Jan. 23, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Red Wings right wing Johan Franzen (93) scores a goal on St. Louis Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) in the second period at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Red Wings vs. St. Louis Blues - Preview

Hockey is officially back for Red Wings fans tonight as the Detroit Red Wings take on the St. Louis Blues, in St. Louis at 8 p.m. tonight.

Wings fans have been waiting for this day since being knocked out of the playoffs by the Nashville Predators last season. A lot has happened since that day though; long time defenceman, and perfect human, Nicklas Lidstrom retired, Thomas Holmstrom is set to retire on Tuesday, and the Wings brought in five free agents to fill out the roster.

This season is a season of unknowns for the Red Wings. How will the defence play without Lidstrom? Will Damien Brunner be able to produce in the NHL? Can Carlo Covaiacovo stay healthy? All of these questions will be answered tonight as we see our first glimpse of the 2012-13 Detroit Red Wings.

Projected Line Up

Forwards

Henrik ZetterbergPavel DatsyukDamien Brunner

Johan FranzenValtteri FilppulaMikael Samuelsson

Dan ClearyJustin AbdelkaderJan Mursak

Drew MillerCory EmmertonJordin Tootoo

Defensemen

Niklas KronwallJonathan Ericsson

Brendan SmithKyle Quincey

Carlo ColaiacovoIan White

Goaltender

Jimmy Howard

The Wings are no longer the favourite to win the Central this season and some experts are predicting the Red Wings to not make the playoffs. The Red Wings have been giving no respect from the media and a win tonight would show that the Red Wings are still the class of the Central Division. Don’t stop believing.

Jan. 23, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Red Wings fans holds up a sign in the third period against the St. Louis Blues at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis has one of the best goaltending tandems in the NHL, but The Red Wings bested them last season won the series against the Blues 4-2. One of the defensemen who help guard the tandem, Carlo Colaiacovo makes his return to St. Louis and could have a big impact on the game.

Patrick Eaves will be playing in his first game since his injury in November 2011. It has been a tough road for him, but all Wings fans are happy to have him back on the roster and healthy.

Prediction- It will be a close game and most likely decided in the last few minutes of the game. Both goalies will be rusty and the scoring will be higher than normal. Red Wings victory 4-3.

Head on over to Bleedin’ Blue to see the Blues starting line-up.

*UPDATE: Eaves not skating in the morning skate. Mursak will be playing instead.

Let’s Go Red Wings!

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