Morning Skate: Blues at Red Wings

Dilip Vishwanat

Game 49

7:30p ET, Joe Louis Arena

Detroit, MI

TV: Fox Sports Detroit, Fox Sports Midwest

Radio: 97.1 The Ticket

Blues Blog: St. Louis Game Time

Hooray for actual wins instead of moral victories! Tonight the Wings take on their former division opponents and find themselves 1 point out of the wild card race. It seems there aren't going to be any easy victories for the Wings this season, but the fiery, pissed off, take no guff, never give up team that we've seen the past few games is what I've been waiting to see all season, and they need to bring it again tonight. The Blues are a good team, despite Brian Elliololot and I expect them to play very physically against us. They also have the league's best goals for/against differential at a +59 while the Wings are tied for 19th with a -9. Oof. So they score goals, don't allow many, have very good special teams, and oh goodness this is getting depressing.

No news on any injured players coming back yet, so we're expecting the same lineup. Sheahan and Jurco have both impressed me, and all the young guys and rookie on the team are really playing well, and proving they belong in the NHL. I don't even want to think about where we'd be right now if it wasn't for the great prospects we have and the superb development going on in Grand Rapids by all the coaches and staff. Guys like Sheahan and Jurco being called up and fitting right in has been our life raft amidst all these injuries to key players, not to mention all the other call-ups we've had already this season..

Am I blowing sunshine up your pant leg? Nah, but I choose to focus on the positives, because... why not? Time to put on the foil and make St. Louis sing the Blues. The Wings can absolutely win tonight, and I'd like that.



The Expected Lineup

Forwards

Gustav Nyquist Henrik Zetterberg Justin Abdelkader
Tomas Jurco Riley Sheahan Todd Bertuzzi
Drew Miller Joakim Andersson Tomas Tatar
Daniel Cleary Luke Glendening Patrick Eaves

Defensemen

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

Goaltenders

Jimmy Howard
Petr Mrazek

Scratches: Mikael Samuelsson

Injuries: Jonas Gustavsson (crotchital region) Johan Franzen (concussion), Darren Helm (canooter valve), Pavel Datsyuk (lower body), Jonathan Ericsson (ribs), Daniel Alfredsson (back spasms)

LTIR: Stephen Weiss (groin)


RED WINGS THE MATCH-UP BLUES
21-17-10 (52 pts; 5th in Atlantic) Record 32-10-5 (69 pts; 2nd in Central)
2.48 (21st in NHL) Goals Per Game 3.45 (2nd in NHL)
2.56 (14th) Goals Against Per Game 2.23 (3rd)
16.8% (22nd) Power Play % 24.1% (3rd)
84.5% (8th) Penalty Kill % 85.4% (5th)
Pavel Datsyuk (15 goals) Goal Leader Alexander Steen (24 goals)
Henrik Zetterberg (38 points) Points Leader T.J. Oshie (41 points)


Opponent Outlook

Player to Fear: T.J Oshie is a skilled hockey player who leads his team in points and has 4 in his last 3 games.

X-Factor: Alexander Steen leads the team in goals but only has 2 in his last 6 games. I'd prefer he not heat up tonight.

Familiar Faces: Carlo Colaiacovo's face... heh

Thumbs up (One Thing to Like About St. Louis): I didn't get mugged when I was there.

Thumbs down (One Thing to Dislike About St. Louis): David Backes likes playing with dog poop.


Bullets of Knowledge

  • The Red Wings are 118-110-37-8 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Blues.

  • Last 10 games: St. Louis 7-3-0. Detroit 4-5-1.

  • Howard is 11-6-2 with a 2.54 GAA, .915 SV% in 19 career games against St. Louis.

Prediction: Blues thuggery, but we don't take any shit.

Let's Go Red Wings!!!
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