Sunday, January 27, 2013

Preview: Wings Look to Ground Blackhawks

Detroit (2-2-0) @ Chicago (5-0-0)

The Red Wings seem to have found life as they enter the 2nd week of play in the 2013 season, but now face a team with much different fortunes of late.  The Blackhawks' perfect start to the season has been a talking point in the media, but is no reason to underestimate a Detroit squad that looks like it is finally getting its wings back--both figuratively and literally.

Despite the shaky start, Detroit's top lines are starting to produce goals and the defence is starting to settle in--mostly.  Though there is still much concern about the play of Kyle Quincey--and, to a lesser extent, Brendan Smith--Brian Lashoff has played admirably and Kent Huskins has also helped fill the void on the blueline quite well.  The Red Wings' powerplay has also found some spark, but face a Chicago PK that has done its team proud thus far, killing 16 of 17.

Jimmy Howard will most likely have the start tonight in net and should continue his solid play from last week's games.  If Howard and the forwards can both get going at the same time, it should help ease the strain on an admittedly weak defensive unit.

A win tonight in Chicago for the Red Wings would deny the Hawks a record-setting evening, as they aim for their longest season-opening winning streak in club history.

So not only can the Wings creep closer to the top of the division, but they would do so while rubbing salt in the fresh wound of an old enemy.