The Red Wings finally ended their 8 game consecutive losing streak with a win versus Edmonton on Tuesday. Getting the monkey off their back will make it much easier to move forward. Grips start to get looser, confidence is regained, and everyone can breathe a little more.

Of course, in the NHL that relaxation can vanish in a hurry. For this Detroit team, they’ll need to start winning more games than they lose from now on, currently sitting just outside the bottom-5 of league standings. Point percentage wise their placement in the standings is even worse.

The schedule isn’t doing them any favors, facing a back-to-back, both of which come on the road. Starting off the back-to-back is a matchup with the Carolina Hurricanes. Analytically, Carolina is one of the top teams in the NHL…can’t say the same about the Red Wings.

Projected Lines

Detroit Red Wings

Patrik Nemeth
Filip Hronek
Joe Hicketts
Mike Green
Trevor Daley
Madison Bowey

Dylan Larkin and Justin Abdelkader are both expected to play tonight. There was some question about Larkin’s availability after missing Thursday’s practice, however, Jeff Blashill later said his absence was due to a maintenance day. In the case of Abdelkader, he was placed on injury reserve earlier this week, but looks to be ready to go now.

Dennis Cholowski is a healthy scratch once again. Joe Hicketts subs in for his second straight game in replacement of Cholowski. Also drawing into the lineup is Brendan Perlini, who the Red Wings acquired in a trade with Chicago. Perlini will wear no. 29 and start off on third line left wing. Based on practice, he’ll also get some powerplay reps.

Carolina Hurricanes

There is no doubt about it — the strength of this Carolina team is on the defense. Arguably the best in the NHL, they boast four D-man who would be the best option in Detroit. Signing Jake Gardiner this offseason was the cherry on top to what is an exceptional blue-line.

But that is not to say their forward group is any less potent. The second line of Andrei Svechnikov, Sebastian Aho, and Warren Foegele is just unfair. The depth of this team is incredible.

Three Thoughts

1.) Containing Svechnikov

Andrei Svechnikov, younger brother of Evgeny, is an emerging superstar in this league. The 19-year-old is playing at a point per game pace, and he’s only getting better. He’s really given Carolina that star up front that they’ve coveted for so long.

Its the creativity of Svechnikov that makes him so unique. He put the NHL on notice by pulling off “The Michigan” goal in spectacular fashion. This lacrosse style move has never been pulled off successfully in an NHL game, until now.

Its as beautiful as I always imagined it would be. If Detroit is unable to contain Svechnikov from doing Svechnikov things…it will be a very long night.

2.) Howard vs. Mrazek

Since being let go by the Red Wings, Petr Mrazek seems to have found a home in Raleigh. He’ll be in the cage tonight, taking on former teammate Jimmy Howard.

Through 8 games this season, Mrazek has put up a respectable .917 save percentage. He’s been the Canes go-to guy. Howard meanwhile has started in 7 games, owning a .910 save percentage. Interestingly, this will be the first time all season we see Jeff Blashill start the same goaltender for back-to-back games. Seeing as Howard played well against Edmonton and there was two days off in between games, it makes sense to let him go toe-to-toe with Mrazek.

That also likely means Jonathan Bernier will get the start in Florida tomorrow night.

3.) Perlini’s Debut

As mentioned earlier, Perlini is making his Red Wings debut in this one. The former first round pick was only able to draw into Chicago’s lineup once this season. Meaning, this will be his second game of the year, so some rust is to be expected.

The Red Wings are hoping he can help solve some of the depth scoring issues that have plagued this team. They are in desperate need of someone to pair with Andreas Athanasiou on the second line so that the trio of Tyler Bertuzzi, Dylan Larkin, and Anthony Mantha can be reunited for good.