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Red Wings at Maple Leafs preview: The playoff streak likely ends

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Detroit looks abysmal.

NHL: Detroit Red Wings at Washington Capitals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Red Wings at Toronto Maple Leafs: Game #65

Time: 7:30 PM Eastern Time

Location: Air Canada Centre

Broadcast/Streaming: TSN4

Opponent SBNation Site: Winging it in Motown

El Seldo put his back out and I inherited the preview at the last minute. Therefore, it’s going to be Just the Numbers today. In general though, the Red Wings are bad. Here are a few words from the Winging it in Motown preview about the state of the team:

Detroit continues to reinforce the true sign of a bad team: “good effort” loses. There was buzz after the Calgary overtime loss, suggesting the Wings showed resolve scoring with 2 seconds left to gain a point before suffering swift defeat. I even heard murmurs of “this team isn’t quitting” before Jordan Eberle’s back breaking goal in Edmonton Saturday night. To me, it is what it is: a bad team being not quite good enough to finish games. That’s perfectly fine with me, I’d like to inch up high in the draft as possible.

How are the Leafs currently doing? The team sits one point outside of that coveted wild card slot, and they’ve gone 0-2-3 in their last five. Fulemin has already neatly covered both sides of the “will the Leafs make the playoffs” issue, ending with a sound MAYBE. In the words of JRR Tolkien, “Ask not the elves for advice, because they will tell you both 'yes' and 'no'.”

Comparison Chart

Generated by Loserpoints of Raw Charge:

The Leafs and the Red Wings hang out awkwardly near each other in goals allowed, with the Leafs 23rd overall at 185, and the Wings 25th overall at 187. Unlike the Wings, the Leafs are outscoring their mistakes at 193 goals for. It's nice to have young forwards, and the Red Wings only have one, Auston Matthews' old Team North America teammate, Dylan Larkin.

Toronto is #1 in power play percentage at 22.9%, while Detroit is 30th, at 12.9%. Leafs are looking pretty good on the PK% too, at 9th in the League (83.3%), but the Red Wings don't look quite as horrific at the PK, 14th overall at 81.3%. I guess even if your players are too old to be swift, they can still stand between the puck and the net.

Who’s going to win? I’m going to call it a Leafs victory, 2-1 over a struggling Detroit offense.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Forward Lines

Zach Hyman - Auston Matthews - Connor Brown

Leo Komarov - Nazem Kadri - William Nylander

James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Mitch Marner

Matt Martin - Brian Boyle - Nikita Soshnikov

Defence Pairings

Morgan Rielly - Nikita Zaitsev

Jake Gardiner - Alexey Marchenko

Matt Hunwick - Roman Polak

Goaltenders

Frederik Andersen

Curtis McElhinney

Detroit Red Wings

Forward Lines

Gustav Nyquist - Henrik Zetterberg - Thomas Tatar

Andreas Athanasiou - Frans Nielsen - Anthony Mantha

Justin Abdelkader - Darrne Helm- Dylan Larkin

Drew Miller - Luke Glendening - Riley Sheahan

Defence Pairings

Dan DeKeyser - Mike Green

Niklas Kronwall - Xavier Ouellet

Robbie Russo - Nick Jensen

Goaltenders

Petr Mrazek

Jared Coreau


Some lineup updates gleaned from various Twitter people. Mrazek is in net for the Red Wings, Gustav Nyqvist, who has been ill, will play.