When the Detroit Red Wings started the season, their blue line was decimated with injuries to key veterans. Now that most of them are healthy, they’re seeing the same on their forward lines. But Detroit is expected to get a key forward back in Frans Nielsen in time to play against the Vancouver Canucks.
The Red Wings got some momentum over their last five games, going 3-2 in that span. That includes a three-game win streak that was snapped by their most recent loss to the Edmonton Oilers, a close 4-3 decision. But with a +4 goal differential in that same span of five games, the Red Wings have played with much more poise than their season record might tell. Adding to their difficulties was the loss of Nielsen after their 4-2 win over the Dallas Stars. Though they’ve gone 2-1 in their time without him, getting Nielsen back as another potential scoring threat will help nonetheless.
Red Wings practice. Still no Andreas Athanasiou. Frans Nielsen skating. pic.twitter.com/AralRuCxCJ
— Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) November 5, 2018
If Nielsen makes it back into the fold as expected, that would allow Detroit to run with a roster of 12 forwards and six defensemen again. They still have Jonathan Ericsson (undisclosed injury) on the shelf, who the Red Wings are surprisingly 4-2 with in the lineup. They’re additionally still without Andreas Athanasiou (knee), who’s at day-to-day status at this point and expected to start practicing with the team mid-week. He could be available in the lineup as early as Friday.
#RedWings Blashill on Athanasiou: “He skated beforehand today. We’re hoping to get him into a full practice Wednesday, Thursday and have him ready for Friday. Obviously, he’s got o get through those two practices before we know for sure.”
— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) November 5, 2018
The Red Wings square off tonight against the Canucks (9-6-0), at Little Caesars Arena. (7:30pm ET)