Gill Out, Black Aces Recalled
Hal Gill will be out of the Nashville Predators lineup for Game Four, still battling a lower body injury. The hulking 6 foot 7 Gill would give the Wings fits, blocking even MORE shots than they already have throughout the series. He is a physical presence as well, and having 5'10 Ryan Ellis in the lineup instead is like taking the Hulk out of a superhero battle for the Green Lantern.
The preds penalty kill would get a huge lift from Gill returning, but he hasn't played since the Predators 80th game of the regular season.
The Red Wings have also toyed with moving Dan Cleary up to the top line, for what reason? I don't know. Cleary is a third line player at best. He doesn't score and isn't a setup man, so having him up on the top line while Gustav Nyquist rots with Cory Emmerton and Tomas Holmstrom makes no sense to me. Speaking of rookies, elevel Grand Rapids Griffins were called up to be Black Aces for the playoffs.
Tom McCollum, Travis Ehrhardt, Garnet Exelby, Doug Janik, Brian Lashoff, Brendan Smith, Joakim Andersson, Louis-Marc Aubry, Tomas Tatar, Francis Pare and Fabian Brunnstrom (remember him?) where all up to the big club yesterday. While none of them will play, most likely (with Chris Conner, Jan Mursak, Riley Sheahan, and Jakub Kindl sitting in the press box already), the experience is the biggest thing for the Griffins. With them not making the Calder Cup playoffs, to get to be around the Red Wings while they play in playoff hockey can make them realize what it's all about.
Some of the young guys are looking at a team that they might suit up for next year. With a bunch of expiring contracts, palyers like Smith and Nyquist are all but guaranteed a spot next season, with Tatar and Andersson right behind them. The future is looking bright for the Wings, but for now, they'll focus on the Red Wings' Game Four matchup in Hockeytown.