Seeing as how the Wings JUST played the Blue Jackets on Friday evening, this is going to be a rather short (as far as content) post and mainly serve to let you get your scoring and player predictions in. Let's get to it then.
Of course, the biggest news out of Detroit is that Mike Modano will miss considerable time after suffering a cut tendon in his wrist. Various reports have the injury in the 2-3 month range and it's a very unfortunate thing to see for a guy like Modano. Modano had surgery on the wrist on Saturday morning but the recovery time is something that will be important to watch. Wrist injuries can prove to be a big hindrance for hockey players so a full recovery is necessary to getting him back in the line-up.
So what does it all mean for the Wings heading into today's game and going forward? Take the jump.
- With Modano out, the third line needs a new center. In the above linked Khan article, Justin Abdelkader is slated to take Modano's spot and be joined by Dan Cleary and Jiri Hudler. This means Todd Bertuzzi goes back up to the second line as well. I like this plan as Abdelkader has been great this season and maybe by playing alongside Abby and Cleary, Hudler will start to do a little more dirty work. We don't need Hudler to do all the dirty work, just to be willing to do it would help. Thoughts on the new line combo?
- Hudler will also fill Modano's spot at the point on the power play unit. Hudler's a good passer but to be honest, I don't like putting him on the power play at the point. Why not put Jonathan Ericsson at the point? At the 2008 AHL skills competition, Ericsson recorded a 100.1 MPH slap shot. He's shown at various times in the NHL that he's got a rocket when he gets a lane to shoot so why not give him the chance to play back there?
- This means neither Drew Miller nor Patrick Eaves will have to sit and they'll join Darren Helm on the fourth line. They've been great when they're together and I like that they're all in the line-up now. They're all really high energy guys and I like what they can provide in the limited amount of time they get.
- How does Modano's injury affect his future in Detroit? The first thing I thought of when I read the amount of time that he'll be out is Jason Williams last year. Of course, Modano is infinitely better than Willy so it's more of the "what's his role when he's healthy?" type of thing. Granted, Modano should have a spot when he gets back and we have no idea what other injuries might occur in that time. But if the Wings continue to roll at a high pace, does Babcock disrupt it? We'll have to wait and see on that I guess.
- Kris Draper should be returning to the line-up soon and with Modano gone he may get more playing time than originally expected as a result of the injury.
- Stat I like: Wings are 9-1-2 at home this season. Make it 10, mkay?
- Player of the game prediction: Johan Franzen. He's heating up a bit lately, if he gets going then look out.
- Score prediction: 3-2 Detroit. I think Detroit does the usual lazy Sunday game thing for a bit and then kicks it into gear late.