Wings expect reeling Oilers to come out strong

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Detroit — Was the Edmonton Oilers getting soundly beaten Tuesday by the St. Louis Blues a good or bad thing for the Red Wings?

It’ll be interesting to see how the Oilers react Wednesday after losing 8-3 to the powerful Blues, and losing their third consecutive game, and five of their last six.

Edmonton has allowed 14 goals in the last two games, and there aren’t many areas of its overall game that are going well.

But the Red Wings are leery heading into the traditional Thanksgiving Eve game.

“They’ll come out strong,” Red Wings forward Anthony Mantha said. “You know they’ll probably be angry. We’ll have to be ready. They’ll want to get a win tonight (Edmonton has two more road games on a five-game road trip).”

Another reason the Oilers could be energized Wednesday night is the Red Wings shut out Edmonton, 4-0, earlier this month in a game in Edmonton.


Oilers fans weren’t happy with that result, that particular afternoon, and let Edmonton players know about it throughout the game.

“(Our) whole team played good, out shutdown line did a great job on (Oilers forward Connor) McDavid’s line, and our other lines out-competed their other lines,” Mantha said.

The Red Wings, though, have an issue of their own heading into playing Edmonton, having let a late two-goal lead against Colorado slip away, and ultimately losing 4-3 in overtime to the Avalanche.

“We had a disappointing finish,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “I’m worried way more about our team and focused on our team. We know Edmonton is a dangerous team.

“They have a lot of talent and pride and they’ll give their best. But in this league, you get a team’s best each and every night.”

Ice chips

Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson is a game-time decision for Wednesday after injuring himself at home.

Blashill didn’t reveal the exact nature of the injury, but gave a pretty good idea of what it was.

“He had a little tweak at home,” Blashill said. “I’m a father and I had a young baby, and I know what it’s like to pick a baby out of a crib.”

… Forward Martin Frk (groin) has skated on his own the last two days but is at least a week away from returning to the lineup.

With a busy game schedule this weekend, and little time to practice, Frk isn’t going to get adequate time to get ready.

“(Frk would need) a couple of practices next week before he’d be anywhere near ready,” said Blashill, adding Frk is “at least another week away from today.”