Morning Skate: Flames at Red Wings Preview

Save us, Tootoo - USA TODAY Sports

Game 37

7:30p ET, Joe Louis Arena

Detroit, MI

TV: Fox Sports Detroit

Radio: 97.1 The Ticket

Flame Blog: Matchsticks and Gasoline

I don't even know what to say for this game preview. What is there really to say? This team sucks right now. They're injured. They lack confidence. They haven't been a very fun team to watch. They've lost six straight games with the last three coming at home. They're garbage at the Joe. They lose to bad teams. They lose to good teams. They're really giving this fan base something we haven't really dealt with in our lifetimes: adversity.

I haven't been around the blog a lot lately, especially this past week. I haven't had a chance to catch up on the comments in all the posts. I have to imagine there is some fraction out there. The fans that have lost interest and aren't even around anymore. The fans that just think everything will be okay and the season will still result in a Cup. The fans that are openly angry and hate everyone and everything sucks.

I'm probably a mix of the last two, and, quite frankly, I wouldn't blame anybody for being in any of the three categories. Part of me has a hard time enjoying watching this team, not because I don't care, but they're just so dysfunctional on the ice and it's just not an entertaining product. Part of me deep down thinks they can still right the ship and be awesome. Part of me just wants to punch the brick wall in my apartment after each and every turnover and piss poor coverage in the defensive zone.

It's interesting to see what happens tonight. The Flames? Not that good of a team. But as I previously mentioned, the Wings lose to bad teams too. And, remember, the Wings aren't a good team right now and are playing with just as many AHLers on their roster as Calgary. I sure as hell don't have much confidence that the Red Wings will come through tonight, but I'm going to watch regardless. Maybe Jordin Tootoo can actually bring some energy and fight to this team and punch in a goal and someone's face too (in a non-staged or dirty way, of course).

Tonight is either the beginning of the turnaround or this team has finally hit rock bottom.

The Expected Lineup


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


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


Jonas Gustavsson (starting)
Petr Mrazek

Scratches: Mikael Samuelsson

Injuries: Everyone

13-16-5 (31 pts; 6th in Pacific) Record 15-12-9 (39 pts; 4th in Atlantic)
2.47 (21st in NHL) Goals Per Game 2.53 (17th in NHL)
3.12 (27th) Goals Against Per Game 2.58 (13th)
13.9% (25th) Power Play % 18.0% (15th)
82.0% (16th) Penalty Kill % 85.0% (8th)
2 tied with 10 goals Goal Leader Pavel Datsyuk (13 goals)
Jiri Hudler (30 points) Points Leader Henrik Zetterberg (30 points)

Opponent Outlook

Player to Fear: Jiri Hudler

X-Factor: Jiri Hudler

Familiar Faces: Jiri Hudler

Thumbs up (One Thing to Like About Calgary): Jiri Hudler

Thumbs down (One Thing to Dislike About Calgary): Expensive hookers.

Bullets of Knowledge

  • The Red Wings are 69-65-16-1 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Flames.

  • Last 10 games: Calgary 5-4-1. Detroit 3-5-2.

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

  • Gustavsson is 0-4-0 with a 4.61 GAA and .846 SV% in 5 career games against the Flames. YIKES.

Prediction: Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.

Let's Go Red Wings.
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