As much as they are doing their utmost to downplay the notion, there’s no question that Saturday’s afternoon’s game at Ottawa against the Senators is a definite litmus test for the Detroit Red Wings.
Last February, consecutive lopsided losses at Ottawa derailed what was looking like a potential rally for a playoff spot by the Red Wings. Still, Detroit coach Derek Lalonde was adamant that Saturday’s game won’t be about getting any payback.
Atlantic Division standings a week in the season:
1. Ottawa Senators
2. Detroit Red Wings
3. Boston Bruins
4. Toronto Maple Leafs
5. Montreal Canadiens
6. Tampa Bay Lightning
7. Florida Panthers
8. Buffalo Sabres
Ottawa and Detroit are banging on the playoff door. pic.twitter.com/89MX1t1p6j
— Big Head Hockey (@BigHeadHcky) October 19, 2023
At the same time, it’s wise to remember the words of Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman. Last season, he said the teams that his club are competing against to climb the Atlantic Division ladder are the Senators and the Buffalo Sabres. Detroit was a combined 1-5-2 against the Sabres and Senators last season. That’s one of the reasons why Saturday’s game is fairly significant for only being the fifth game of the NHL season.
Red Wings In Case You Missed It
- His health back, Andrew Copp is showing the Red Wings what he can really do
- Off to a fast start, Detroit forward Alex DeBrincat is leading the NHL in scoring
- In this paywall piece, a look at how the Yzerplan is coming together
Red Wings Next Game
Visiting Ottawa on Saturday afternoon (1 p.m. ET), Detroit is 0-4-1 in the club’s last five visits to Canada’s capital city since a 2-0 victory there on Feb. 2, 2019.
Boston: Could Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak reach the 60-goal plateau again?
Buffalo: A 4-3 loss to the Calgary Flames was displaying an age-old problem with the Buffalo Sabres, the lack of solid team defensive play.
Florida: Posting his 106th win, Sergei Bobrovsky was moving into second place on the franchise all-time list following a 3-1 victory over Toronto.
Montreal: Montreal Canadiens defenseman Kaiden Guhle is day to day with an upper-body injury.
Ottawa: Just in time to face the Red Wings, Ottawa Senators forward Josh Norris, a 35-goal scorer last season, is back from a shoulder injury.
Tampa Bay: Captain Steven Stamkos was collecting an assist in a 4-3 victory over Vancouver as he was returning from the injury list.
Toronto: Former Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi was dropped from the top line as the Maple Leafs fell 3-1 to Florida.
Tyler Bertuzzi has taken five minor penalties in three games. Most of them far away from the Leafs' net.
— luke fox (@lukefoxjukebox) October 17, 2023
Hockey Now Network
Philadelphia: Center Morgan Frost spent his second straight game as a healthy scratch as the Philadelphia Flyers beat Edmonton.
Pittsburgh: The Pittsburgh Penguins have placed forward Jansen Harkins on waivers.
New Jersey: New Jersey Devils coach Lindy Ruff is flipping centers Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier on his top two forward lines.
Islanders: New York Islanders defenseman Noah Dobson is showing there’s more to his game than just penalty killing.
Carolina: With Fredrik Andersen suffering an injury, the Carolina Hurricanes are recalling goalie Pyotr Kochetkov from AHL Syracuse.
Washington: The Washington Capitals are recalling defenseman Hardy Häman Aktell from the AHL Hershey Bears.
Colorado: Blocking 18 shots, Alexandar Georgiev posted a shutout as the Colorado Avalanche won their home opener 4-0 over Chicago.
Chicago: The Chicago Blackhawks didn’t show much during a 4-0 loss to the Colorado Avalanche.
Vegas: A 5-3 victory over the Winnipeg Jets kept the Vegas Golden Knights unbeaten on the young NHL season.
San Jose: The San Jose Sharks placed defenseman Radim Simek on waivers.