Tonight’s Pregame Notes
The Detroit Red Wings head to Nationwide Arena to face off against the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight. Both teams have been mathematically eliminated from the 2021 NHL playoffs going into tonight’s game. To make matters worse both teams have been dealing with the injury bug lately. The Blue Jackets announced that goaltender Jonas Korpisalo will miss the remaining six games of the season. In more exciting news, the Red Wings will dress Joe Veleno for his first NHL game tonight.
Players to Watch Tonight
My player to watch on the Blue Jackets is Patrik Laine. Currently, in the worst season of his career, the next few games will play a big role in Laine’s future. Laine is a restricted free agent (RFA) after this season concludes. Drafted second in the 2016 NHL entry draft, Laine made a huge impact early on with the Winnipeg Jets but has failed to make noteworthy contributions on this Columbus team. Even though he has struggled, Laine is a skilled forward with an incredible shot. Be on the lookout for Laine because he can score a few sneaky goals if the Red Wings aren’t careful.
My player to watch for the Red Wings is Joe Veleno. Veleno has the opportunity to play in his first NHL game tonight. The moment all Red Wings fans have been waiting for, finally one of the “kids” is getting a crack at the lineup. One thing to keep in mind while watching Veleno tonight is that he does not have to go out and score goals or get his first NHL point. Expectations are high for Veleno but he is not an immediate impact player. Watch for how well Veleno can adapt to playing in the big league.
With the Red Wings and Blue Jackets sitting at the bottom of the Central Division, this game has no meaning to the playoffs. However, it will affect the eventual draft order for the 2021 NHL entry draft. The Red Wings are currently two points ahead of the Blue Jackets. The Red Wings have been playing relatively good hockey recently while the Blue Jackets are on a nine-game losing streak.
Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 PM EST. The game is available on BSOH and BSDET+.