Morning Skate: Oilers at Red Wings Preview

Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Game 66

7:30p ET, Joe Louis Arena

Detroit, MI

TV: Fox Sports Detroit

Radio: 97.1 The Ticket

Oiler Blog: The Copper & Blue

The Oilers are bad.

On top of that, they got their asses kicked by the Blues last night.

The Red Wings are bad too though.

On top of that, they go their asses kicked last time they played too.

Sure, for the Wings, they're bad because of the massive injuries to their roster, but hey, no one cares why you're bad. Because bad is bad. Bad, bad, bad, bad… bad. We all know deep down that this Wings team would be better healthy. They'd be firmly in a playoff spot. They might even be in contention for the division. But reality is that they're not. The playoff streak is in jeopardy. One wrong turn and it's another groin injury and another wasted chance at two points.

Winning tonight is crucial. The Red Wings NEED these two points. They blew it against the BJs. They can't slip up against the Oilers. Sure we all hope Philly will start sliding or someone else will suck worse than us, but other teams losing means crap unless you win.

The Expected Lineup

Forwards

Johan Franzen David Legwand Justin Abdelkader
Tomas Tatar Riley Sheahan Gustav Nyquist
Todd Bertuzzi Luke Glendening Daniel Alfredsson
Drew Miller Cory Emmerton Teemu Pulkkinen

Defensemen

Niklas Kronwall Jonathan Ericsson
Kyle Quincey Danny DeKeyser
Brian Lashoff Brendan Smith

Goaltenders

Jimmy Howard (starting)
Petr Mrazek


Scratches: Jakub Kindl

Injuries: Daniel Cleary (knee), Darren Helm (concussion), Pavel Datsyuk (zest), Henrik Zetterberg (back), Mikael Samuelsson (who cares), Jonas Gustavsson (groin) & Stephen Weiss (groin)

OILERS THE MATCH-UP RED WINGS
23-38-8 (54 pts; Last in WC Race) Record 29-23-13 (71 pts; 3rd in WC Race)
2.46 (22nd in NHL) Goals Per Game 2.58 (18th in NHL)
3.27 (29th) Goals Against Per Game 2.69 (15th)
16.2% (21st) Power Play % 17.6% (17th)
81.8% (17th) Penalty Kill % 84.2% (8th)
David Perron (25 goals) Goal Leader 2 tied with 16 goals
Taylor Hall (62 points) Points Leader Henrik Zetterberg (48 points)

Opponent Outlook

Player to Fear: Let's go with Jordan Eberle.

X-Factor: Ben Scrivens or Viktor Fasth. Edmonton's goaltending is better than the hot garbage they rolled out before. Not elite by any means, don't get me wrong, but they've upgraded.

Familiar Faces: None.

Thumbs up (One Thing to Like About Edmonton): They give up a lot of goals on a per game basis.

Thumbs down (One Thing to Dislike About Edmonton): It's cold. I'm sick of the cold.

Bullets of Knowledge

  • The Red Wings are 60-36-13-11 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Oilers.

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

  • Howard is 9-1-2 with a 1.96 GAA, .926 SV% with 2 shutouts in 12 career games against Edmonton.

Prediction: Deepwater Horizon.

Let's Go Red Wings.
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