Time: 7:30pm ET
Place: Little Caesars Arena – Detroit, MI
TV: BSDET, SNE, SNO, SNW
Radio: 97.1 FM The Ticket
Flames Blog: Matchsticks and Gasoline
This has been an eventful first week of the season for the Red Wings so far. Three games in and we find them with a 2-0-1 record, fourth in the league in Goals For with 13 (it took them seven games to get to 13 last season), their two top prospects have both had strong starts to their NHL careers, and the team has shown they will not tolerate garbage play from their opponents anymore. Tonight, we will see if the young Wings can keep their new found ways and momentum going as the Calgary Flames step into the Dough Joe looking for their first win of the young season.
Calgary comes in with a record of 0-1-1. Johnny Gaudreau (2A), Elias Lindholm (2G), and Rasmus Andersson (2A) come in as the only Flames with more than a single point on the season. Jakob Markstrom has been in net the first two games for Calgary and has gotten off to a bit of slow start as well, putting up a .881 save percentage on 59 shots faced. Additionally the Flames specialty teams has struggled to start the season, in particular their penalty kill which sits second to last in the NHL at 50%.
For Detroit, they come in being lead offensively by their top line of Tyler Bertuzzi (5G, 1A), Dylan Larkin (1G, 2A) and Lucas Raymond (1G, 2A) and are finding offense from all over the lineup. In net, Tomas Griess has been stellar the last two games with a .969 save percentage on 64 shots and has come up with some huge saves in timely situations. On specialty teams the Red Wings find themselves middle of the league in both the power play and the penalty kill but with both contributing heavily in their last two wins.
This has the makings of an important test for the young Wings early in the season. Calgary comes in scuffling a bit but still with a lot of talent on their roster and an ability to throw a team off their game by getting under their skin. While it is great to see the team standing up for themselves and not letting teams get away with taking runs at them, the season opener against Tampa also showed that this young Wings team can be pushed into making costly mistakes by getting under their skin with physical play as well. It is great the Wings are showing that they will not tolerate garbage hits from opposing players. Now they need to show that they can keep their calm and not let the opposing team bait them into taking retaliatory penalties that either negate a power play or put themselves a man down.