It’s safe to say that the Red Wings have struggled mightily over their last three games. Including their 6-0 defeat at home against the Maple Leafs on Wednesday, Detroit has now lost seven straight games and have scored just a single goal during their last three.

Hopefully, the Red Wings will give their fans something to feel thankful about following today’s afternoon affair against the 13-7-5 Flyers. Coming into this game, Philadelphia has earned at least a point in five of their previous six games. The Flyers also haven’t allowed more than two goals during regulation in each of their last three games. So with these offensive struggles, Detroit may find it tough for them to surge past the Flyers on this holiday game.

Projected Lines

Detroit Red Wings

Patrik Nemeth
Filip Hronek
Dennis Cholowski
Dylan McIlrath
Jonathan Ericsson
Madison Bowey

With the Red Wings’ lack of offensive production over the last three games, one would think that head coach Jeff Blashill would be making some adjustments with his lines. However, there’s no way for us to know if that’ll happen until pregame warmups. Since Detroit plays in the afternoon, there will be no morning skate for the Red Wings on Black Friday.

That being said, Blashill should seriously consider moving forward Andreas Athanasiou back up to the second line. The 25-year-old was bumped down to the third line a few games ago and has since been pointless in three straight games. If Athanasiou was promoted to the second line, then fellow forward Darren Helm would need to be positioned back down to the third line.

Philadelphia Flyers

Ivan Provorov
Matt Niskanen
Travis Sanheim
Justin Braun
Robert Hagg
Philippe Myers

Despite their poor expectations this season, the Flyers have so far received extremely consistent production from their first two lines. Fourth-year forward Travis Konecny is currently leading his team in scoring (24) and is tied for second with fellow forward and captain Claude Giroux in goals (8) as well.

Additionally, Philadelphia’s second line of Sean Couturier, Oskar Lindblom and Jakub Voracek have combined to produce 26% of their team’s points so far this season. So, the Red Wings will be tasked with attempting to prevent each of the Flyers’ first two lines from overpowering them this afternoon.

Three Thoughts

1.) Continuing Lack of Shots on Net

Over the past three games, the Red Wings have really struggled to create offensive pressure on opposing teams. During that time, Detroit has averaged just 21.3 shots/game, including just eight through the final 40 minutes against the Hurricanes back on Sunday.

Through 25 games this season, the Flyers have allowed the third-fewest number of shots per game (28.6) in the entire league. Given Philadelphia’s ability to prevent shots on net, the Red Wings will likely have a tough time recording more than 20 shots on net during this game.

2.) Fabbri on Verge of Breaking Out 

Despite his outstanding performance when he was first acquired by the Red Wings at the start of November, forward Robby Fabbri has sustained a mini three-game pointless drought. However, the 23-year-old has certainly found his scoring chances over the previous three games.

During those games, while the Red Wings have created just one goal, Fabbri has generated a combined seven shots on net, including four against the Maple Leafs back on Wednesday. While Detroit will be facing outstanding young goaltender Carter Hart, who has recorded a 2.54 GAA and a .900 SV% this season, Fabbri has the potential of breaking out of his current scoring slump.

3.) Dominance in Faceoff Circle 

So far this season, the Flyers have performed as the best faceoff winning team throughout the entire league. Entering today’s game, Philadelphia has produced a league-leading 54% FOW percentage this season. The Red Wings’ bottom two centers have also struggled in the faceoff dot this season. Forwards Frans Nielsen and Christoffer Ehn will very likely continue to serve as detriments to Detroit’s success against the Flyers.

Nielsen, who’s recorded a measly 43% FOW percentage this season, and Ehn, who’s earned a 49% FOW percentage, will both need to perform more effectively during today’s game in Philadelphia. If they’re unable to accomplish that, Detroit could find themselves chasing all over the ice for possession of the puck all game long.