Saying that the Detroit Red Wings are having a difficult time so far this season is quite the understatement. Their chances at making the playoffs this season are already almost entirely gone. Friday evening's 2-0 defeat against the Buffalo Sabres was Detroit's 7th consecutive loss.
I think it's safe to say that a lot of Detroit fans are already looking forward to the end of the season to see whether their team will have a chance at drafting Alexis Lafrenière who is currently dominating junior hockey in Quebec and who is set to be the first overall pick in the 2020 draft. That being said there is a lot of hockey left to play this season.
This afternoon at 5 PM, the Red Wings are set to take on the defending Stanley Cup champions, the St. Louis Blues at home. The players who will suit up for the Wings today are the same who played the last game against Buffalo, despite another crushing defeat. Coach Jeff Blashill has nonetheless shuffled his cards a bit when it comes to the defensive pairings and the starting goaltender.
Patrik Nemeth will form the first defensive duo with Filip Hronek. Veteran Mike Green with Madison Bowey on the second pair. Trevor Daley and Dennis Cholowski will play together on the bottom defensive pairing.
Blashill will continue splitting the games evenly between both of his netminders. Jimmy Howard played against the Sabres, so Jonathan Bernier will get the start today against the Blues.
Here is the projected lineup for the Wings ahead of this afternoon's matchup 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 - Madison Bowey
Trevor Daley - Dennis Cholowski
Alex Biega will be the only healthy scratch as Luke Glendening, Justin Abdelkader, Danny DeKeyser and Adam Erne are out with injuries.
The Blues' sniper, Vladimir Tarasenko is out with an injury. That being said, St. Louis will still rely on the services of players like Brayden Schenn, Jaden Schwartz, Ryan O'Reilly and Alex Pietrangelo.
It will ba a difficult game for the Red Wings who will hope to stop the bleeding and finally get back to winning after a terrible stretch.