Morning Skate: Red Wings at Islanders Preview

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

4:00p ET, Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum

Uniondale, NY

TV: Fox Sports Detroit, MSG Plus

Radio: 97.1 The Ticket

Isles Blog: Lighthouse Hockey

You know the definition of a "letdown game" by now. The Wings have put together two straight wins and have done so by multiple goals for the first time all season (wait, really? Holy shit it's true. The Wings had not won consecutive games with more than a 1-goal victory margin all season long. How awful). The last time Detroit met the Islanders, they earned their fifth straight overtime or shootout loss.

The Isles are a team looking to come out of a long string of bad years and seem to be trending in the right direction, but right now they're the worst team in the worst division in hockey (although not the worst team in hockey thanks to both the Sabres and Oilers). A loss today wouldn't be necessarily surprising, but it would sure as shit be disappointing after the effort the team put up against Boston on Wednesday.

A win though, especially a dominant one? Well I'd give thanks for that.

The Expected Lineup

Forwards

Johan Franzen Henrik Zetterberg Gustav Nyquist
Justin Abdelkader Darren Helm Daniel Alfredsson
Drew Miller Joakim Andersson Tomas Tatar
Daniel Cleary Stephen Weiss Mikael Samuelsson

Defensemen

Niklas Kronwall Jonathan Ericsson
Kyle Quincey Brendan Smith
Brian Lashoff Jakub Kindl

Goaltenders

Jimmy Howard (starting)
Jonas Gustavsson

Scratches:

Injuries: Pavel Datsyuk (concussion?), Todd Bertuzzi (upper body)

LTIR: Danny DeKeyser (shoulder)

ISLANDERS THE MATCH-UP RED WINGS
8-14-3 (19 pts; 8th in Metropolitan) Record 11-7-7 (29 pts; 4th in Atlantic)
2.68 (14th in NHL) Goals Per Game 2.65 (16th in NHL)
3.32 (28th) Goals Against Per Game 2.58 (16th)
16.8% (21st) Power Play % 22.1% (6th)
71% (30th) Penalty Kill % 86.3% (3rd)
John Tavares (11 goals) Goal Leader Pavel Datsyuk (12 goals)
John Tavares (29 points) Points Leader Henrik Zetterberg (30 points)

Opponent Outlook

Player to Fear: John Tavares is the real deal, folks. At only 23 he's still getting better too.

X-Factor: Frans Nielsen scored the shootout winner the last time these two met. Let's go with the German Enrico Palazzo.

Familiar Faces: We saw them less than a month ago. They're all familiar. Evgeni Nabokov was going to be more familiar than the rest, but the Isles snapped him on the waivers you have to put a player through before signing him out of Europe.

Thumbs up (One Thing to Like About Long Island): Lighthouse Hockey has some of the best satire pieces.

Thumbs down (One Thing to Dislike About Long Island): It's near-statistically certain that some of the people who live there are racist.

Bullets of Knowledge

  • The Red Wings are 46-44-6-2 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Islanders

  • Last 10 games: NYI 2-8-0. Detroit 3-2-5.

  • The Wings are currently 2-3-3 on Saturdays.

  • The rifling of the barrel creates spin on the ball that, when combined with the elongated shape creates stability in flight.

Prediction: Black Friday.

Let's Go Red Wings.
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