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The last Red Wings win came well over two weeks ago. Seven straight games without a win has tested the mental toughness of this Detroit team very much so, but you have to think a couple of wins will come their way if they play the same way they did against Buffalo on Friday.

Today’s opponent: The defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues.

Projected Lineup

Detroit Red Wings

On the injury front, still no Justin Abdelkader and Adam Erne. Luke Glendening and Danny DeKeyser also remain out, expected to be sidelined for another week or two.

Patrik Nemeth’s status was questionable earlier in the week, but he has stated he is ready to go. Already down DeKeyser, having Nemeth penciled in is huge. Having to ice all three of Trevor Daley, Madison Bowey, and Alex Biega would have been worst case scenario for the coaching staff.

St. Louis Blues

The depth of this St. Louis lineup is what vaulted them to a Stanley Cup this past June. They’re especially deep down the middle and on defense. Hell, even on the wings they’ve got some quality names. Sammy Blais, who is playing fourth line right wing, might just be a top 6 winger in Detroit.

Russian sniper Vladimir Tarasenko is out, but they certainly have the fire power to survive without him. Oskar Sundqvist is replacing him on the top line, and they’ve found mixed results. So that area of the lineup might see a change up, but otherwise, they’re looking good.

Three Thoughts

1.) Championship Defense

The defensive corps of the Blues is as good as it gets. Alex Pietrangelo and Colton Parayko make up arguably the best pairing in the league, being difference makers on both ends of the ice. Youngster Vince Dunn has been highly touted for years, and is bound for a breakout season.

To add to all that, GM Doug Armstrong went out and acquired Justin Faulk from Carolina for a collection of futures. They’re serious about having a repeat Stanley Cup run.

For the Red Wings, who already struggle to score goals, this will be a massive challenge. They’ll need some bounces to go their way if they want to keep this game close.

2.) Givani Smith on the Powerplay

Givani Smith made his NHL debut on Friday and had a so-so game, which might be a good thing. The power forward mainly played a physical, dump-and-chase game, as you would expect from the fourth line. Hopefully he’ll be able to create some space today.

However, Jeff Blashill did make sure to get him some offensive looks. He took over the net front on the top powerplay unit, but unfortunately, the rest of his teammates failed to get the puck to the net. Smith is at his best creating havoc by the goal mouth. They’ll need better play up-top to get the puck on net and let Smith do his thing.

3.) Sticking With It

Losing seven games is not an easy thing to handle, especially for some of the most competitive players in the world. Putting up a strong performance against Buffalo, yet failing to even score a goal is discouraging. With the way St. Louis plays defense, goals won’t come easy, but that doesn’t mean they can let up. They’ll have to grind this one out all the way through.


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