The day has finally arrived.
I'm home from Boston and in the great state of Michigan. Tonight is most likely the only Red Wings' game I get to attend all year and, quite frankly, I'm damn excited.
The Wings have won two-in-a-row and seem to have decided on being a team that wants to play hard and win games. And on top of it all, Brendan Smith survived being sent down yesterday and there's a great chance he'll make his home debut tonight while I'm at the Joe. You couldn't write a better script than this (well...unless he scores the game-winning goal tonight).
As mentioned on the first ever edition of WIIM Radio, J.J. brought up that Flames coach Brent Sutter gave a fiery speech at practice yesterday and essentially demanded his team buy all in and play better. Calgary is going to come out on fire (har har) and the Wings need to extinguish their attempt to make a statement. Crush them now so you don't have to worry about them down the road.
I will actually be attending the Red Wings' morning skate today and will send along any videos or pictures I can gather to J.J. and he will post them for all the WIIM faithful.
Matchsticks and Gasoline is your SBNation Flames' blog.
Earlier start tonight, puck drop is just after 7p ET
The Expected Lineup
Niklas Kronwall -- Brendan Smith
Injuried: Jan Mursak (ankle)
With Ian White making his return to the lineup, Fabian Brunnstrom was sent down yesterday in order to keep Smith on the main roster. Smith was kept around because another defenseman is reportedly banged up (and because Babcock thinks he's "NHL ready"). Kindl is rumored to have a bad shoulder which explains the drop of in his play in the last few games. While I hope Kindl isn't hurt, I sure do hope he could use a night off and Smith gets into the lineup. White's presence will also be a welcome addition. He'll be wearing a full cage to protect his face.
|FLAMES||HOW THEY MATCH UP||RED WINGS|
|2.21 (27th)||Goals Per Game||2.79 (T-13th)|
|2.68 (15th)||Goals Against Per Game||2.26 (5th)|
|13.6% (24th)||Power Play %||16.7% (16th)|
|82.4% (15th)||Penalty Kill %||79.4% (22nd)|
|Curtis Glencross (7 goals)||Goal Leader||Johan Franzen (10 goals)|
|Alex Tanguay (14 points)||Points Leader||Johan Franzen (20 points)|
- The Red Wings are 66-61-16-1 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Flames.
- Jarome Iginla has five goals and three assists against the Wings in his last three games. Moral of the story...stop Iggy.
- Detroit has won four straight games at home. Their last loss was on November 3rd, a 4-1 loss to the Flames. During the four game home winning streak, the Wings have outscored opponents 18-4.
- Franzen has a point in every single Red Wings' win except the season opener against the Senators. He hasn't registered a point in any of the Wings' losses. He's got a goal and three assists in his last two games. We've hammered this point home before, but you've got to feed the Mule.
Prediction: Red Wings win 3-0. Brendan Smith scores his first career NHL goal and it's the game-winner too. How could I not pick him tonight? He'll be the player of the game.
Let's Go Red Wings.