Game Day: vs. Detroit
Wisniewski back in the lineup for CBJ; Howard out for visiting Wings
WATCH: FOX Sports Ohio | LISTEN: 97.1 The Fan & BlueJackets.com
|For the second time in less than week, the Detroit Red Wings and the Columbus Blue Jackets will meet in another edition of their Central Division rivalry. The two clubs have not met twice in the first month of the season in quite some time, and story lines are plentiful already.
Detroit won the season series opener Friday night at Joe Louis Arena, the difference being three power-play goals in a 5-2 victory over the Blue Jackets. Johan Franzen scored two goals in the first period, Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom each scored timely goals in the second and third periods, respectively, and Valtteri Filppula added an empty-netter.
Needless to say, the Red Wings have their big guns going at full speed early in the season. Blue Jackets coach Scott Arniel went over the keys to success against Detroit last week and felt his club did certain things well to execute the game plan; teams must pressure the Red Wings all over the ice and create turnovers to combat Detroit’s fluid, puck-possession style.
Saturday night in the nation’s capital, the Washington Capitals put a lot of pressure on the Red Wings’ defense and came away with a 7-1 victory that did not resonate well with Detroit coach Mike Babcock. Washington’s strategy against the Red Wings was similar to what Arniel mentioned: shoot the puck, get traffic in front and force them to make mistakes. Ty Conklin was between the pipes for all seven goals scored by the Capitals.
At 5-1-0 heading into Tuesday’s game at Nationwide Arena, the Red Wings have proven that their game is consistent both at home and away from Joe Louis Arena. They opened their road schedule with a 3-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center two weeks ago, and also claimed a 3-2 overtime win against the Minnesota Wild in St. Paul on October 15.
The strangest part of Detroit being tagged for seven goals against? The Red Wings allowed as many goals to the Capitals (7) as they had in their previous five games combined; they shut out the Avalanche and Vancouver Canucks in their first three regular-season games. Even with a lopsided defeat in the mix, the Red Wings (+5) still hold one of the top goal differentials in the NHL.
With two games sandwiched so close together on the schedule, the recipe for success hasn’t changed all that much for Columbus. To get the Red Wings off their game and claim their first win of the season, the Blue Jackets must use their forecheck to sustain pressure, hem the Red Wings defense below the goal line and force them to make bad decisions with the puck.