Nothing like a California sweep to give the Detroit Red Wings season a boost. Those are words that have not been often uttered in NHL history.
As DHN’s Bob Duff pointed out in a recent story, the Red Wings have not swept a west coast trip in 16 years. But they can do it tonight with a win in Anaheim against a Ducks team that currently sits in 30th place in the 32-team NHL. You can’t list this game as a lock simply because the Ducks beat the Red Wings in Detroit 20 days ago.
That came in the midst of the Red Wings’ 3-8-1 slump. They have looked sharper of late, although even on this successful trip, they have looked sloppy at times.
One plus for Detroit: Alex Lyon has stabilized the team’s goaltending. He will make his fifth consecutive start for Detroit. Detroit is 3-1 since he became the starter.
The season is approaching the halfway mark and this is an important game for Detroit. Even with recent success, the club remains four points out of a playoff spot. The Philadelphia Flyers own the final wild card position in the Eastern Conference. The Red Wings (19-16-4) need to climb over five other teams just to get to the Flyers.
Andrew Copp is expected to play tomorrow. Alex Lyon will be in net. #LGRW
— Daniella Bruce (@daniellabruce_) January 6, 2024
Griffins Streak Continues
The Grand Rapids Griffins, Detroit’s AHL affiliate, stretched their win streak to a season-high five games with a 4-1 win against the Iowa Wild. Jonatan Berggren posted a goal and an assist.
Michael Hutchinson made 29 saves. Carter Mazur scored his sixth goal in eight games.
Wings In Case You Missed It
- Detroit Red Wings prospect Anton Johansson is facing backlash for his behavior at the end of the Sweden-USA gold medal game at the World Junior Championship. Bob Duff has the details.
- Duff has another story about how history says winning on the West Coast is a good omen for the Red Wings.
- Detroit prospect Trey Augustine has enjoyed an impressive half season. He picked up a gold medal at the WJC after helping the Americans down the Axel Sandin Pellikka-led Swedish team.
- Shayne Gostisbehere is among the Red Wings who need to play at a higher level in the second half of Detroit’s season.
Red Wings Next Game
The Red Wings wrap up their three-game California trip with a game against the Anaheim Ducks tonight (8 p.m., Bally). Keep an eye on Daniel Sprong. He has been buzzing with five points in his past five games. He posted a total of 10 shots in the first two games of this road trip. The Ducks have lost four in a row, and six of their last seven games. They did pick up a point by taking the Maple Leafs to overtime. Anaheim is 7-9-1 at home. The Ducks give up 32.6 shots per game.
Hockey Now Network
Buffalo: Jason Moser writes that Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen was the Buffalo Sabres’ best player in a 3-1 win against the Penguins.
Chicago: The Chicago Blackhawks placed Connor Bedard (broken jaw) and Nick Foligno (broken finger) on injured reserve and made a small trade and claimed a forward off waivers.
Florida: Hockey Night in Canada analyst Kevin Bieksa, a former NHL player, called Florida Panthers player Nick Cousins a “rat” for his string of controversial hits. As FHN’s George Richards points out, Bieksa went “scorched earth” on Cousins. Richards has the details
Montreal: Marc Dumont writes that goalie Samuel Montembeault stole points from the New York Rangers with his stellar play. Montreal Canadiens.
Pittsburgh: Coach Mike Sullivan made it clear that he didn’t like the officiating call on the Pittsburgh Penguins‘ disallowed goal in a loss to the Buffalo Sabres.
San Jose: Coach David Quinn calls out his San Jose Sharks for lack of consistent effort.
Vegas: Does the 5-2 win against the Islanders mean the Vegas Golden Knights are emerging from their funk?