The Lions are on the bye week, so the focus of the Detroit sports community is laser-focused on the Red Wings, the other team in the city that suddenly can’t buy a win.
They need to ante up big-time this weekend, or the NHL season will be crapping out again for them.
The Wings are doubling down on Jack Eichel trade opponents this week They’re facing back-to-back games Saturday in Buffalo against the Sabres (7 p.m. ET) and Sunday at home opposing the Vegas Golden Knights (6 p.m. ET).
This Saturday, we celebrate and honor the 40th anniversary of Val James' NHL debut!
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) November 1, 2021
If Detroit doesn’t come away with at minimum a split of these games, then the Red Wings’ season will officially be coming apart at the seams.
“We gotta go out and win,” said Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill, whose club is 0-3-1 in the last four games. “That’s the reality of it.”
Red Wings Missing Their Motors
Once again, the Wings will need to do so minus captain Dylan Larkin. He’ll miss his third consecutive game for what the team will go no further than terming as personal reasons. Blashill did acknowledge that Larkin currently remains on Detroit’s 23-player active roster.
During this four-game slide, the Wings have played twice without Bertuzzi. He can’t play in Canada because he doesn’t have his vaccination for COVID-19. They’ve also been twice without Larkin. In one game, two-thirds of Detroit’s top line was missing.
“I’ve said this lots – Dylan’s an engine for us,” Blashill said. “Tyler’s an engine. They’re two of our best players. There’s no doubt. But the degree to which you miss guys always depends on the degree to which the guys who are in those spots, how good they play.
“If we get an effort tonight where the 12 forwards that are dressed are playing their A game, I think you don’t feel the loss nearly as much. I think we get an effort tonight where the 12 forwards are playing their C game, you’re gonna wish maybe that you have Dylan in the lineup.”
Staal A Game Time Decision
Defenseman Marc Staal, who suffered an undislcosed injury in Thursday’s 5-1 loss at Boston, will be a game-time decision. Defenseman Gustav Lindstrom (undisclosed) remains on IR.
“I don’t know if it’ll be tomorrow or Tuesday that he’ll be available but he’s getting closer, unless he has a setback,” Blashill said of Lindstrom.
GAME DAY! #LGRW
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) November 6, 2021
Blashill admitted that his squad is suffering from a team-wide loss of confidence. They need to work toward getting their swagger back.
“You got to earn that confidence and earn that swagger by going out and playing a good hockey game, and that doesn’t by any stretch guarantee a win but that’s how it starts, making sure you’re playing really good hockey,” Blashill said.