The Florida Panthers will usher in the All-Star break on the road, as they will close out the first-half on a three-game road trip. They will be in Detroit tonight to face a Red Wings team on a back-to-back, while playing a back-to-back of their own Monday and Tuesday. The schedule is a bit wacky, with most teams getting the full week off and others play up until Wednesday.
There will be two games Wednesday night, and then the official start of the All-Star break will be underway. Then when we return from the break, there won’t be a full card of action until the following Saturday. The Red Wings have to wait for Wednesday night to go on their break, as they will be in action against the Wild in Minnesota.
Red Wings’ players have been counting down to the All-Star Game for a while now. Tyler Bertuzzi will represent the Red Wings in the game, which was well deserved thanks to a solid first-half for Bertuzzi. It is not his fault that the Red Wings are staring at a record of 12-32-4 going into tonight.
That’s good for only 28 points, which puts them well behind in the standings. The Senators at 40 points are the next closest club in the league. Their odds of winning the Alexis Lafreniere sweepstakes look pretty good right about now. Steve Yzerman has said that he wants to acquire more draft picks, so that’s only going to happen by selling at the deadline.
The Red Wings don’t have many trade chips, but the cupboard isn’t completely bare. Andreas Athanasiou could be an option, though he might need a bit more time to improve his stock. Jimmy Howard and Jonathan Bernier between the pipes may also be available, but what’s their value like in the market?
Probably not a whole lot, especially Howard who has fallen off the grid recently. He’s gone from a respectable option to a guy who can’t be trusted at all. The Red Wings have had chances to trade him in past years, but ultimately never got a deal done. Now they waited too long, and a bag of pucks might be the only thing they get in return. Maybe a few sticks get thrown in to sweeten the deal.
For the Panthers, it’s going to be interesting to see what happens in the second-half. Offensively they’re all set, as they enter the Red Wings with one of the most dangerous units in the NHL. However, there is a lot of cause for concern in the defensive zone. A lot of that has to do with Sergei Bobrovky in the crease.
He was expected to be an elite goaltender for them, and was the hottest goaltender on the market in the offseason. Bobrovsky hasn’t lived up to his billing, though, and the Panthers have not had much traction on defence this season. That’s going to have to change in the second-half. If he reverts back to how he played in Columbus, then Florida are going to be in business. Head below for our free Panthers vs. Red Wings pick.
Florida Panthers vs. Detroit Red Wings Betting Odds:
Panthers vs. Red Wings Prediction:
The Red Wings have a lot of holes to close up, and Yzerman is well aware that it must happen by adding more draft picks. Filip Zadina is going to need some help around him if the Red Wings are going to have success in the future. Zadina looks like he has future All-Star written all over him.
The future doesn’t look completely bleak for the Red Wings despite their massive failures in 2019-20. They haven’t done anything particularly well on either side of the ice this season, though. Howard turned back the clocks and put in a solid performance last night, but that’s a huge outlier.
Jonathan Bernier will be expected to get the nod in the backend of this back-to-back for the Wings. Bernier has been okay, given the situation on this team, with a 2.99 GAA and 0.904 save percentage. He’s been able to help the defence out here and there, but not good enough to stop the bleeding.
The Red Wings are dead last in the NHL with 3.83 goals allowed per game. After a strong defensive performance against the Penguins last night, it’s more than possible that they regress closer to the mean. The defence had to expel a lot of energy to keep the Penguins at bay, and now they have a daunting task against the Panthers on Saturday.
The Panthers are 1st in the NHL with 3.63 goals scored per game. If you haven’t watched the NHL much this season, that’d probably come as a surprise, but Joel Quenneville has done a terrific job at getting the most out of his squad. The Panthers head into Little Caesars Arena having scored 4.3 goals per game in their previous ten outings.
They’ve made it look easy against the Red Wings in recent meetings. Note that the Panthers have scored at least 4 goals in their last four meetings for an average of 4.75 goals per game. With the current state of the Red Wings’ defence, I don’t think much will change tonight. The Panthers do have holes defensively, though, and it’s likely going to be the Red Wings only chance of winning tonight. The Panthers are 26th in the league with 3.3 goals against per game on the year. This game should play out to be high-scoring, and at least enough offence to provide a winning pick on the OVER. At plus money there is some decent value here.