The Detroit Red Wings return home following an ugly two-game trip on the road in Carolina and Sunrise. It wasn’t a competitive game in either outing, as the Hurricanes pounced on the Wings for a 7-3 win, and then the Panthers took care of business with a 4-0 win. In a season that Jeff Blashill was hoping to see progress following a 32-40-10 campaign, the Red Wings have not been getting the results they want.
They come back home with a record of 4-10-1 and 7th in the Atlantic. The only team they finished ahead of last season was the Ottawa Senators. Going into Monday, it’s the same with 9 points, while the Senators are behind with 7 points. They are the only teams in the Eastern Conference who haven’t recorded double-digit points yet. The Wings can get it with a win or overtime loss against the Nashville Predators at Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit.
Blashill is not Steve Yzerman’s guy. He was hired in 2015 following the departure of Mike Babcock. Yzerman was with the Tampa Bay Lightning at that point. If this team continues to struggle or not get the results they want by the end of the season, it’d make sense that Yzerman cans Blashill and goes and makes his first head coaching hire as GM of the Red Wings. Blashill still has plenty of time to get things going for the Wings, but it might become a question of how long Yzerman is going to stick with him.
Along with their two games on the road, the Wings have lost ten of their previous eleven contest. Their only win came against an Edmonton team on a road trip who didn’t have their heads in the game. Having said that, the Preds didn’t have their heads in the game in their most recent outing. They were losers by a score of 2-1. The Preds also blew a 4-1 lead against the Flames two games ago, so it hasn’t been smooth sailing for them of late.
Perhaps the Red Wings will present the perfect opportunity to get back on track. Head below for our free Predators vs. Red Wings pick. After a push yesterday, my NHL picks have converted for a 8.19% ROI this season. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get one more goal for the win, but a push is always better than a loss.
Nashville Predators vs. Detroit Red Wings Pick
The Predators were disinterested in playing against the Rangers on Saturday afternoon and they got burned for it. Maybe it was the early start time, but it also could have been a hangover from their loss against the Flames. That was a game they had won, then lost after blowing a 4-1 lead, and then won again after going ahead 5-4 in the final minutes. That was short lived with the Flames tying and winning the game. Matthew Tkachuk surely gave them something that they’ll never forget, and apparently were pondering over it on Saturday.
In any event, the Predators are still sporting a healthy record of 8-4-2. Prior to those two losses, the Preds were winners in four straight outings. They’re going to have to be alert for the Red Wings here. The Wings are on a three-game win streak over the Preds, including a 5-3 win exactly a month ago today in Nashville. Detroit were looking much sharper at that point, though. While it’s been ugly recently, Detroit opened the season in fine form.
Despite a rough couple of outings by the Predators, they are 2nd in the NHL with 3.86 goals scored per game. Little Caesars Arena hasn’t treated the Red Wings nicely, either. They have surrendered 4.13 goals per game at home, while averaging only 2.29 goals per game offensively. The defence has put forth little effort, with 37 shots per game getting by to hit Jimmy Howard or Jonathan Bernier in net. Pekka Rinne had a rough go of it against the Flames with 6 goals against, but that’s an outlier for him this year. Even though it was ugly, Rinne still maintains a 2.17 GAA and 0.92 save percentage in 2019-20.
Jimmy Howard was pulled in his most recent appearance against the Hurricanes on Thursday. He yielded 5 goals on 21 shots, which was more enough to get yanked out of the game. It’s been a struggle for the longtime goaltender of the Wings. He’s been trying to fight through it, but his numbers are on pace to be the worst of his eleven years as the starter in Detroit. Last season was his first with a GAA above 3.00, so he could very well break the previous career-low he just broke. Howard enters Monday with a 3.67 GAA and 0.898 save percentage.
If the Predators were coming into Detroit flying around and on a seven-game win streak, this would have been a perfect trap spot against a team they’ve had issues against in the past. However, considering their last two efforts, I’m not expecting the Predators to come into Detroit treating the Wings lightly. They’re probably going to take this game more seriously after the lackluster effort. If that happens, the Preds should be able to notch a 4-2 or 4-1 win against the Wings at Little Caesars Arena on Monday night.