The Detroit Red Wings will unfortunately be without two major pieces of their offensive attack for the foreseeable future, as forwards Tyler Bertuzzi and Jakub Vrana are both out of action. Bertuzzi suffered a broken hand during last Saturday night's victory in New Jersey over the Devils and is slated to miss at least the next 4-6 weeks, while Vrana has entered the NHLPA Player Assistance Program with no definitive timeline of a return to action.
But in the meantime, that will present a major opportunity for the likes of forwards Filip Zadina and Pius Suter, both of whom were scratched from Detroit's lineup during their first two games of the season. And along with Suter, it will be another former Chicago Blackhawks forward who has a prime opportunity to step in and shoulder some of the offensive load lost by Bertuzzi and Vrana starting tonight in the Windy City.
The Red Wings are in Chicago to take on the Blackhawks, and it will be Dominik Kubalik skating on Detroit's top line alongside captain Dylan Larkin and the red hot David Perron. Take a look at tonight's anticipated line combinations, via Max Bultman of The Athletic:
Kubalik, who scored during Saturday's 5-2 victory, credits the likes of his former Chicago teammates in Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane for assisting in his development.
“Especially for me personally was Toewser,” he said. “I played with him a lot of games, especially the first season. He made it a lot easier for me during games. So, I learned a lot, even from Kaner on the power play. For a guy who came from (the Swiss League), you’re just happy to be in the locker room with them. It was kind of nice to watch them every day and get to know them and especially play with them.”
“Obviously, when I noticed I’m not going to be in Chicago anymore, I was kind of looking for another opportunity and especially somewhere a team would want me as a player,” Kubalik said of his decision to sign with Detroit. “That’s kind of what happened. I’m happy to be here. The team tried to make another step forward, which is always a good sign. I’m happy I could be a part of it.”
The Red Wings take on the Blackhawks tonight, with the opening face-off scheduled for 8:30 PM EST.