7:30p ET, Joe Louis Arena
TV: Fox Sports Detroit, TSN
Radio: 97.1 The Ticket
It's only been 8 days or 3 games since we last played the Jets. Danny DeKeyser got his first NHL goal but that wasn't enough to lift the team to a win. Last time the Jets were coming off a 4-1 whooping on home ice by the Blackhawks and had extra motivation to play well. This time the Wings are coming off back-to-back overtime losses on home ice, and Babcock is not happy... at all. He's calling out players more publicly and bluntly than usual, and he even said this about Cleary...
"For a guy of his hockey sense and his ability he's got to be a factor every night and I don't see that.''
I'm pretty sure that Babcock is a big reason we re-signed Cleary, so for him to actually say that is pretty big. Cleary also practiced in gray yesterday along with Eaves and Tootoo, which indicates there's a good chance he'll be a healthy scratch tonight. A couple of the diggers reported that he would be, and that Babcock had even told him he would be, but later is was a "maybe" and Babcock of course said he'd decide today. It could end up being a warning for Cleary to get his poop in a group, but he only has 3 points in 18 games and that's with power play time, soooo.....I'm perfectly fine with him sitting. So far, to me, Cleary has been a very replaceable player, and I want the best players on the ice. I don't think Cleary has been the "best" players he can be, so I'm hoping he gets to sit a game... Now he'll probably play and score a hat trick. I'm ok with that too. Just about everyone on the team could be called out for not doing enough right now though.
Franzen looks like he'll be back in the lineup, though he's still not divulging what his injury was. He said he thought he could tell the reporters, but he can't until he's 100% healed. He did laugh when told about the rumors that it was anxiety issues, so I guess we can probably/maybe/possibly rule that out.
Brendan Smith is eligible to come off IR, but Babcock said he's not ready. I'm not sure if that means he's not healed or he has more learning to do before he gets back in a game. Because he's not ready, Xavier Ouellet will remain in the lineup. Several players have to step up and start making themselves invaluable to the team. I really truly appreciate when players work hard and do all the right things, but at some point that has to start translating into goals and points. Our top line can only carry us so long before they get burned out or overworked, and god forbid the other team shut down that line. Who will it be first? Who's going to be our hero?
The Expected Lineup
|Henrik Zetterberg||Pavel Datsyuk||Todd Bertuzzi|
|Johan Franzen||Darren Helm||Daniel Alfredsson|
|Tomas Tatar||Joakim Andersson||Mikael Samuelsson|
|Drew Miller||Luke Glendening||Justin Abdelkader|
|Niklas Kronwall||Danny DeKeyser|
|Brian Lashoff||Jakub Kindl|
|Kyle Quincey||Xavier Ouellet|
|Jimmy Howard (starting)|
LTIR: Jonathan Ericsson (shoulder)
The 1st PP unit was intact in practice Zetterberg- Datsyuk- Bertuzzi with Kronwall and Alfredsson on the points. The 2nd PP unit was Franzen-Helm-Tatar with Kindl and Samuelsson on the points. I hope Helm and tatar can give that 2nd unit a spark, because our power play (especially any but the 1st)... Woof.
|JETS||THE MATCH-UP||RED WINGS|
|8-9-2 (18pts; 7th in Central)||Record||9-5-4 (22 pts; 4th in Atlantic)|
|2.47 (22nd in NHL)||Goals Per Game||2.50 (20th in NHL)|
|2.84 (21st)||Goals Against Per Game||2.41 (14th)|
|8.8% (30th)||Power Play %||16.4% (21st)|
|84.2% (12th)||Penalty Kill %||84.8% (11th)|
|Bryan Little (10 goals)||Goal Leader||Henrik Zetterberg (10 goals)|
|Bryan Little (17 points)||Points Leader||Henrik Zetterberg (20 points)|
Player to Fear: It's still Bryan Little. With 10 goals and 17 points in 19 games, and a goal and an assist against the Wings last time, he's the biggest offensive threat the Jets have.
X-Factor: Special team. I think this will be the difference maker in the game. The Jets have the worst power play in the league, but their penalty kill is about even with ours. If the Wings can not be too generous and give up any power play goals, and maybe (please, please please) score a power play goal (or two) of our own. I like our chances.
Familiar Faces: Darren Helm is still from Winnipeg.
Thumbs up (One Thing to Like About Winnipeg): Darren Helm came from there.
Thumbs down (One Thing to Dislike About Winnipeg): Probably Devin Setoguchi
Bullets of Knowledge
- The Wings have only played one other game on a Tuesday this season and it was a 2-1 win over Columbus.
- Daniel Alfredsson is 4 games away from 1200 career NHL games
- The Red Wings are now 10-5-0 against the Thrashers/Jets
- Justin Abdelkader is 6th in the league in hits with 59.
- Danny DeKeyser and Niklas Kronwall both have 36 blocked shots on the season. The Double DeKe is 25th in the league and Kronner is 26th. Dustin Byfuglien is 28th with 35.
- Pavel Datsyuk leads the league in takeaways with 28. Dustin Byfulgien is 5th with 20.
- Henrik Zetterberg is 8th in the league in shots on goal with 69. Evander Kane is 5th with 72, and Dustin Byfuglien is 14th with 64.
Prediction: Xavier Ouellet scores his first NHL goal..,. Brendan Smith cries... again.
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.