Morning Skate: Red Wings at Blue Jackets Preview

Yup... we might be at the point where the freakin' Blue Jackets are pushing the Wings around. - John Grieshop

730p ET, Nationwide Arena

Columbus, OH

TV: Fox Sports Detroit, NBC Sports Network, TSN

Radio: 97.1 The Ticket

Blue Jackets Blog: The Cannon

Oh man, it can't get any worse than Saturday night against the Blues, right?

Right?!?

We'll find out if that's the case tonight as the Red Wings travel to no ones favorite state, Ohio, to take on the Columbus Blue Jackets. If the Wings fail to show up in this game, well, then we know for real the nightmare we might be headed towards. The Blues are a good team. They showed that last year. Getting destroyed by them is one thing. If Detroit gets out-hustled, out-hit, out-skated, out-worked, out-everything tonight by the BJs, then you should hit that imaginary panic button.

The injury bug has plagued the Wings again. Jan Mursak looks like he'll be out of action for awhile after leaving Saturday's game with a bum shoulder. Jonas Gustavsson tweaked his groin in practice and Thomas McCollum has been recalled from Grand Rapids as an emergency back-up. We all better hope and pray he doesn't see any ice time. Remember the last time he played in the NHL? Me neither. I blocked that from my memory too.

Pretty much anything the Wings do tonight will be an improvement. I mean, it has to be right? Unless they get only 13 shots and lose 7-0, it's better than before. If anything, I hope there is a real effort. I don't care if the opponent is supposed to be the worst team in the league this season. I just don't care. The Red Wings need to play well and compete tonight. They need to skate hard, play physical and shoot the damn puck on net. A real effort is needed to restore our faith in this team, and, quite frankly, restore the team's faith in itself. The last thing the Wings need is to lose their mental strength anymore than they already have. There's only 47 games to go. There is no time to fall apart and lose yourself.

The Red Wings need to wake up and do it quickly or else this season will really be a lost one.

The Expected Lineup

Henrik Zetterberg - Pavel Datsyuk - Damien Brunner

Mikael Samuelsson - Valtteri Filppula - Johan Franzen

Daniel Cleary - Justin Abdelkader - Drew Miller

Patrick Eaves - Cory Emmerton - Jordin Tootoo

*

Niklas Kronwall - Jonathan Ericsson

Kyle Quincey - Brendan Smith

Ian White - Carlo Colaiacovo

*

Jimmy Howard (starting)

Thomas McCollum

Scratches: None because everyone is hurt or playing.

Injuries: Darren Helm (back), Todd Bertuzzi (mono), Jakub Kindl (groin), Jonas Gustavsson (groin) and Jan Mursak (shoulder)

RED WINGS THE MATCH-UP BLUE JACKETS
0-1-0 (0 pts; Last in NHL) Record 1-0-0 (2 pts; T-3rd in West)
0.00 (Last in NHL) Goals Per Game 2.0 (T-15th in NHL)
6.0 (T-Last in NHL) Goals Against Per Game 2.0 (T-9th)
0.0% (Last in NHL) Power Play % 50.0% (T-7th)
20.0% (29th) Penalty Kill % 0.0% (Last in NHL)
N/A Goal Leader Two tied with 1 goal
N/A Points Leader Fedor Tyutin (2 points)

  • The Red Wings are 49-13-1-6 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
  • Detroit is last in the league in points, goals for, goals against, PP% and second to last in PK% (thanks Columbus!). Yeah, I know it's only been a game or two for everyone in the league, but it's still pathetic.
  • Last time they met the Blue Jackets beat the Red Wings 4-2 on March 28th of last year. Zetterberg and Kronwall both scored for the Wings. Ty Conklin was in net.
  • Columbus traded for Flyers back-up Sergei Bobrovsky in the offseason. He had 32 saves in the the BJs shootout win over the Predators on Saturday.
  • Cleary has scored more goals against the BJs (16) than any other opponent. Meanwhile, Colaiacovo has registered more points (12) against Columbus than any other opponent.
  • Howard is 9-1-1 with a 1.69 GAA and .938 SV% in his career against the Blue Jackets.
  • Detroit is 2-2-1 in their last five against Columbus.
Prediction: Howard is pretty good against the BJs. He also had a pretty good defense in front of him for all those games. He really needs to steal this one and stop at least 2 of the 3 breakaways he faces. The Wings early season nightmare is going to stop temporarily. Columbus will be looking to make a statement, but so will the Wings. Detroit wins 3-2 in a game that is still too close for comfort. Abdelkader will be your player of the game.

Let's Go Red Wings.
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