The NHL is set up with another great slate of games throughout Saturday. Ten games will be up on the board throughout January 16. One of these games will be between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Detroit Red Wings. These two teams will both look to finish the back to back out strong on Saturday night. This game will drop the puck at around 7:00 PM Eastern time.
Carolina finished out last season with a record of 38-25-5, which had them in fourth place of the Metropolitan Division. The Hurricanes knocked off the New York Rangers in the qualifiers, but were eliminated by the Boston Bruins in the first round. Carolina came out strong with a win this season and will look to go up 2-0 leaving Detroit.
The Red Wings posted a league worst record of 17-49-5 throughout last season. Detroit is still in the thick of their rebuild, but are still looking to improve coming into this season. The Red Wings took a tough loss on opening night, but given that they had not played since March of 2020, they did not look horrible. Detroit will look to shake off the rust on the quick turnaround in this one.
These two teams were on the opposite sides of the standings throughout last season. The Hurricanes were a strong playoff contender, while Detroit was at the bottom of the standings. The Red Wings are looking for their offseason additions to help them move up the standings in this season though. Detroit will look to try and avoid an 0-2 start with a win on Saturday night.
The Hurricanes and the Red Wings met up three times throughout last season. Carolina hosted the first game on November 1. Anthony Mantha and Andreas Athanasiou both had two points, but it was not nearly enough. Sebastian Aho, Dougie Hamilton and Jaccob Slavin all had three points for the Hurricanes in route to a 7-3 win.
Detroit hosted the second game of the season series on November 24. Sebastian Aho opened up the scoring with an assist from Teuvo Teravainen. Teravainen scored an empty netter from Aho to finish off the Red Wings as well. James Reimer stopped all 19 shots he faced as Carolina was able to win 2-0 on the road to take a 2-0 series lead.
The final game of the season series stayed in Detroit on March 10. Tyler Bertuzzi and Christoffer Ehn both scored for the Red Wings, but once again it was not enough. Sebastian Aho had two goals and an assist, while Jake Gardiner had three assists. Petr Mrazek stopped 23 of 25 shots as the Hurricanes swept the season series with a 5-2 win.
The first game of this season’s series was on January 14. Nino Niederreiter opened up the scoring in the first for Carolina. Ryan Dzingel then helped put the game on ice with a power play goal in the third period. Andrei Svechnikov added an empty netter on the night as well. Petr Mrazek stopped all 14 shots he faced to propel the Hurricanes to a 3-0 win.
Carolina was strong on both sides of special teams throughout last season. The Hurricanes were able to score on 46 of their 206 power play opportunities, which was a 22.3 percent power play rate. Carolina’s penalty kill was just as strong. The Hurricanes held opposing teams to 39 goals on 243 power play chances, which is an 84 percent kill rate.
The Red Wings were not good on either side of special teams last season. Detroit was able to capitalize on only 32 of their 215 power play attempts, which was a 14.9 percent success rate. The Red Wings gave up 58 goals on 226 power play chances to their opponents, which was a 74.3 percent penalty kill. Detroit will need to improve on both sides of special teams if they want to have a better season.
These two teams were very opposite in special teams throughout last season, but will look to get this season started out strong. In the first game Detroit went 0-2 on the power play, while the Hurricanes finished going 1-3 on the power play. The Red Wings will need to do much better on the power play on Saturday night if they want to generate more offense.
I expect Petr Mrazek to get the nod in the crease for the Hurricanes in this one. Mrazek had a solid campaign last season, finishing with a record of 21-16-2 throughout his starts. He put up a save percentage of .905 and a 2.69 GAA through those games. In his opening night performance, Mrazek stopped all 14 shots against him, earning a shutout.
Jonathan Bernier will likely get the start in net for Detroit on Saturday night. Bernier had a strong season last season as well, despite being on the Red Wings. Bernier posted a record of 15-22-3 through his starts. He earned a save percentage of .907 and a 2.95 GAA throughout those games. This will be Bernier’s first start of the season and he will look to come out hot.
These two goalies will look to put up strong performances in this one. Mrazek was not tested much in the opening night game, but I think that Detroit will make a lot of adjustments on offense to switch this up. The Red Wings will also need to be much tighter on getting the puck out of their own zone after surrendering 42 shots to the Hurricanes.
Detroit came out really slow on opening night, but it was understandable given that it was their first game since March. The Red Wings are not a great team, but I think that they should come out much quicker in this one. I think that Detroit will come out with much more speed to switch things up. If Carolina comes in underestimating them as well after a dominant performance, I think the Red Wings can pull off the upset.
BetOnline has the Hurricanes -217 against the money line in this one. This implies that Carolina will win this game around 68.5 percent of the time. I think that this early in the season, no one should be this heavily favored. Detroit is still probably not at a competing level, but I think that they can look much better in this one.