The Detroit Red Wings host the Nashville Predators tonight (7:30 PM EST on FSD/FS Tennessee/97.1 FM), and the Wings will start Jimmy Howard but play without Mike Green (shoulder); the Predators did not hold a morning skate, so we won’t know who the Preds start until later this afternoon.
In the multimedia department, the Red Wings posted a game-day preview video…
“As somebody gets traded, you can think about who you lost or you can think about who you have and I tend to always think about who we have and we got lots of good players in here that give us a great chance to win on a nightly basis and we’ve proven that,” Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “I think when we lose tough games like we did the other night, when something like that happens, you have a trade like we did last night, I think it’s easy for lots of people to say we’re finished. We’re not finished. We got lots of fight in us and I expect us to come out and show that tonight.”
The Wings recalled goaltender Jared Coreau from the Grand Rapids Griffins. Coreau was named AHL Player of the Week Monday after recording back-to-back road shutouts of the Manitoba Moose.
Wakiji continues, quoting Ken Holland regarding the team’s deadline outlook and the players regarding saying “goodbye” to Mrazek, but I believe that this is more pertinent at present:
The Wings have 24 games remaining in the regular season so Coreau will no doubt get a chance to play. In 14 games last season, Coreau was 5-4-3 with a 3.46 goals-against average and .887 save percentage. He also had two shutouts. Since Dec. 22, Coreau is 13-2-3 with a 1.92 goals-against average and .933 save percentage in 18 appearances with the Griffins.
“I think it was kind of a whole team thing down there, Tommy (McCollum) included,” Coreau said. “I think we just found a whole new level to play every game. We were making those one or two big saves a game that everyone needs and I think we started getting a bit more goal support.”
Howard is happy to be working with Coreau again.
“He’s one of those guys that he’s eager to learn,” Howard said. “He works hard every single day and when he’s in the net he competes. It’ll be fun to watch.”
Coreau, 26, said he found out he was coming to Detroit shortly after the trade happened.
“The whole night’s kind of a blur because I had to pack,” Coreau said. “I got a little bit of sleep, then woke up this morning and came. I called my parents right away. I think I woke them up. A huge opportunity. I still have to earn things, nothing’s given like we always say. Exciting times.”
NHL.com’s Dave Hogg also penned a game preview…
The Game: The Nashville Predators will try to end a seven-game losing streak to the Detroit Red Wings when they come to Little Caesars Arena on Tuesday.
Nashville is 0-6-1 against Detroit since a 6-4 win on Dec. 30, 2013. The Predators will likely face Jimmy Howard after the Red Wings traded goaltender Petr Mrazek to the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday. The Predators won’t miss Mrazek, who made 31 saves in Detroit’s 3-1 win at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday and is 6-0-0 lifetime against Nashville with a 2.00 goals-against average. Howard is 9-7-1 against Nashville with a 2.34 GAA.
Nashville, which is tied with the Winnipeg Jets for first place in the Central Division, is coming off a 5-2 win against the Ottawa Senators on Monday. The Predators had lost their previous two games.
The Red Wings lost 3-2 to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday. They trail the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Islanders by seven points for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.
Players to watch: Predators forward Viktor Arvidsson has nine points (five goals, four assists) in his past 10 games, including two goals in the win against Ottawa.
Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg has seven points (two goals, five assists) in his past seven games. He is second on the team with 40 points (eight goals, 32 assists) in 58 games.
As did the Predators website’s Brooks Bratten (although it’s abbreviated)…
Three days after suffering a 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Red Wings, the Nashville Predators get their chance at revenge as the two meet once again, this time in Detroit in their first visit to the brand-new Little Caesars Arena. Tonight’s contest is the second and final of the season between the Preds and Wings; Nashville has not beaten Detroit in the last seven tries.
The Predators will also finish the second half of a back-to-back set tonight; they started things off with a 5-2 win over Ottawa on Monday night, their first victory in three tries.
“We played a pretty good game Saturday [against Detroit], but we still thought we could play a lot better,” Preds Captain Roman Josi said following the loss. “I thought it was better tonight. We had a lot of chances. All our lines were going and made a lot of shots. It’s a big win for us.”
Last Time Out: Viktor Arvidsson scored twice in the 5-2 win over Ottawa, becoming the first Preds player to reach the 20-goal mark this season. Josi, Ryan Ellis and Craig Smith also found the back of the net on Monday – with Ellis and Josi’s markers coming on the power play – and Pekka Rinne recorded his 299th career win.
Defenseman P.K. Subban continues to lead the club in scoring with 45 points, followed by Filip Forsberg with 41 points and Arvidsson with 39 points. Smith and Kevin Fiala follow Arvidsson with 18 goals apiece, while Forsberg has 17 to his name.
The Opposition: After beating the Preds on Saturday, Detroit fell 3-2 to Toronto on Sunday. Dylan Larkin leads the Red Wings with 43 points, followed by Henrik Zetterberg with 40 and Anthony Mantha with 36. Mantha is Detroit’s only 20-goal scorer; Gustav Nyquist has 16 goals on the season. Petr Mrazek, who got the win against Nashville on Saturday, was traded to Philadelphia yesterday, meaning the Preds will likely face Jimmy Howard in goal tonight.
And if you’re interested, you can watch Ken Holland’s entire press conference regarding the Mrazek trade via Fox 2 Detroit. It’s half-an-hour long:
“I don’t believe in massive rebuilds,” Holland said. “I believe the wheel is going to turn. We have to move young players on to our team but there has to be veterans to teach those players how to play, how to be competitive.
“I believe in life you’re going to be the best when you’re challenged every day, whether it be by yourself or your coach, or challenged by a teammate in order for ice time. That’s how you maximize your ability, not when someone keeps handing you a plate of 18 minutes (of ice time) and you go on the ice for the power play because you’re young, and supposed to have potential and supposed to be good.”
If by Monday’s trade deadline Holland doesn’t get what he specifically is looking for, he made clear Tuesday he’ll wait until the Entry Draft in June to make deals, or next year’s trade deadline, in order to move out older players and move in younger ones.
“I’m open for business over the next year or two,” Holland said. “Hopefully we’ll continue to make moves that will impact this team down the road. Am I open for business? Yes. I’ve talked to lots of teams.
“But over the next year or two, we need to acquire more futures and we need those futures to get better. We have a lot of young kids in the next year or two to work their way on to Grand Rapids, and we have to try to continue to funnel them from the draft table through Grand Rapids and on to the Detroit Red Wings.”
Update #2: Here’s the Preds broadcasters’ game day preview: