Detroit Red Wings Preview: On the Outside Looking In

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There probably won’t be many changes for the Red Wings but that could be altered if some of those Griffins keep up their offensive output. Those younger players sent to Grand Rapids to show their worth made some noise last night:

Michael Rasmussen redirects a shot from the point courtesy of Dennis Cholowski, who took the pass from Taro Hirose. Later in the game, Riley Barber scores. Guess who fed him?

Hirose and Cholowski pick up assists again, and now there could be an argument brewing that if this continues, why keep them in Grand Rapids?

The Red Wings are desperate for goal scoring and according to head coach Jeff Blashill, recent call up Evgeny Svechnikov will be the 13th forward heading into the game. Vladislav Namestnikov is questionable while Darren Helm is in similar territory. Will Svechnikov get a look should Namestnikov be unavailable? I think we all know the answer to that one should Helm be deemed fit to play. Of course, that all comes down to Blashill, who has frustrated the fan base with some of his lineup decisions this season.

Perhaps this is by design–maybe like Justin Abdelkader last year–contracts will be honored, and then bought out later while younger players receive more ice time in Grand Rapids for now. In the meantime, the team keeps things close without winning games–increasing odds for a higher pick and running out the gamut on the contract mistakes of the past (or short term ones Yzerman signed purposefully).

But hearing that Svechnikov has to have the opportunity but is on the outside looking in seems contradictory. How can he get the opportunity if it’s not being provided? (Cued up for the entire quote starting at 9:44).

To say later that they want guys who are going to help them win makes little sense. Again, looking at that bottom six, can they really say they’re always giving Detroit the best chance to win?

The Florida Panthers head to Detroit, leading the season series 3 games to 1 so far. One of the Red Wings best games of the season came against Florida, and we’ll see if they can replicate it. It wasn’t as if they played poorly against Chicago–but they just couldn’t find goals when they needed them.

Against the Central Division leaders, the Red Wings will have their hands full.

Maybe one of the outsiders could provide a goal or two if let in.

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