Tonight, The Red Wings will host the Edmonton Oilers. The last time the two teams played, on October 18th, the Oilers got the win by a score of 2-1.
Since then, a bit of time has passed, but Detroit still did not get a single W. The Wings have now lost 8 games in a row and once more looking to end their downward skid with a victory.
Even if the Red Wings lost their last game, they lost it in overtime, which earned them a long awaited point. They fought hard against the defending Stanley Cup champions with an impressive comeback. Alas, the Blues got the victory by a score of 5-4.
Detroit showed a lot of good things on Sunday as they generated as much offense as in their three previous matches combined. Dylan Larkin had an outstanding performance and showed great leadership, while Bertuzzi continued his hot run of form.
The Red Wings said ahead of tonight's game that they are looking to build on their comeback performance. “We believe in each other and that’s the way we have to play to be successful. If we play like that most nights, we are going to get wins.”, said Larkin while praising the team effort: “We had our best period there in a long time and all four lines were rolling. We have to pick up from that.”
On Monday, the Red Wings acquired forward Brendan Perlini from the Chicago Blackhawks in order to solidify their offensive production. However, Perlini will not play with the Wings until their next away game in Carolina according to coach Jeff Blashill.
If the offense has played well, the enigma remains unsolved when it comes to finding ways to keep the puck out of the net. Keeping that in mind, Blashill kept his offensive unit intact while he made a minor change in defence. 23-year old undrafted defenceman Joe Hicketts was called up from Grand Rapids today in order to replace Madison Bowey who hasn't settled as a full-time NHL blueliner yet.
Hicketts has played 16 games and earned 3 assists for the Detroit Red Wings in the past to seasons. At 5'8", expect him to generate quick puck movement.
As far as goaltending goes, Blashill continues to split the games between his two netminders. Jimmy Howard will start tonight. Eventually, he or Jonathan Bernier will have to start keeping the puck out of the net effectively in order to solidify their role as the starting goalkeeper and especially in order for their team to win without having to score 6 goals or more.
Here is the Wings' projected lineup for tonight's game against the Edmonton Oilers according to NHL.com correspondent Dave Hogg:
Tyler Bertuzzi - Dylan Larkin - Darren Helm
Anthony Mantha - Valtteri Filppula - Andreas Athanasiou
Evgeny Svechnikov - Frans Nielsen - Taro Hirose
Christoffer Ehn - Jacob De La Rose - Givani Smith
Patrik Nemeth - Filip Hronek
Mike Green - Joe Hicketts
Trevor Daley - Dennis Cholowski
Alex Biega, Madison Bowey and Brendan Perlini are healthy scratches. Luke Glendening, Justin Abdelkader, Danny DeKeyser and Adam Erne are out with injuries.
The Red Wings should look like an inspired team as they try to get revenge for their 2-1 defeat against the Oilers earlier this month.