Morning Skate: Homecoming

Okay I've been annoyed to hell and back by some homecoming campaigning at my college so I thought that with Mike Modano's homecoming to Dallas, what better theme? [Note: some of these are more of a spin on the ridiculous campaigns I've heard this week and make no damn sense at all] And while we're at it, offer up your own campaign slogans.

  • Chris is bliss! Jimmy Howard let in 4 goals during the loss to the Avs and will sit out tonight's game. Osgood will start for the second time this season after earning a win over the Blackhawks last Saturday. Osgood played pretty well in his first outing of the season with the exception of one weak goal. He gave the Wings the chance to win it as they were outshot by Chicago and he'll need to be sharp again tonight.
  • Give Mo' a go!  This will surely be an emotional night for Mike Modano back in front of the Dallas fans. Modano was the biggest story of the offseason for Detroit and he made his presence known in the first game by scoring on his first shot as a Red Wing. He disappeared a bit during the Chicago game and had a bad game against Colorado but expect him to be on his game tonight in front of his former home crowd.
  • Tuzz it or Lose it! Anybody else been pleasantly surprised with Todd Bertuzzi this season? I know it's a young season and there's loads more games to play but the Tuzz leads all Red Wings players in scoring with 5 points and is actually tied for third in the league. Yes, really. Bertuzzi's also been playing some solid defense so far this year and has shut down a few scoring chances on the backcheck.
  • Stu will do! Brad Stuart has been perhaps the most solid defensive players for Detroit this year. He's rarely been out of position and has made good plays on the puck as well. He's really matured his game over the recent years and is quietly one of the more solid defenders on the team, even though he gets hardly any respect for it.
  • Loui, Loui, Loui, Loui   Loui Eriksson has really come along during his four full seasons in Dallas and his production has increased every year thus far. He scored a pair of goals (including the OT winner) in the Stars opener against the Devils.
  • Lehtonen will let 'em in! That would probably be the worst campaign slogan but it isn't an untruth either. Kari let in 3 to the Devils and 4 to the Islanders and has a 3.32 GAA. However, he also has a 2-0 record so there's that...
  • Defending Big D is your Dallas Stars SB Nation affiliate. Check 'em out, they do great work. More after the jump...

Johan will put a show on! God, I even hate that one. Franzen's been pretty strong this season so far and will look to continue that tonight surely. He had a pair of goals against Colorado and will attempt to keep that pace up. Franzen's registered 10 shots on goal, 3 goals and an assist in the three games played so far. The roadblock for him in this game? A Dallas team that is giving up 38.5 shots per game so far. Could be a field day for him.
  • Fil has the will! Valtteri Filppula's production has been a welcomed thing in the early season. Filppula was great against Chicago and has played pretty well for the Wings on that second line. Filppula's had some great set-up passes and defensive play--all things making that second line with Bertuzzi and Franzen very, very dangerous. Oh, and he's winning about 2/3 of his face-offs. That's pretty swell.
  • Don't be a loner, vote for Homer!   This is something that I think Rob touched on in the second episode of TP:60 in terms of Holmstrom not producing much thus far (read: 0 pts). Rob said he's not worried about Holmstrom's production yet and I'll agree with him on that. Holmstrom doesn't need to have the points on the board to show that he's doing his job and I think it's just a matter of time before he's getting some goals and assists, for sure.
  • Don't be leery, vote Jiri and Cleary! Hudler's had a few miscues (see: Colorado, O'Reilley goal) and has probably passed instead of shot a few too many times but he'll get to where he needs to be soon enough. He's shown some good alertness in the offensive zone finding teammates but also just needs to shoot a bit more when given the opportunity. Cleary's been a good guy to have on that third line as he's doing a lot of the hitting and board work for Modano and Hudler. The third line will produce a lot at some point in the season but I think they're still meshing a bit.
  • Key match-up to watch when Dallas has the puck: James Neal/Brad Richards/Loui Eriksson vs. Henrik Zetterberg/Pavel Datsyuk/Nick Lidstrom. Detroit's top defensive unit will need to shut down the Stars top unit and force the second and third lines to step up.
  • Key match-up to watch when Detroit has the puck: I think this goes to Modano's line tonight. You can guarantee Babcock will put him out on the opening puck drop and see if he can get anything going. The top two lines will probably continue to play as well as they have but it could be a big night for the third line.
  • Lines for Detroit (via the Khan)--also note the sweet shape they make
    Datsyuk-Zetterberg-Holmstrom
    Franzen-Filppula-Bertuzzi
    Hudler-Modano-Cleary
    Miller-Helm-Eaves
    Lidstrom-Stuart
    Kronwall-Janik
    Kindl-Salei
    Osgood
  • And in honor of playing the Stars, I give you this beauty:

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