The Building Kinda Near That Giant Fist; Detroit, MI
7:00 PM ET; SN (National)
SBN $5 Hot N Readys: Winging it in Motown


The Leafs roll into Detroit today to take on the Red Wings. The Red Wings are not so well-rested, having hosted the Rangers in a matinee 3-2 OT win yesterday. I could say the same of the Leafs, but that would imply that they actually showed up and played in their weak effort in a 4-0 loss in Ottawa.

While we've said enough about what stage the Leafs are in (the "suck a lot/play the kids" stage), and there's only so many ways we can write that they're a bad hockey team. We have 15 previews left of this, so we need to pace ourselves.

The Red Wings look to cement their 25th consecutive postseason appearance, but these certainly aren't your father's, or really even your older brother's Red Wings. The Red Wings currently occupy the first wildcard spot with 79 points, but are no means a lock for the playoffs. The second wildcard Penguins are at 78 points, while the ninth place Flyers are at 76, and both with a game in hand.

As far as storylines go, there isn't much. Mike Babcock has already made his return to Detroit this season. The Leafs aren't playing for more than pride and because the NHL dictates they do so. The only real story today is Zach Hyman facing his former Michigan linemate Dylan Larkin.

The Leafs and Wings have played twice this year (with Detroit winning both times), but their last matchup was on November 6, so you might need a refresher. Red Wings fans are still convinced they own the most "classy" and "underrated" of virtually everything in the hockey world. Their fans have been trying really hard to convince all of us they're so much ~*~*better off*~*~ without Mike Babcock that the entire blog posts devoted to the subject read like a Taylor Swift album.

Roster-wise, the Wings didn't do anything at the deadline, so the Leafs will face substantially the same roster as in November. Since you probably forgot, Detroit now has Mike Green; man, if Washington goes anywhere this year, that would really suck. Also Brad Richards, who you- as I did- likely assumed retired to focus on expanding his chain of reasonably-priced dad pants outlet stores.

(photo courtesy of Red Wings watcher @Whoabot)

Probable Leafs Lineup

Since there's no morning skate today, we won't know today's lines likely until game time. That said, I don't see many changes from last night in Ottawa. Jonathan Bernier will start.

Nikita Soshnikov - Nazem Kadri - Leo Komarov

P.A. Parenteau - William Nylander - Zach Hyman

Colin Greening - Brooks Laich - Peter Holland

Milan Michalek - Ben Smith - Michael Grabner

Morgan Rielly - Martin Marincin

Jake Gardiner - Connor Carrick

Rinat Valiev - Frank Corrado

Jonathan Bernier

Probable Detroit Lineup

Detroit also played yesterday and likely won't take a morning skate either. Per DailyFaceoff, their lineup yesterday against the Rangers. Petr Mrazek played yesterday so my guess is Jimmy Howard, but coach Jeff Blashill has not named a starter yet today.

Justin Abdelkader - Henrik Zetterberg - Dylan Larkin

Tomas Tatar - Pavel Datsyuk - Andreas Athanasiou

Gustav Nyquist - Riley Sheahan -Teemu Pulkkinen

Darren Helm - Luke Glendening - Brad Richards

Danny DeKeyser - Kyle Quincey

Brendan Smith - Mike Green

Jonathan Ericsson - Alexey Marchenko

Jimmy Howard


Future Toronto Maple Leaf Darren Helm continues his hot streak against a bad Leafs team.