It’s not just Crosby, Letang, Park, Michalek, and Bortuzzo. It’s Now Staal as a game time decision along with Evgeni Malkin against Detroit tonight. I have been writing about this teams injury depletion for the past week and a half now, but to see it visualized in the Farm report and now to add Malkin to that list is just staggering.
On the other hand, Detroit comes into tonight winning 8 of the last 10 games and their power play is clicking at 20%. It is the same cast of characters your used to seeing with Franzen, Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Lidstrom leading the way. This team still plays rough and controlled on defense and can score whenever it wants to on offense.
Franzen and Datsyuk lead the team with 28 points each respectively, but they have several other players with solid offensive numbers. The Redwing’s still sport that same defensive system as they have now for years and they have solid Goaltending to go along with that. Jimmy Howard is sporting a goals against average less than 2 per game and When you are a team that can score, and play solid defense like the Wings can, it can make it tough on healthy teams let alone teams with this much talent sitting out for injury reasons. Here are the 4 lines that were out on the ice this morning for the RedWings.
As for the Penguin’s, here were the practice lines from this mornings skate.
As mentioned, Stall is a game time decision, if he can not go, then Dupuis will move up and Vitale will move up to the second line keeping together the Adams, MacIntyre and Williams line. Also, if Malkin can go, that will also affect the overall set up of tonight’s lines, in a good way of course.
The one small ray of sun in this cloudy outlook for tonight’s lineup’s is the fact that they are starting to get healthier and are still performing well under the circumstances. Michalek and Strait were on the ice this morning and are close, and with Staal and Malkin day to day, this team could be getting back over the hump. Letang is also coming along well and it’s possible to see him, in the next week or so back on the ice.
(The Line updates were from the Official Pittsburgh Penguins Website)