Here we are again.
The beginning of another Red Wings
season. The beginning of another long journey to the top of the hockey world. It's been three years since the Wings last hoisted Lord Stanley's Cup and, if you ask me, that's three years too many. This franchise has been on the Quest for 12 and this is the year it finally ends.
Some new faces will join the Wings climb to the top of the mountain this season. Ian White
, Mike Commodore
, Cory Emmerton
, Fabian Brunnstrom
and Ty Conklin replace the likes of Brian Rafalski
, Kris Draper
, Chris Osgood
, Mike Modano
, and Ruslan Salei
(R.I.P.). The Wings are coming off a 4-4-0 preseason that saw Gustav Nyquist
, Tomas Tatar
, and Brunnstrom really impress. But the preseason is behind us and, ultimately, it's a whole new ball game now.
are in town and they're bringing along an old friend. Former assistant coach Paul MacLean will make his NHL head coaching debut. Once the puck drops, friends become the enemy.
We've waited four and a half months for this game.
It's the Quest for 12 and it starts tonight.
Puck drop is just after 7p ET.
The Expected Lineup
Jiri Hudler -- Pavel Datsyuk -- Danny Cleary
Valtteri Filppula -- Henrik Zetterberg -- Johan Franzen
Justin Abdelkader -- Darren Helm -- Todd Bertuzzi
Drew Miller -- Cory Emmerton -- Tomas Holmstrom
Nicklas Lidstrom -- Ian White
Niklas Kronwall -- Brad Stuart
Jonathan Ericsson -- Jakub Kindl
Jimmy Howard (starting)
Scratches: Fabian Brunnstrom worked in on the top two lines in practice and will most likely be the player scratched. According the Red Wings website, Patrick Eaves (foot) did not participate in the last practice, but is expected to be available for tonight.
Expect to see Emmerton scratched if Eaves is good to go. [UPDATE: Eaves will not play tonight.]
Injuries: Mike Commodore (knee), Jan Mursak (ankle)
- Detroit is 15-8-1-0 (W-L-T-OTL) all time against the new Senators (1992-present).
- The Red Wings are 3-3-0 (W-L-OTL) in season openers since the lockout
- Last season, the Wings defeated Ottawa 7-5 on February 2 in the only game between the two clubs. The game featured 5 goals from Johan Franzen.
- Speaking of Franzen, he has 8 goals in his last 3 games against Ottawa. I would suggest that tonight the Wings make sure to feed the Mule.
- The Senators finished 26th overall in the league last year with 74 points. The last time Detroit had 74 points or less was the 1989-90 season where they finished with 70 points. That was the last time the Wings missed the playoffs. To put that in perspective, I was 2 years old then. I'm currently 23.
- Keep and eye on Sens rookie Mika Zibanejad. He has Calder potential and could be a star in this league in the next few years.
Prediction: The Wings come out flying and start the season with a bang. Final score is 4-1 and Todd Bertuzzi is your player of the game.
Let's Go Red Wings.