If there ever was a night to bet the Detroit Red Wings on the road, this might be it.
Tonight in Raleigh, the COVID-19 ravaged Carolina Hurricanes will be taking the ice minus six players. Among those placed in COVID protocol include the club’s top two scorers, center Sebastian Aho (15-17-32) and right-winger Andrei Svechnikov (9-12-21). Also out are captain Jordan Staal, Ian Cole, Steven Lorentz and Seth Jarvis.
The Carolina Hurricanes have been able to bring Sebastian Aho, Seth Jarvis and their team staffer out of Canada via medical transport. Got them on a private plane bound for Minnesota to pick up the four players isolating there; all will head for Raleigh.
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) December 16, 2021
With so many absences, the Hurricanes will be taking the ice two players shy of the NHL’s 18 skater maximum. Carolina will suit up six defensemen but only 10 forwards.
The Red Wings will also be down forwards Robby Fabbri and Michael Rasmussen, who are in COVID protocol but they will still be able to ice a full compliment of 18 skaters. Unlike the Hurricanes, the Red Wings have plenty of salary cap space and were able to call up forwards Taro Hirose and Kyle Criscuolo from the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins.
UPDATE: The Detroit #RedWings today recalled center Kyle Criscuolo and left wing Taro Hirose from the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) December 15, 2021
“The one thing I know for sure is at the end of the night, two points are gonna be awarded to one team or the other,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “At the end of the year they’re not gonna look back and say, ‘well, that team was missing those guys.’ We’re both gonna be missing some guys. Obviously they got more guys out. We’re gonna have to go out and make sure we fight through any kind of distraction of having guys out of the lineup.
Hurricanes Still Favored
Despite being shorthanded, oddsmakers are still going with the Canes as the -175 favorites. The Wings are +155 underdogs.
Detroit is a dismal 4-9-1 straight up on the road this season. The Red Wings have lost their last two away games and allowed 13 goals in the process. Only four NHL teams show fewer road victories this season than Detroit.
Against the puckline, the Red Wings are 5-9.
Homecoming For Red Wings Nedeljkovic
Red Wings goalie Alex Nedeljkovic was a Calder Trophy finalist with the Hurricanes last sesaon. However, he was dealt to Detroit during the offseason. This will be his first time facing his old club, so he figures to be fired up.
“Anytime you play a former team, a former teammate, there’s some motivation,” Nedeljkovic said. “It’s exciting. It’s a fun place to play, too. That’s a great crowd. It’s a lot of fun.
“It’ll be really cool to see what it’s like as a visitor.”
Pick: Detroit Red Wings +155.