Morning Skate: Ducks at Red Wings Preview

USA TODAY Sports

Game 36

7:30p ET, Joe Louis Arena

Detroit, MI

TV: Fox Sports Detroit

Radio: 97.1 The Ticket

Ducks Blog: Battle of California & Anaheim Calling

The GriffWings have lost their last 5 games. The Ducks have won their last 5 games and are the 2nd best team in the league. This would be a great time to win a game, and I'll keep saying that until we win, and then I'll be right. Riley Sheahan was called up with Johan Franzen out, and the Wings now have 8 players on the active roster who won the Calder Cup with the Griffins last Spring (9 if you want to include DeKeyser). Sheahan has really grown (literally and figuratively) and improved his game quit a bit since the last time we saw him in the NHL on April 7, 2013 and will either fit in the 2C or 3C slot tonight. I would typically think he'd be the 3C with Andersson filling in at 2C, but I wonder if Babcock may just throw Sheahan in the 2C slot and see what happens. Our centers are Datsyuk, Sheahan, Andersson, and Glendening... It's like being in a scary episode of the Twilight Zone.

This is a game that by all logic and statistical analytics the Wings shouldn't win, but they've been doing a lot of things they shouldn't this season, so maybe we'll win this one. Don't stop believin', right?

Things have gotten pretty depressing for Wings fans lately, so in an attempt to keep spirits up, we're going to do a little something different today. Everyone is encouraged to post in the comments what drew you to hockey, what made you first fall in love with this beautiful sport and the Red Wings, or what it is about the sport that keeps you coming back game after game, year after year, regardless of how heartbreaking it can be at times. Remembering what it is I love about hockey helps me get through the tough times. The first thing about the Wings that I fell in love with, was Chris Osgood in the 2008 playoffs. I was new to hockey, and was fascinated watching him make big saves; it was exciting, sometimes scary, and thrilling. That's something that I still enjoy, no matter what the outcome of the game is, jumping out of my seat and screaming when the goalie makes a big save, a timely save, or an acrobatic "no way I thought for sure that was going it" kind of save. He's the last line of defense, the linchpin, the hero or the scapegoat. Even now, watching video of the 2008 playoffs gives me goosebumps when I hear "Crosby's in, AND ANOTHER SAVE BY OSGOOD!!"There are many things that keep me hooked on hockey, but that's where my love affair with the Wings started. Looking back now, it's kind of fitting that I became a goalie. What about you?

The Expected Lineup

Forwards

Tomas Jurco Pavel Datsyuk Daniel Alfredsson
Todd Bertuzzi Riley Sheahan Gustav Nyquist
Drew Miller Joakim Andersson Tomas Tatar
Daniel Cleary Luke Glendening Patrick Eaves

Defensemen

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

Goaltenders

Jonas Gustavsson (starting)
Petr Mrazek

Scratches: Mikael Samuelsson

Injuries: Jimmy Howard (knee), Stephen Weiss (groin) Justin Abdelkader (possible concussion) Darren Helm (shoulder) Johan Franzen (possible concussion- must sit out per concussion testing protocol)

LTIR: Danny DeKeyser (shoulder), Henrik Zetterberg (back)

DUCKS THE MATCH-UP RED WINGS
23-7-5 ( 51pts; 1st in Pacific) Record 15-11-9 (39 pts; 4th in Atlantic)
3.11 (5th in NHL) Goals Per Game 2.54 (18th in NHL)
2.43 (12th) Goals Against Per Game 2.51 (13th)
16.7% (19th) Power Play % 18.3% (12th)
80.7% (22nd) Penalty Kill % 84.6% (9th)
Corey Perry (21 goals) Goal Leader Pavel Datsyuk (13 goals)
Ryan Getzlaf (39 points) Points Leader Henrik Zetterberg (30 points)

Opponent Outlook

Player to Fear: Corey Perry, because he'll kick you in the groin, throw his stick at you, and he leads the Ducks in goals. The Wings can't score goals, so the other team scoring more than 1 goal seems to be enough for us to lose. The way things are going for the Wings lately, Perry would probably score a hat trick or something.

X-Factor: : The Red Wings offense. Can we score more than 1 goal? The Wings only have 5 goals in their last 5 games.

Familiar Faces: Todd Bertuzzi was a Duck for a season, and Drew Miller was drafted by the Ducks and played for them for his first 2 NHL seasons.

Thumbs up (One Thing to Like About Anaheim): The gave us this.

Thumbs down (One Thing to Dislike About Anaheim): Oh so many things, and a lot of them involve Corey "I kick goalies in the balls, throw tantrums, and play like a dirtbag" Perry.

Bullets of Knowledge

  • The Red Wings are 48-18-7-2 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Ducks.

  • Last 10 games: Ducks 7-1-2. Detroit 4-4-2.

  • The Wings are currently 1-1-2 on Tuesdays.

  • Jonas Gustavsson is 2-0-0 with a 2.53 GAA and .911 SV% in 2 career games against the Ducks.

Prediction: The Wings go out and feed the f'ing chickens.

Let's Go Red Wings!!!
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