The fact that the Red Wings are struggling this season is old news. They have lost 7 consecutive games for a second time this season and absolutely need to find a way to turn things around. They will try to do just that today as they travel to Philadelphia to face the Flyers.
"The loss to Toronto was bad. We played bad Hockey as the game went along, really probably as bad as I've seen our team play all season.", explained coach Blashil to the press ahead of today's matchup. "Today is a new game (...) there's not one thing we can do about it except to learn from it."
Blashill faces the difficult task of operating a change and he has opted to review his lineup after being shut out 6-0 by the Maple Leafs on home ice on Wednesday.
Most notably, Andreas Athanasiou will step down to the 3rd offensive line alongside Frans Nielsen and Luke Glendening as Darren Helm will replace him on the 2nd line with Valtteri Filppula and Filip Zadina.
The 4th offensive line will be composed of Christoffer Ehn at center along with Brendan Perlini and Adam Erne on the wings. That means that rookie Taro Hirose who featured on the 3rd line was sent down to Grand Rapids in the AHL.
Jimmy Howard was placed on the injury reserve list earlier this week. Jonathan Bernier will get the start this afternoon and Calvin Pickard who was called up from the Wings' affiliate will serve as backup. "When he plays for us at some point here, we'll need him to play great Hockey and he's certainly capable of it", said Blashill about Pickard.
Here is the Red Wings' projected lineup for the game against the Flyers according to NHL.com correspondent Dave Hogg:
Tyler Bertuzzi - Dylan Larkin - Robby Fabbri
Filip Zadina - Valtteri Filppula - Darren Helm
Andreas Athanasiou - Frans Nielsen - Luke Glendening
Brendan Perlini - Christoffer Ehn - Adam Erne
Patrik Nemeth - Filip Hronek
Madison Bowey - Jonathan Ericsson
Dylan McIlrath - Dennis Cholowski
Veteran Justin Abdelkader and Alex Buega are set to be the healthy scratches this afternoon. Danny DeKeyser, Mike Green, Trevor Daley, Anthony Mantha and Jimmy Howard are all out with injuries.