The Detroit Red Wings embark upon a slightly strange portion of their schedule tonight. They host the San Jose Sharks (7:30 PM EST start on Bally Sports Detroit/NBS California/97.1 FM), and then head West to play Los Angeles on Thursday, Anaheim on Saturday, and the same Sharks next Tuesday, January 11th.
DetroitRedWings.com’s Jonathan Mills takes note of the scheduling quirk while discussing the Wings’ points of emphasis going into tonight’s game:
When the Detroit Red Wings and the San Jose Sharks drop the puck for the first time this season, Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill will be looking for his team to stay in the fight and respond to physicality.
“We got to make sure we’re making the other teams pay as much of a price as we’re paying,” Blashill said. “Are we totally built like that? I think we’re built enough like that, you know, that we can make sure that guys are making people pay a price.”
Before embarking on a three-game, west coast road trip, the Red Wings will entertain the Sharks from Little Caesars Arena on Tuesday night (7:30 p.m., Bally Sports Detroit and the Red Wings Radio Network).
Playing with increased physicality is one key to picking up Detroit’s first win of 2022, but keeping things simple in tight games remains among Blashill’s highest priorities.
“We just got to keep putting ourselves in those positions and then you’ve got to find ways to make plays to win the hockey game,” Blashill said. “To win in this league, you need great goaltending, you need great specialty teams and you need to play real good five-on-five hockey.”
Detroit is currently 15-15-3 this season with 33 points – one point behind the Boston Bruins – who overtook the Red Wings for fourth place in the Atlantic Division last Sunday.
Tuesday’s game marks the first time since Dec. 31, 2019, that the Red Wings and Sharks will face off. San Jose (17-15-1) has 35 points, and currently sits in sixth place in the Western Conference’s competitive Pacific Division. The Sharks are 8-8-0 on the road.