Did you hear? Gustav Nyquist has been recalled and will be in the lineup! The Red Wings have lost 7 in a row leading up to the game tonight at the Joe. Just two days after being shut out against the Predators. Secondary scoring has been an issue and Nyquist will help that cause. The Red Wings haven’t exactly been “on-fire” offensively but they also haven’t been completely cold either. Through the 7 game losing streak they are averaging 2.29 goals per game, that’s including Tuesdays shutout. Defensively, the Red Wings have been serviceable through this 7 game skid. They have allowed 32.7 shots per game in this little losing streak. That includes 5 over time periods. If you subtract the over-time periods they have allowed 29.9 shots per game in regulation through the 7 game losing streak. Granted that includes a stinker on Nov 9th against the Jets where they allowed 47 shots in regulation but also includes the Nov. 12th game against the Jets where they allowed 19 shots in regulation and 21 total. I can handle those numbers from a defense. So where does the onus fall?
It may fall to the goaltenders. Both Howard and Gustavsson started games during this slump. They both lost and neither looked particularly great doing so. I’m not going to over react and say we need to “trade Howard” or “bench Howard”. He is the starting goaltender for this team, as he goes, so do the Wings. The best way for a goaltender to work through a slump is on the ice, not on the bench. Granted the whole team needs to play better. At any given point in a game each unit has had failures and successes. More than anything, this would be a great time to start a winning streak.
Let’s take a look at the game and how ol’ Babcock has his club set up.
Lines: (courtesy of Ansar Khan)
Injured: Daniel Alfredsson, Stephen Weiss
The first line is disappointing. Datsyuk is once again on an island with Cleary. Yes, he does have the most talent on the team AND can create opportunities for players. It just seems like such a task for the magic man. Bertuzzi can score and find his own shot at times so MAYBE they have that going for them. The second line is obviously the line to watch. Nyquist and Zetterberg on the same line COULD be just what this team has needed from the second unit.
With DeKeyser out 3-4 weeks the second pairing is Quincey and Smith. Has there been a more turnover prone pairing in recent memory? I hope they can fill the void left by DeKeyser being out but I’m not holding my breath. Just keep the turnovers to a minimum and I will take that as a win.
Howard gets the start, and rightfully so. I have faith he can work through this and get the win tonight.
Wings win 4-3
Goals: Zetterberg, Miller, Tatar and Bertuzzi
Howard turns away 31 of 34 shots
Red Wings will get their first win since Nov. 2nd and their first win at home since Oct. 15th
- Ryan Reynolds
Let’s Go Red Wings!