Morning Skate: Redemption in Nashville

NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 19: Brad Stuart #12 of the Detroit Red Wings checks Patric Hornqvist #27 of the Nashville Predators on March 19, 2011 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

Definition of PENANCE

1: an act of self-abasement, mortification, or devotion performed to show sorrow or repentance for getting your ass kicked and giving up 10 goals at home to the St. Louis Blues

2: a sacramental rite that is practiced in Roman, Eastern, Anglican and some Babcockian churches and that consists of private confession, absolution, skating your tail off in practice and a penance directed by the confessor

3: something (as a hardship or penalty e.g. sprints at practice) resembling an act of penance (as in compensating for an offense...an offense like failing to give any effort for a full 60 minutes night-in-and-night-out)


Examples of PENANCE

  1. He did charitable work as a penance.
  2. The team was put through a penance day at practice because they were going through the motions the last two months and were booed off the ice after the organ-i-zation's worst performance in almost two decades.

Origin of PENANCE

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Western Canada, from Medieval Latin poenitentia penitence
First Known Use: 14th century
Last Known Use: 21st century, March 31, 2010


So what's it going to be, boys?  A half-hearted effort the rest of the way and an attempt to flip the switch for the playoffs only to flame out in the first or second round?  Or a full 60-minutes of crisp, clean passes, sound two-way play, and solid defense in your own zone?  In other words, Red Wings' hockey as we all know it en route to a 12th Stanley Cup?

 

Today the Wings have a chance at redemption against the Nashville Predators.  The Preds defeated the Avs 3-2 in their last game on Thursday night.  Nashville has been on a bit of a roll lately.  They've won 7 of their past 8 games (the lone loss coming against the Canucks).  If you going even farther back into the schedule, they've won 9 of 11 and have a March record of 10-3-2.  Much better than the Wings' March record of 5-5-4.

Thanks to the Predators hot March, they've climbed to a tie for 5th in the West and are within 4 points of the Wings and the Central Division lead.  Thanks to the Red Wings poor March, they've fallen to 3rd place and are 1 point behind the San Jose Sharks.  The games and the points matter more than ever now.

Don't forget that today is an afternoon game.  Puck drop is at 3p ET on Fox Sports Detroit.

On the Forecheck is your SBNation Predators' blog.

More after the jump.

The Expected Lineup

Danny Cleary -- Henrik Zetterberg -- Todd Bertuzzi

Johan Franzen -- Mike Modano -- Tomas Holmstrom

Jiri Hudler -- Valtteri Filppula -- Justin Abdelkader

Drew Miller / Kris Draper -- Darren Helm -- Patrick Eaves

 

Nicklas Lidstrom -- Brad Stuart

Jonathan Ericsson -- Niklas Kronwall

Ruslan Salei / Jakub Kindl -- Brian Rafalski

 

Jimmy Howard (starting)

Joey MacDonald

 

Scratches: Salei/Kindl and Miller/Draper

Injuries: Pavel Datsyuk (lower body)

LTIR: Chris Osgood (groin)

it was announced yesterday that Pavel will miss his 7th straight game.  Yesterday was also April Fools Day.  I can absolutely picture a scenario where Pav takes the pre-game skate and is interviewed by Trevor Thompson.

Trevor: Pavel, it was reported yesterday that you would be missing tonight's game?

Pavel: April foolings!

Sadly, I expect him to actually be out today, but he hasn't been ruled out for Sunday yet.  He could make an appearance against the Wild. 

 

DET HOW THEY MATCH UP NSH
3.2 (2nd) GOALS PER GAME 2.6 (25th)
2.9 (21st) GOALS AGAINST PER GAME 2.3 (3rd)
22.8% (4th) POWER PLAY % 15.0% (26th)
82.4% (17th) PENALTY KILL % 84.6% (6th)
Franzen (27 goals) GOAL LEADER Kostitsyn (19 goals)
Zetterberg (77 points) POINTS LEADER Erat (48 points)

 

  • The Red Wings are 42-21-4-7 (W-L-T-OTL) all time against the Predators.
  • Detroit is 1-4-0 against Nashville this season.  As a potential first round match-up, a win tonight might put a little dent into the confidence that the Preds have against the Wings this season.
  • Pekka Rinne is 31-21-8 this season with a 2.10 GAA and a .929 ave %.  Some Vezina-worthy numbers right there.  He's like the anti-Marty Turco when it comes to playing the Wings.  He's 8-2-2 in his career against Detroit and sports a 1.98 GAA and .941 save %.
  • Detroit Red Wings Viral Video Campaign: Create Your Moment - 2011 Detroit Red Wings Viral Video Campaign

 

Prediction: To say this is an important game is a bit of an understatement.  I have to believe that after the disaster of last game and the tough practice to follow that they will be motivated to work hard and play a full 60 minutes.  Red Wings will win 3-1.  Nicklas Lidstrom is your player of the game.

 

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