🏒 Athanasiou is back | Who needs defense anyway?

The undefeated Detroit Red Wings are adding even more speed to the lineup tonight against Anaheim.

Andreas Athanasiou (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

Andreas Athanasiou will draw into the lineup after missing the first two games of the season due to injury. He'll likely be centering a line with Taro Hirose and Luke Glendening. That's because the team's usual second-line center, Frans Nielsen, is out due to injury.

Furthermore, Christoffer Ehn will be centering either the third of fourth line.

  • Game time: 7:30 p.m. at LCA
  • TV: FS-Detroit

We're just two games into the season and already Jeff Blashill is forced to make major shifts to this lineup. The important thing is nothing is touching that top line of Anthony Mantha, Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi. The trio has combined for 15 points in just two games. Wow!

Mantha, of course, dazzled everyone with a 4-goal night on Sunday. Without this kind of production from that first line, the Red Wings most definitely would be 0-2. We need to see some goal scoring from the rest of the team ASAP.

And let's not forget Jimmy Howard helped them win Saturday night by standing on his head in the third period in Nashville. He made 39 saves for the W. That's a tough spot to put your goalie in, so let's hope it doesn't happen routinely.

Athanasiou brings the goals 🥅

"Double A" scored 30 goals this past season, spending time on the wing and then at center. I like him better on the wing, but with his speed he can excel in the middle. He might have Glendening on his wing, mind you, which means he can let Lucky Luke take the draws when necessary.

If I were a betting man, I would mark it a two-point night for Athanasiou before the puck even drops against the Ducks. He's a hungry player who finds ways to put the puck in the net. And with him in the lineup, suddenly the Red Wings have some serious scoring power.

Defense? We need that? 😂

Who needs defense when you can score 4 or 5 goals each game? Am I right?! Ummm, just wait. It always takes a few games for teams to get their defensive systems in place. Goals likely will get harder to come by soon here.

Sunday's game against Dallas looked a lot better for the Red Wings' defensive corps than it did on Saturday. Tyler Seguin was held to two shots on goal, although he did score on one of them. Imagine if he had four or five shots. The Red Wings were keeping the Stars away from Jonathan Bernier for the majority of the game.

That's a positive takeaway so far for this Red Wings defense that's still looking for an identity. As I said before, I believe this defense is as good as Filip Hronek wants it to be this season. He is in control. He can be the identity now and moving forward.

Now we need to see a bit more out of Dennis Cholowski -- I know there is a solid NHL defenseman in there, somewhere. We saw flashes of it early last season.

- Dave | dbartkowiak@wdiv.com

Expensive LCA stories 💵

I got at least two dozen emails after the last newsletter about prices at Red Wings games. After reading all of your experiences, I honestly have no idea who is paying all this money to go to the games. You all seem pretty fed up with price you pay to see ONE game a season at LCA, and I'm right there with you.

As stated, this is a problem league-wide, and it's only getting worse. The problem for us here is that the Red Wings are in a relatively big market where tickets will get purchased no matter what due to the size of the fanbase. The smaller market fans have it better, hands down. Their tickets are often more affordable and their venues are more intimate. Why are we getting penalized for being so popular??

I don't really have a solution, I'm just venting at this point.

Newsletter naming ✍️

I'm still accepting entries for the name of this newsletter. I'm open to any and all suggestions. Right now I'm kind of into "Detroit Hockey Buzz" but that's not final.

Thanks for reading and please reach out to me!

About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.