I chose to not post a Red Wings-Ducks game preview ahead of tonight’s game between the teams (10 PM EST start on Bally Sports Detroit Plus/Bally Sports California/Bally Sports San Diego/97.1 FM) because the 18-11-and-7 Anaheim Ducks have a significant number of moving parts heading into tonight’s game.
Anaheim won its last game, a 4-1 decision over the Philadelphia Flyers, thanks to a Troy Terry hat trick, but they were without Nicholas Deslauriers, Derek Grant, Ryan Getzlaf and beloved-by-the-columnists rookie Trevor Zegras due to COVID protocols, and the team didn’t practice on Wednesday (nor did the Red Wings), so we won’t know what the Ducks’ lineup looks like until the morning skate begins.
The 16-15-and-3 Red Wings’ 6-2 win over San Jose on Tuesday snapped a stretch in which the Wings had lost 6 of their previous 8 games, but the Wings are 4-10-and-1 on the road, and Anaheim’s win over Philly snapped a 4-game losing streak, so both teams would like to get on a roll here.
As you probably know by now, the Boston Bruins have eclipsed the Red Wings in the Atlantic Division and Wild Card standings, but the Ducks sit only 2 points behind Vegas in the Pacific Division standings, so, again, the stakes are pretty high tonight.
Red Wings play-by-play announcer Ken Kal was the first person to say, “Hello” this “morning”:
DetroitRedWings.com’s Jonathan Mills also posted a Wings-Ducks preview:
As is the case with most young teams, the road hasn’t been overly kind to the Wings this season. Detroit is 4-10-1 away from home and has dropped three straight road games.
According to [Red Wings coach Jeff] Blashill, continuing to maintain a sound defensive structure will be key in giving Detroit a chance to win on the road.
“I thought we played a very smothering style from a defensive standpoint, in terms of not giving space,” Blashill said following Tuesday’s game. “I thought we laid pucks in behind and went and got them. Those are two important things if you’re going to win on the road. Hopefully we are continuing to grow and learn as a hockey team, and what it takes for us to be successful, home and away, but specifically on the road.”
Detroit is 16-15-3 this season with 35 points. Anaheim is 18-11-7 with 43 points, tied for the third-most in the Western Conference. The Ducks are 11-4-4 at the Honda Center, and are coming off a 4-1 win over the visiting Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.
Anaheim center Troy Terry, who recorded his first career NHL hat trick on Tuesday, has 34 points (21 goals, 13 assists) and leads a quartet of Ducks players who have tallied at least 20 points. Anaheim is scheduled to be without rookie Trevor Zegras (25 points) – December’s NHL “Rookie of the Month” – who remains in the League’s COVID-19 protocol.
John Gibson has made 27 starts in goal and is 12-9-6 with a .917 save percentage.
AnaheimDucks.com’s Matt Weller also posted a pre-morning skate game preview:
The Ducks look for back-to-back wins on home ice tonight, taking on the Detroit Red Wings on Angels Night at Honda Center. The Ducks have points in 11 of their last 14 games (7-3-4) and sit second in the Pacific Division (18-11-7, 43 points).
Anaheim ended a four-game winless streak with a gutsy 4-1 win over Philadelphia Tuesday night at Honda Center. With seven regular forwards out of the lineup, Troy Terry provided all the offense the Ducks would need, scoring his first career hat trick to move into third place among NHL goal scoring leaders.
“I’m extremely proud of Troy Terry,” head coach Dallas Eakins said. “I’ve seen this kid right from day one. For him to be where he’s at, goal-scoring, as a big influencer and driver on our team, it’s fun to watch. I think that’s one of the real privileges of coaching is to see these guys grow into players.”
Terry netted the 59th hat trick in franchise history and the first since Isac Lundestrom‘s three-goal performance last March vs. St. Louis. Only Alex Ovechkin and Leon Draisaitl have more goals than Terry this season.
The Ducks will hope to get some of those forwards back to take on Detroit at Honda Center, including Trevor Zegras and Ryan Getzlaf. Zegras entered the COVID-19 protocol on Dec. 28 and has missed the last four games. He was named NHL Rookie of the Month for December, after leading first-year players in scoring and assists. Getzlaf was placed in the protocol on Jan. 2.
Detroit visits Anaheim to open a three-game California road trip. The Red Wings are making their first visit to Honda Center in over two years, the last meeting a 4-3 Detroit OT victory in October 2019. Anaheim has points in six of its last seven homes games against Detroit (5-1-1).
If you missed it…
Trevor Zegras is out of COVID-19 protocol and potentially available for tonight’s #NHLDucks game against Detroit. My colleague, @m_bultman, and I combined on this fun debate of three leading Calder Trophy candidates between the two teams.https://t.co/8BTxkYB3HW— Eric Stephens (@icemancometh) January 6, 2022
The Ducks’ skate must have been an optional one, because the first Tweet from said skate came from Max Bultman:
Then came a surprise from coach Dallas Eakins:
HCDE: “Z not very happy with me right now. … Zegras will not play tonight. He’ll practice tomorrow and be ready for the next one.”— Elliott Teaford (@ElliottTeaford) January 6, 2022
Ugh. The constant self-promotion…
Trevor Zegras won’t be in the #NHLDucks lineup. First day out of protocol and isn’t being rushed back with just one morning skate. Still worth having back-and-forth with @m_bultman on him, Moritz Seider, Lucas Raymond and the Calder. @DetroitRedWings
https://t.co/sF2DvmFLc1— Eric Stephens (@icemancometh) January 6, 2022
John Gibson pulled off the ice after a positive test. Stolarz in net tonight.— Elliott Teaford (@ElliottTeaford) January 6, 2022
If I heard Dallas correctly, he said Stolarz was penciled in to start tonight anyway.— Elliott Teaford (@ElliottTeaford) January 6, 2022
In other words, the Wings were gonna get back-up’ed anyway…
And there’s no update on Ryan Getzlaf, Nicholas Deslauriers or Derek Grant, so I guess they remain in COVID protocols.