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WGD: Game 25: Red Wings vs. Blues

What impeccable timing for the St. Louis Blues to roll into town. Last night, Darren Dreger from TSN reported that the Blues have “paid considerable attention” to Jimmy Howard as of late. This will be the second time this week that Blues management are at the LCA as they were also present for Monday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

If they were there on Monday to see Howard, it was a bad showing as he was chased from the net after 3 first period goals. Tonight, the Wings are looking to bounce back from a back-and-forth loss and build back up their momentum against one of the worse teams in the league this year.

THE RED WINGS 

Red Wings lines via DailyFaceoff

No change to the offensive lines tonight as Frk will once again play in favour of Ehn. I don’t mind these lines, but I would still swap Abdelkader and Bertuzzi and I’d also swap Glendening and De La Rose, just to give Rasmussen a little speed to play with.

As for the blue line, Ericsson will once again be the healthy scratch as all of the other regular defensemen are good to go. If the Blues are really interested in a deal on Howard, I wonder if a defenseman like Jensen or Daley could be packaged in. These are low risk options from a cap perspective and would free up a spot for the Wings to get Ericsson back into the lineup.

THE BLUES

St. Louis Blues lines via DailyFaceoff

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Joel Edmundson
JOEL EDMUNDSON
Alex Pietrangelo
ALEX PIETRANGELO
Vince Dunn
VINCE DUNN
Colton Parayko
COLTON PARAYKO
Jay Bouwmeester
JAY BOUWMEESTER
Jordan Schmaltz
JORDAN SCHMALTZ

The Blues really shouldn’t be as bad as they are right now. They have a deep top-9 that is missing Alex Steen and Jaden Schwartz, but they are pretty strong down the middle and have some strong young players on the wing.

On defense, Pietrangelo is someone who took some time getting going this year, but this is a pretty solid D-corps. How they’ve been so bad this year doesn’t really make sense to me.

BETWEEN THE PIPES

Jimmy Howard vs. Jake Allen

Oh wait – yes it does. Jake Allen has a .896 save percentage through 16 starts, allowing an average of 3.27 goals per game. He was a victim to Patrick Laine’s 5 goals in his last game, but prior to that he seemed to have started to turn his season around. In any case, he could be facing his replacement tonight in Jimmy Howard.

Howard is getting the nod in Detroit despite his rough go against Columbus on Monday. Starts like that have become a rarity for Howard as of late. Hopefully he puts on a show tonight for a Blues management who is hungry for a starting goaltender.

HOW TO WATCH

Puck drop tonight is 7:00 P.M. ET and you’ll be able to watch the game on NBCSN.

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