Morning Skate: Beatin' Up The Blues

 

Thank goodness we're not Blues' fans.  Thank goodness we root for the greatest organ-i-zation in all of sports.  The rivalry with the Blues -- much like the rivalry with the Avs -- has been quite one-sided in recent memory.  That doesn't mean it isn't still fun to beat the team from St. Louis.  And it will be fun to watch the Wings beat the Blues tonight in their own barn (and five more times later this season).  At the end of the day, the Wings will be challenging for a Stanley Cup and the Blues will be playing 18 holes of golf come spring time.

 

St. Louis Game Time is your SBNation Blues' blog.

Puck drop is just after 8p ET.

 

The Expected Lineup

Danny Cleary -- Pavel Datsyuk -- Tomas Holmstrom

Valtteri Filppula -- Henrik Zetterberg -- Johan Franzen

Jiri Hudler -- Darren Helm -- Justin Abdelkader

Drew Miller -- Cory Emmerton -- Patrick Eaves

 

Nicklas Lidstrom -- Jonathan Ericsson

Niklas Kronwall -- Brad Stuart

Jakub Kindl -- Mike Commodore

 

Jimmy Howard (starting)

Ty Conklin

 

Scratches: Fabian Brunnstrom

IR: Todd Bertuzzi (ill), Jan Mursak (ankle)

Suspended: Brendan Smith (Smith-on-Smith headshot crime)

 

RED WINGS HOW THEY MATCH UP BLUES
9-5-1 Record 8-7-1
2.80 (T-12th) Goals Per Game 2.50 (21st)
2.20 (4th) Goals Against Per Game 2.31 (7th)
15.6% (18th) Power Play % 10.0% (T-Last)
77.6% (24th) Penalty Kill % 75.9% (26th)
Johan Franzen (9 goals) Goal Leader Alexander Steen (6 goals)
Johan Franzen (16 points) Points Leader 2 tied with 11 points

 

  • The Red Wings are 112-106-37-7 all-time against the Blues.
  • St. Louis is 2-0-1 since Ken Hitchcock took over as head coach. 
  • The Blues are undefeated (3-0-0) when leading after the 1st period.  However, they are a dismal 1-4-1 (.167 Win%) when trailing after the 1st period.  Obvious key to tonight's game: score first.
  • If Brian Elliott starts in net for the Blues, we could have a low scoring, goaltending duel on our hands.  Both the Wings and Blues are in the top 7 in goals against this season.  Elliot has a 1.49 GAA (1st) and .964 SV% (2nd).  Howard has a 1.66 GAA (3rd) and a .934 SV% (T-5th).  Don't forget to #VoteJimmah.

 

Prediction: A close affair between two teams very familiar with each other.  Wings win 3-1 with an empty net goal.  Pavel Datsyuk is your player of the game.

Let's Go Red Wings.

 

 

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