Dallas Stars (1-1-0, 2pts) @ Detroit Red Wings (1-1-0, 2 pts)
6:30 PM CT
Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Those Hated Red Wings
Detroit enters this season as vulnerable as they’ve ever been in the past three decades. Nicklas Lidstrom retired during the offseason and took with him a lot of the usual Red Wing aura.
The loss of Lidstrom and Brad Stuart on the defense is a killer. A healthy defense on this team is as bad (maybe even worse) as the Stars now. To make matters worse, it isn’t healthy. The Wings blue line will be without three players in tonight’s game due to injury: Jonathan Ericsson, Jakub Kindl and Carlo Colaiacovo. I’m pretty sure a mild breeze would be enough to injure Colaiacovo.
Detroit has resorted to signing guys off the scrap heap and picked up veteran Kent Huskins just to be a healthy body. Some dude named Gustav Nyquist was also just called up to bolster the forward depth. Based on their roster outlook, it seems both will be getting some playing time today.
Now as bad as their defense is, the offense on the Wings can still score. Pavel Datsyuk is around and still as Datsyukian as ever. Henrik Zetterberg is the team’s shiny new captain and a Stars killer. Rookie Damien Brunner is a highly touted prospect and played overseas with Zetterberg during the lockout so they have good chemistry together.
Detroit did play a game last night that went into a shootout against the Blue Jackets so the team could be a bit tired.
I assume Jimmy Howard will start tonight as their backup is the just-called-up Thomas McCollum.
The team will be without the defensemen mentioned above as well as forwards Mikael Samuelsson, Darren Helm, Todd Bertuzzi, Jan Mursak and backup goalies Jonas Gustavsson and Joey MacDonald.
Possible line combos:
Zetterberg – Datsyuk – Brunner
Cleary – Filppula – Franzen
Tootoo – Abdelkader - Nyquist
Miller – Emmerton – Eaves
Kronwall – White
Quincey – Smith
Huskins – Lashoff
Game three and still no sign of Jamie Benn yet for Dallas. Jagr and crew should have an easier time tonight scoring on Detroit that they did against the block-happy Wild.
It’s the second line on this team that really needs to get going though. The center (whether it’s Tom Wandell or Cody Eakin) needs to provide some service to Ray Whitney and Michael Ryder just so they can provide some support for the first line. I really hope that it’s Eakin that rolls out the second line though.
Kari Lehtonen will be back between the pipes tonight and will be looking for his second win of the season. He’s 3-5-0 against the Wings in his career with a 3.40 GAA and a .906 SV%.
Aaron Rome still has the iffy groin and shouldn’t be back in the lineup tonight. The defensive pairings should be the same that they’ve been for the past two games.
Eriksson – Roy – Jagr
Whitney – Wandell – Ryder
Morrow – Fiddler – Nystrom
Garbutt – Eakin – Smith
Goligoski – Robidas
Benn – Daley
Larsen – Dillon