Detroit Hopes To Stop Singing The Blues
The Red Wings are coming off a strong showing last night in Nashville and seek a similar result tonight against another divisional foe, St. Louis. Detroit can start a winning streak by ending their losing streak against the Blues. The Wings have lost their past three games against St. Louis going back to a 10-3 rout last season.
The teams' two meetings this season have been decided by one goal margins that frustrated Detroit. In both games St. Louis was buoyed by a surprisingly solid performance by an area of its special teams. In their November come from behind victory their PK was uncharacteristically stingy, denying the Wings on six power play attempts, including a five minute major. In a matchup earlier in December, St. Louis scored two power play goals for the first time since their 10-3 drubbing of Detroit the previous season.
St. Louis plays a hard-nosed, physical game that will force Detroit to go for the grinding, not graceful, win. They will have some help on the fourth line from Swedish prospect Joakim Andersson, making his NHL debut in place of Tomas Holmstrom who is out a week to ten days with a strained groin.
Babcock on why Andersson was called up: "He's bigger than those guys (Tomas Tatar, Gustav Nyquist). I don't know if he can do it, but we like this type of player (for tonight). Sometimes you need some apples and sometimes you need oranges.''
Andersson was the Red Wings' third round pick in 2007. He brings another big body (6-2, 206) to the roster along with dependable 2-way hockey sense and penalty killing ability.
Andersson will be the only lineup change tonight as Kindl remains a healthy scratch. Jiri Hudler is the only Red Wing with more than one point (1G, 1A) against the Blues this year.