How bad have the Detroit Red Wings been recently? Tonight marks the first time in 107 games the team is the betting favorite to win an NHL game.
The Red Wings are a -126 favorite to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight at Little Caesars Arena
The interesting aspect of that is the Blue Jackets are off to an unexpectedly strong start. They thumped the Arizona Coyotes 8-2 and downed the Seattle Kraken 2-1 in overtime. Goalie Elvis Merzlikins won both of those games and sits with a 1.48 goals-against average and .948 save percentage.
But the Detroit Red Wings have also started strongly, earning a point against the two-time defending Stanley Cup Tampa Bay Lightning and beating the Vancouver Canucks.
Rumor of the Day
Craig Morgan of PHNX Sport reports The Coyotes are shopping Phil Kessel. He wants out. AZ is working aggressively to make it happen.
— Spector's Hockey (@SpectorsHockey) October 18, 2021
Canada Hockey Now
Toronto: Auston Matthews is back in the lineup, but New York Rangers beat the Maple Leafs in OT.
Montreal: Mike Hoffman returned to the practice and coach Dominique Ducharme is juggling lines again.
Vancouver: One oddity of this season’s Canucks’ squad is they have fewer Europeans. For so many years, the Canucks had a Euro flavor, especially when the Sedin twins were leading the charge.
National Hockey Now
Boston: A sad follow-up to Jimmy Hayes’s death–an autopsy revealed Hayes had fentanyl and cocaine in his system.
Detroit: Bob Duff opines that since former enforcer George Parros took over as the NHL discipline guru, chaos has reigned. The NHL has a policing problem.
Meanwhile, Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin talked about his one-game suspension for the first time and reported that he and Tampa Bay Lightning forward Mathieu Joseph apologized to each other.
Colorado: Adrian Dater reports Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon tested negative for Covid. He immediately left for Washington where the Avalanche play the Capitals in a game on Tuesday.
Florida: Rookie Spencer Knight is the team’s star of the future. That has prompted some Panthers followers to turn on Sergei Bobrovsky. He isn’t listening to them. He is just playing well.
New York Islanders: Without Matt Martin, the NHL’s top fourth line hasn’t discovered its identity.
San Jose: The league handed Evander Kane a 21-game suspension for a fake Covid test document and breaking COVID protocols.
Washington: Our Sammi Silber had a one-on-one interview with Justin Schultz. When Schultz is confident, he’s an impact defenseman. But he’s not always confident. But this season his swagger is back.
Vegas: Mark Stone is injured, but the Golden Knights have some players coming back. Rookie Peyton Krebs could be the odd man out.