Morning Skate: Visiting the Island

Ugliest jersey ever or ugliest jersey ever? Who the hell approved that crap? (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Tonight is pretty simple...the Red Wings should win this game.

The Islanders are not good. Only the Ducks and Blue Jackets are worse. The team from Long Island sits dead last in the Eastern Conference. Yes, that's right, dead last in the conference that's a joke. New York has lost two-in-a-row. Who did they lose to? The Wings next opponent, Phoenix, and the Ducks. Yup, the same Ducks that are crap this year.

I'm not saying the Wings are going to win this game with their eyes closed. No one can win in the NHL without putting forth an effort. They can't go in there thinking they can coast to a win. But the Wings are far superior to the Islanders and a loss tonight would be embarrassing. When points are so crucial, you have to win the games against the bad teams. The Islanders are a bad team. It's an opportunity to tune up your game, spread the minutes around, and pick up two points on the road.

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Lighthouse Hockey is your SBNation Islanders' blog.

Puck drop is just after 7p ET

The Expected Lineup

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Johan Franzen -- ? -- Todd Bertuzzi

Valtteri Filppula -- Henrik Zetterberg -- Jiri Hudler

Danny Cleary -- Darren Helm -- Drew Miller

Tomas Holmstrom -- Justin Abdelkader -- Cory Emmerton

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Nicklas Lidstrom -- Ian White

Niklas Kronwall -- Brad Stuart

Jonathan Ericsson -- Mike Commodore

Jakub Kindl

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Ty Conklin (starting)

Jimmy Howard

Scratches: None

Injuries: Patrick Eaves (jaw) and Pavel Datsyuk (unknown)

Conditioning: Jan Mursak

RED WINGS HOW THEY MATCH UP ISLANDERS
26-14-1 (53 pts; 2nd in West) Record 14-19-6 (34 pts; 15th in East)
3.24 (3rd) Goals Per Game 2.26 (28th)
2.29 (5th) Goals Against Per Game 3.15 (25th)
19.7% (6th) Power Play % 19.8% (5th)
81.1% (23rd) Penalty Kill % 83.1% (12th)
Johan Franzen (16 goals) Goal Leader Matt Moulson (18 goals)
Pavel Datsyuk (43 points) Points Leader John Tavares (36 points)

  • The Red Wings are 46-43-6-1 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Islanders.
  • The AHL's Player of the Week Kevin Poulin is expected to start tonight. He's 0-1-0 this season with a 3.05 GAA and an .897 SV%.
  • The Red Wings have won every game that Filppula or Datsyuk has scored in. So, yeah, we love you Mule, but Feed Those Guys.
  • Since December 8, the Islanders have only won two games in regulation. They're 5-8-1 since then with three shootout wins.
  • A win would pull the Wings to .500 on the road.
  • The Blues are visiting the Canadiens and the Blackhawks host the Blue Jackets tonight, so all the Central leaders play bad teams. That makes winning tonight even more important for the Red Wings.

Prediction: Red Wings win 6-1. Valtteri Filppula is your player of the game.

Let's Go Red Wings.

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