Week Ahead: Feb 22 to 28
Olympics are done, back to work
The Senators start back late in the week, so only one game to discuss. But what an important game it is.
Red Wings at Senators
Previous game@Canadiens, Wednesday, February 26th
Next game@Devils, Tuesday, March 4th
HotGustav Nyquist - 7P (5G, 2A) in last 5 GP
ColdJonas Gustavsson - .881 SV% in last 10 GP
The Red Wings are coming out of the break in the last wild card position in the East, only up by a single point on not one, not two, but three separate teams (including the Senators).
Detroit has been pretty middle of the pack for most things this season so far. The exception is special teams - the power play ranks 22nd at 16.5%, and the penalty kill ranks 10th at 83%. They are a positive possession team at 5 on 5, though not by much, and their PDO barely moves the needle at 100.1.
The Olympics were not kind to Detroit, with the international play aggravating Henrik Zetterberg's back injury. He's now had surgery, and will be out for at least the rest of the regular season. There is still one more game too, with the potential risk to Daniel Alfredsson, Gustav Nyquist, Jonas Gustavsson, Jonathan Ericsson and Niklas Kronwall.
With that many players going all the way to the gold medal game, they might be a tired team. That's not even all of their Olympians either, with Pavel Datsyuk, Jimmy Howard, Tomas Jurco and Tomas Tatar all taking part as well (technically for Howard). It's possible Datsyuk, Jurco and Tatar have already returned to Detroit though.
Playing in Montréal the night before might help tire them out too.
Johan Franzen, Stephen Weiss and Jakub Kindl all went into the break on IR, but all three could be cleared to play by Thursday. Franzen was out with a concussion, so it's hard to say for sure if he'll be game-ready in advance. Weiss is supposed to play in the AHL this weekend for conditioniong.