Game Day Updates: Red Wings at Islanders – Winging It In Motown

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It’s far too early in the season to call a Monday night game in Long Island a crossroads for the season, but it sure would be nice for the Red Wings to close out October on a high note.
Detroit enters tonight’s game winless in its last three, falling in overtime to the Seattle Kraken before dropping a home game to the Winnipeg Jets and a road contest against the Boston Bruins. Suddenly, the team’s hot 5-1 start is in danger of becoming a memory, and the playoff picture doesn’t mean much of anything yet, much of the Atlantic Division has kept pace and the Red Wings are locked in a three-way tie for second. A win tonight would be the cherry on top of an impressive start.
But we all know about “the process,” so perhaps more important than the actual result is how the team looks. The Red Wings of the recent past could get a little down during losing skids, and turning one or two bad games into a string of four or five losses is how you quickly end up looking in from the outside. Things don’t go well in Boston for most teams around the league, and especially Detroit of late, so forgetting about Saturday’s result and coming out playing the aggressive style that led to the hot start would be most encouraging, especially against an Islanders team that thrives playing low-event hockey.

How to Watch
Time: 7:30 p.m. at UBS Arena
TV/Radio: Bally Sports Detroit / 97.1 The Ticket

Red Wings Lines (projected)
Not much information out of Detroit’s morning skate, so lines are based on Saturday’s game in Boston, and the news that Justin Holl will sit in favor of Olli Maatta, per Ted Kulfan. Jonatan Berggren was returned to Grand Rapids over the weekend, so the forward group will be some combination of the following:
Alex DeBrincat – Dylan Larkin – Lucas Raymond
J.T. Compher – Andrew Copp – David Perron
Michael Rasmussen – Joe Veleno – Daniel Sprong
Klim Kostin – Austin Czarnik – Christian Fischer

Jake Walman – Moritz Seider
Ben Chiarot – Jeff Petry
Olli Maatta – Shayne Gostisbehere

Ville Husso
James Reimer

Islanders Lines
The Islanders are 4-2-1 this season and coming off a shutout win over Columbus. Ilya Sorokin is set to start tonight, and ailing defenseman Scott Mayfield will miss tonight’s game. That news and projected lines are courtesy of The Hockey News’ Stefen Rosner:
Anders Lee – Bo Horvat – Mathew Barzal
Pierre Engvall – Brock Nelson – Kyle Palmieri
Simon Holmstrom – Jean-Gabriel Pageau – Oliver Wahlstrom
Matt Martin – Casey Cizikas – Cal Clutterbuck

Adam Pelech – Noah Dobson
Alexander Romanov – Ryan Pulock
Samuel Bolduc – Sebastian Aho (the Swedish one)

Ilya Sorokin
Semyon Varlamov

Keys to the Game
1. Dictate play. The Islanders added some major firepower last season in 40-goal man Bo Horvat, but early returns this season are same-old, same-old for New York. The team is 25th in the early NHL season in goals-per-game (2.57), but find themselves with nine of a possible 14 points thanks to its system that doesn’t allow many chances. Detroit’s offense is still third in the league (4.00 per game) despite a one-goal effort on Saturday, so putting their foot on the gas early in this one would be a major positive.
2. Feed Joe. DeBrincat and Larkin are still top-five in league scoring despite a quiet Saturday, but Joe Veleno’s staked his claim for Detroit’s hottest scorer with five goals in his last five games. Continuing to get offense from sources other than the first line and power play is key for the season, and Veleno establishing himself as a consistent scorer and possible long-term solution as a third-line center is key for the rebuild, so let’s keep it going. Really, this note was just an excuse to post his abuse of Brandon Carlo’s triangle one more time:

Joey V has his 5th on the season!
3. Can Ville steal one? Saturday’s effort certainly wasn’t Husso’s fault, but a 3.33 goals-against average and 0.894 save percentage through six starts are both a bit off from where Detroit needs Husso to be. The Islanders have some scorers — Horvat was mentioned above, and Brock Nelson is annually on my all-underrated team — but they don’t generate much by design. Seems like a good opportunity for Husso to bounce back strong.

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