Coming off a 2-1 win over the Rangers in New York that probably wasn’t deserved, the Red Wings are changing things up tonight as they host the Nashville Predators.
Steve Ott is back in the lineup for the first time since the season opener, with Andreas Athanasiou swapped out. On defense, Ryan Sproul gets his first look of the season and only his second career game with Xavier Ouellet out.
This comes as no surprise, but I’d prefer to never see Ott in the lineup again, so, whatever, we’ll see what happens. I’ll say forever that I don’t see how you can bring back Darren Helm as a free agent because of his speed, but then sit Athanasiou for anyone.
Something I find interesting with Sproul coming in… No one is giving updates on Niklas Kronwall anymore. The Wings had hoped he’d be ready for the start of the season but, obviously, he wasn’t. A week later and we don’t know if he’s any closer. I’m gonna float a conspiracy theory right now: Kronwall is done and his LTIRed cap space will be how the Red Wings manage to fit in Cam Fowler. I’d rather it be Jacob Trouba, but Winnipeg is asking too much.
Game time is 7:30 PM on FSD.
Stupid Stat of the Day: Okay, this one’s a long one, so I dropped it to the bottom of the post. Several years ago I wrote about the Red Wings playing in Nashville on Saturday on no rest. Looking at a Friday night game with Detroit hosting the Predators, my first thought was, “Wow, that never happens.”
Turns out I’m wrong. Of the 55 times they’ve hosted the Predators, seven have been on Friday, just less than you’d expect with an even distribution (but good luck playing 7.8 games on a day). The Wings have hosted the Preds five times on Sunday, four on Monday, nine on Tuesday, twelve on Wednesday, eight on Thursday, seven on Friday, and ten on Saturday.
The weird thing is that it took nine seasons (one of which was lost to the lockout) for the Red Wings to host their then-division-rival on a Friday night. Nashville’s first visit to the Joe on a Friday was November 10, 2006. Through the Predators’ first ten seasons, it was the only visit. The remaining six have all come in the nine years since.
So it turns out that Friday night games hosting Nashville are common enough, but they used to be rare