Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:54 AM

In the Crease - Week 19

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Clipped Wings
The Detroit Red Wings are skidding hard, as they slipped to just 12-38-4 after a shutout loss against the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday night. It was their ninth consecutive loss, and they now have a dismal minus-96 goal differential, which is easily the worst in the NHL. In fact, they also have just 28 points, and the second-worst team in the Eastern Conference is the New Jersey Devils at 45 points. The Devils are the closest team to the Red Wings in terms of goal differential, too, at minus-48. That explains how poor the Red Wings have been.

Detroit ranks 31st in the NHL with just 2.1 goals per game, they're last in shots on goal, too, at 28.1 SOG. In addition, they're just 29th on the power play at 14.6 percent, while ranking last in goals against with 3.8 per game. They're also dead-last on the penalty kill at 72.8 percent, while ranking 26th in shots against at 32.7. The leader for the Red Wings in terms of plus/minus is Jacob De La Rose at plus-3. He was traded a couple of months back, and now plays for the St. Louis Blues. Everyone on the current roster with 33 or more games played has posted an even or minus rating. LW Andreas Athanasiou has managed a poor minus-38 rating through 37 games, and veteran C Valtteri Filppula is close on his heels at minus-37 through 51 outings.

 Looking Ahead

Tuesday, Feb. 4

Chicago at Minnesota: The Blackhawks and Wild square off for the second time this season, and the first time in St. Paul. The last time these two teams met it was Robin Lehner and the 'Hawks pushing past the Wild 5-3 back on Dec. 15 at United Center. The Blackhawks head in on a roll, winning four straight on the road while taking six of the past seven games overall. Meanwhile the Wild have won just six of their past 21 against Central Division foes. That includes an ugly 0-4 mark in the past four tries against the Blackhawks.

Nashville at Winnipeg: The Preds and Jets meet for the third time this season, and if the previous two games are any indication this will be a low-scoring, one-goal game. The last time these teams met at MTS Centre it was a 1-0 win by the visitors behind Juuse Saros, while Connor Hellebuyck and company won in the Music City back on Nov. 19. The Preds have won four of the past five games on the road, while the Jets are 2-8 in the past 10 at home and 1-5 in the previous six. However, while Nashville is 1-4 in the past five meetings, the road team has hit in seven of the past 10 meetings, including each of the previous two this season.

Edmonton at Arizona: It's a batlle between the Oilers and Coyotes, and Arizona will be looking for revenge after getting dusted 7-3 in Edmonton in the most recent meeting on Jan. 18. Antti Raanta was spanked in a battle against Mike Smith, who has been administering a lot of beatings lately. These teams also met in the desert back on Nov. 24, with the Oilers coming away with a 4-3 shootout win. The Oilers haven't come up empty in the three meetings, though, as they posted a 3-2 overtime winner in Edmonton on Nov. 4. The road team is 6-1 in the past seven meetings, with the Oilers 5-1 in the past six trips to Arizona, and 10-4 in the past 14 against the Coyotes overall.

Wednesday, Feb. 5

Toronto at N.Y. Rangers: The Maple Leafs are looking to bounce back after a costly blown lead against the Panthers at Scotiabank Arena on Monday, falling 5-3 in an important Atlantic Division battle and wild-card fight. Hitting the road might be better for the Leafs, as they're 7-1 in the past eight away from the Center of the Hockey Universe, including wins in Nashville and Dallas to fire out of the All-Star break. The road team is also 9-3 in the past 12 meetings in this series, with the underdog 5-2 in the past seven. The Leafs are also 4-1 in their past five trips to MSG.

Thursday, Feb. 6

New Jersey at Philadelphia: The Devils and Flyers will meet for the third time this season, and first time since Nov. 1. In the first meeting Oct. 9 in Philly, the Devils were bounced 4-0 behind Carter Hart. The Fly Guys also won behind Hart by a 4-3 score in a shootout in Newark on Nov. 1 in the last meeting. The Devils have been fighting hard lately, going to overtime or a shootout in each of their past three, winning one and dropping a pair at home to Nashville and Dallas. The 'over' has cashed in four of their past six, too.

Carolina at Arizona: The Coyotes will welcome the Hurricanes to the desert looking to pay Carolina back after being treated rather rudely in Raleigh a few weeks back. Petr Mrazek and the Canes bounced Raanta and the Coyotes by a 3-0 count on Jan. 10 as the 'under' connected. The under is 5-3 in the past eight at home against Eastern Conference teams for Arizona, and the Coyotes are averaging just 2.0 goals per game across their past five contests.

Friday, Feb. 7

Minnesota at Dallas: The Stars will have revenge on their minds when the Wild roll into the Metroplex after an embarrassing showing in the Twin Cities in the most recent meeting. Minnesota won a 7-0 game as short 'dogs at Xcel Energy Center on Jan. 18 behind Alex Stalock, so you can bet he'll make the start. Anton Khudobin was chased from the start, and it's more than likely Ben Bishop gets the nod as usual. The Wild won 3-2 in a shootout back on Dec. 1 in the Twin Cities, too, while the Stars doubled up the Wild by a 6-3 count at American Airlines Arena in the first meeting on Oct. 29. The under is 6-2-1 in the past nine meetings in this series, although the over is 2-1 in the first three battles this season.

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