Morning Skate:Red Wings at Wild Preview

Game 70

2:00p ET, Xcel Energy Center

Saint Paul, MN

TV: Fox Sports Detroit, NHL Network (US)

Radio: 97.1 The Ticket

Wild Blog: Hockey Wilderness

Sixty-nine games down, thirteen to go and the playoff race is tighter than a pair of jeggings. The Griffins Wings beat the Penguins when most people didn't think they could pull off a win. If they can continue to channel that determination and confidence, I think they'll definitely make the playoffs. This rag tag team has won three of their last four games and there's more good news. Darren Helm will be a game time decision tonight! He declared himself in the lineup tonight, but even a game time decision is more than we've had to look forward to form him in quite some time. If Helm plays, he'll center Ferraro and Emmerton on the 4th line with Pulkkinen most likely being the healthy scratch.

With only two wins in their last eight games, the Wild will have extra motivation to lay hard today. It's crunch time my friends. We have a hot Goose, a re-emerging Alfie, & Jiimmy's been great. Gustav Nyquist has 5 points in his last 3 games, leads the team with 20 goals, and has 13 points since the Olympic break. That's a hot Goose! So let's sit back and enjoy some afternoon hockey. The Griffins beat the Iowa Wild last night, your move Wings.

The Expected Lineup

Forwards

Johan Franzen David Legwand Daniel Alfredsson
Tomas Tatar Riley Sheahan Gustav Nyquist
Drew Miller Luke Glendening Todd Bertuzzi
Landon Ferraro Darren Helm Cory Emmerton

Defensemen

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

Goaltenders

Jimmy Howard (starting)
Jonas Gustavsson


Scratches: Teemu Pulkkinen (if Helm plays)

Injuries: Jonathan Ericsson (broken finger/torn ligament), Justin Abdelkader (cut leg), Tomas Jurco (broken ribs), Joakim Andersson (broken foot), Daniel Cleary (pride), Pavel Datsyuk (knee), Stephen Weiss (groin), Henrik Zetterberg (back), Mikael Samuelsson (who cares)

WILD THE MATCH-UP RED WINGS
36-23-11 (83 pts; 4th in Central) Record 32-24-13 (77 pts; 3rd in WC Race)
2.39 (26th in NHL) Goals Per Game 2.55 (19th in NHL)
2.36 (5th) Goals Against Per Game 2.720 (15th)
18.4% (15th) Power Play % 17.1% (18th)
80.8% (22nd) Penalty Kill % 83.9% (10th)
Jason Pominville (26 goals) Goal Leader Gustav Nyquist (20 goals)
Jason Pominville (50 points) Points Leader Henrik Zetterberg (48 points)

Opponent Outlook

Player to Fear: Zach Parise

X-Factor: Ryan Suter

Familiar Faces: hahaha.... no.

Thumbs up (One Thing to Like About Minnesota): They have bear... bear in the forest.

Thumbs down (One Thing to Dislike About Minnesota): They think they're the "State of Hockey"... *fart noises*

Bullets of Knowledge

  • The Red Wings are 30-9-3-5 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Wild.

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

  • Howard is 9-3-2 with a 2.10 GAA, .909 SV% in 14 career games against Minnesota.

Prediction: Darren Helm makes it through the entire game.

Let's Go Griff Wings!!!
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