Morning Skate: Rangers at Red Wings Preview

Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

Game 12

7:00p ET, Joe Louis Arena

Detroit, MI

TV: Fox Sports Detroit, NHL Network (US)

Radio: 97.1 The Ticket

Rangers Blog: Blueshirt Banter

This is game could be perfect for the Red Wings.

The Wings have lost three straight. They can't score goals. Their offseason solution to the 2nd line has been a "bust" early on so far. And, going off last game, they can't play much defense either. So what a better way to get out of your funk than by playing one of the worst teams in the league?

Mike Babcock has thrown his lines in a blender and a crappy opponent could set this team up for success. Even if it might not be a real picture of who the Red Wings are, some success is better than no success. This team could use the confidence boost of beating up on an inferior opponent. You would think that this team is sitting there licking their chops. Ready and eager to get on the ice and prove they're a team that's going to fight. Especially after the embarrassment we saw Wednesday night.

If the Wings think their going to be able to coast against the Rangers, even though New York is pretty terrible, they've got another thing coming to them. Detroit needs to start on time, play a heavy game, bring a full 60 minute effort. Their are so many clinches we can throw out there.

Changes are coming. Ken Holland has no choice. This game could determine a lot moving forward.

The Expected Lineup

Forwards

Todd Bertuzzi Pavel Datsyuk Daniel Alfredsson
Johan Franzen Henrik Zetterberg Tomas Tatar
Daniel Cleary Stephen Weiss Justin Abdelkader
Drew Miller Joakim Andersson Jordin Tootoo

Defensemen

Niklas Kronwall Brendan Smith
Kyle Quincey Danny DeKeyser
Jakub Kindl Brian Lashoff

Goaltenders

Jimmy Howard (starting)
Jonas Gustavsson

Scratches: Mikael Samuelsson

Injuries: Jonathan Ericsson (shoulder/paternity leave)

LTIR: Darren Helm (body), Patrick Eaves (knee and ankle)

RANGERS THE MATCH-UP RED WINGS
2-6-0 (4 pts; 7th in Metro) Record 6-4-1 (13 pts; 3rd in Atlantic)
1.50 (28th in NHL) Goals Per Game 2.27 (22nd in NHL)
3.88 (29th) Goals Against Per Game 2.64 (13th)
16.7% (19th) Power Play % 21.2% (10th)
81.2% (17th) Penalty Kill % 80.5% (18th)
Brad Richards (5 goals) Goal Leader Henrik Zetterberg (6 goals)
Brad Richards (8 points) Points Leader Henrik Zetterberg (12 points)

Opponent Outlook

Player to Fear: Henrik Lundqvist. If you look into that man's eyes, you might be lost forever. Thankfully he's not playing. We'll go with Brad Richards here. The old man on the Rags is out of John Tortorella's dog house, because, well, Torts is gone. He's leading New York in goals and points. That might be the lone bright spot of the the team this season.

X-Factor: The Rangers likely starter Cam Talbot. The Wings have a history of getting burned by Talbots. Also, a young and untested goaltender against Detroit? Yeah… he's going to look like Ken Dryden tonight.

Familiar Faces: None, but Carl Hagelin is from Sweden and played for the University of Michigan. That's pretty close, I guess.

Thumbs up (One Thing to Like About New York): The Statue of Liberty and the Freedom Tower are in NYC. Liberty and freedom rule.

Thumbs down (One Thing to Dislike About New York): Way too many people in that city. My goodness.

Bullets of Knowledge

  • The Red Wings are 261-210-103-1 all-time against the Rangers

  • Detroit is 1-0-0 on October 26 since the 2003-04 season. The last time they played on this date was during the 2007-08 season at home against the Sharks. The Wings won 5-1. I actually attended this game with my dad. Zetterberg scored two goals that night. Other goal scorers were Valtteri Filppula, Andreas Lilja and Kirk Maltby.

  • This is the fourth Saturday game of the season. The Wings are currently 1-2-0 on Saturdays.

  • Howard is 2-0-0 all-time against the Rangers with a 1.50 GAA and .961 SV%.

Prediction: Red Wings win 3-1. Weiss is your player of the game.

NOTE: The WiiM prediction contest is back. Two of our WiiM faithful are undertaking the task of keeping track of all the predictions and you can click on the link above to read all the details. How will it work? Just leave your predictions in the comments of the morning skates before the game starts. Tell us what you think the final score will be, which team you think will win, and who you think the POTG (Player of the game) will be. For example: 4-2 Red Wings, Henrik Zetterberg POTG.


Let's Go Red Wings.
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