DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 11: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins #93 of the Edmonton Oilers looks on as Taylor Hall #4 of the Edmonton Oilers battles for position with Ian White #18 of the Detroit Red Wings during their NHL game at Joe Louis Arena November 11, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images)
The good old western Canadian road trip.
The perfect road trip at the perfect time.
The Red Wings aren't the greatest on the road. They have a 7-8-0 record away from the Joe this season. But what could be better than a three game trip out west to do a little team bonding and improve one of the few black eyes on the season that this team has so far? Plus, Detroit has been pretty darn good on the road out west in Canada the last few years.
The Red Wings swept their most recent three-game swing through Western Canada, Jan. 4-8 last season. They are 13-2-3 combined in Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver the past three seasons, 20-10-6 in those three cities since 2005-06.
I'd say those numbers are pretty darn good.
The most important part of the trip is to get off on the right foot. A win in Edmonton does that. The youthful Oilers have slowed down after a hot start to the season. This is a game the Wings should win and they need to put the Oilers in their place where they belong. The kids might hang around for a little bit, but eventually the Wings talent should overcome them in a full 60 minute effort. That there is the key. Start on-time and play a full 60 minutes. Remind Edmonton who they are, get the two points, then get some rest and move on to the next city.
All I want for Christmas is a 3-0-0 western Canadian road trip. That starts tonight.
The Copper & Blue is your SBNation Oilers' blog.
Puck drop is just after 9:30p ET.
The Expected Lineup
Jimmy Howard (starting)
Scratches: Mike Commodore
|RED WINGS||HOW THEY MATCH UP||OILERS|
|20-10-1 (40 pts; 5th in West)||Record||14-15-3 (31 pts; 12th in West)|
|3.32 (3rd)||Goals Per Game||2.69 (14th)|
|2.23 (5th)||Goals Against Per Game||2.62 (14th)|
|21.5% (4th)||Power Play %||20.6% (6th)|
|81.2% (20th)||Penalty Kill %||82.2% (13th)|
|Johan Franzen (14 goals)||Goal Leader||Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (13 goals)|
|Pavel Datsyuk (33 points)||Points Leader||2 tied with 33 points|
- The Red Wings are 54-36-13-10 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Oilers.
- Edmonton has the best power play at home (24.6%)
- Pavel Datsyuk has eight goals and 15 assists in his last 15 games. Kronner has a goal and five assists in his last six games and Bert has an assist in four straight games and a five game point streak.
- Detroit has won seven straight against the OIlers (I just jinxed this game. Sorry)
- How about rookie and number one overall pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins? The Nuge leads his team in goals and points. He has the same amount of points as Datsyuk and is one goal behind Franzen. He has a very promising career ahead of him. The Oilers have really done well draft the last few years and have a young, exciting, fun team to watch.
Prediction: The Wings are determined to correct their 7-8-0 road record and they will. Jimmy Howard extends his shutout streak against the Oilers to two straight games. Wings win 3-0 and Jimmy is your player of the game.
Let's Go Red Wings.