY MANTHA
Justin Abdelkader

JUSTIN ABDELKADER

Frans Nielsen
FRANS NIELSEN
David Booth

DAVID BOOTH

Luke Witkowski

LUKE WITKOWSKI

Darren Helm

ANDREAS ATHANASIOU

 
Martin Frk
MARTIN FRK
LD RD
Jonathan Ericsson
JONATHAN ERICSSON
Trevor Daley
TREVOR DALEY
Niklas Kronwall
NIKLAS KRONWALL
Nick Jensen
NICK JENSEN
Dan DeKeyser
DAN DEKEYSER
 Xavier Ouellet
XAVIER OUELLET

With Luke Glendening out with an injury, as well as Evgeny Svechnikov and Joe Hicketts sent back down to Grand Rapids – this team will try to power through this Canadiens roster, some way and somehow.

David Booth is back in the lineup though – hooray people from Michigan! Just like March Madness, the Red Wings will choke out this season and hopefully lose terribly to a tall redhead.

Xavier Ouellet is also back on the blueline for this team, and hopefully these two games won’t be the last we see of XO wearing the Winged Wheel. His underlying numbers have been excellent all season (when he gets to play). He controls zone entries and suppresses shots better than any other Wings defenseman – but since I know Holland was trying to sell him at the deadline, he’s good as gone in the summer. I’ll miss you XO, xo.

Les Canadiens

Les Lignes Canadiennes via DailyFaceoff

LW C RW
Paul Byron
PAUL BYRON
Jonathan Drouin
JONATHAN DROUIN
Brendan Gallagher
BRENDAN GALLAGHER
Alex Galchenyuk
ALEX GALCHENYUK
Jacob De La Rose
JACOB DE LA ROSE
Artturi Lehkonen
ARTTURI LEHKONEN
Kerby Rychel
KERBY RYCHEL
Logan Shaw
LOGAN SHAW
Charles Hudon
CHARLES HUDON
Daniel Carr
DANIEL CARR
Michael McCarron
MICHAEL MCCARRON
Byron Froese
BYRON FROESE
LD RD
David Schlemko
DAVID SCHLEMKO
Jeff Petry
JEFF PETRY
Karl Alzner
KARL ALZNER
Noah Juulsen
NOAH JUULSEN
Jordie Benn
JORDIE BENN
Brett Lernout
BRETT LERNOUT

Oof, these Canadiens have been plagued with injuries. Max PaciorettyAles HemskyVictor MetePhilip DanaultAndrew Shaw, and their bigman Shea Weber. They have been forced to play the kids and honestly have not been performing half bad with them. Considering the key injuries to this lineup, scoring at 3+ goals in 5 of their last 7 – their offense is not suffering.

Their defense on the other hand, have been something special – to allow an average of 3.65 goals since March 1st is a collapse worthy of an ancient ruin tour. “Here was where Shea Weber was acquired for one of the best defenseman with the brightest future”, “Oh and here was the arena where known human piece of garbage Andrew Shaw played his final game of the 2017-18 season”. As historic this franchise is, Marc Bergevin is making it a historic joke.

Between The Pipes

Jared Coreau vs. Antti Niemi

Well, I can’t say I’m surprised at this matchup.

Coreau is making his fifth start of the season tonight to face this one-legged Habs team. Considering that this is an offense that just shot 40 on net against the Winnipeg Jets, then the previous game had 26 shots on net against the New Jersey Devils – no one can be sure of the volume of shots that Coreau will be facing. But with a .859 sv% and a 4.40 GAA, it’s safe to say that neither the team in front of him or Coreau himself has very much confidence right now.

Antti Niemi is on his third team of this season and he has performed the best behind this Canadiens team. A .797 sv% in Pittsburgh, .872 sv% in Florida, then picked up off waivers he has a .931 sv% and a 2.42 GAA in 18 games played for the Montreal Canadiens. Niemi is Montreal’s best option in net right now with Carey Price having an extremely rough season. Since February 22nd, Niemi has a .940 sv% – that is simply unbelievable the way he was tossed around just earlier this season. He is coming off his worst start for Montreal against the Pittsburgh Penguins and only saving 28 of the 33 shots he had to face – I’m betting on a bounceback game and that of course means a shutout.

Where To Watch

This heavily-contested tank battle will be on Fox Sports Detroit Plus at 7:30pm EST, and RDS if tu aimes le club de hockey français. It’s almost like the television networks are letting you watch something other than this truly horrific upcoming hockey game.

But don’t worry, here at WingsNation we’ll keep you up to date with live reaction to the game on our lovely twitter account.