I have to admit it feels pretty strange to be having a home-and-home series with the Minnesota Wild of all teams. Even back when the Red Wings were in the Western Conference, not even the "Hockeytown" vs. "the State of Hockey" angle got me particularly excited about playing against the Christmas colors.
You know what gets me excited? Winning games. So a second win in as many days against this team would go a long way toward my personal entertainment, which is obviously all that matters.
- Lots to cover from this one tweet: Jimmy Howard will be starting for the sixth consecutive game, playing both ends of this back-to-back. Tiberius has 4 wins in his last 5 starts, so in case you needed more proof, Howard is heating up at the right time after a forgettable start to this season.
Darren Helm not only survived through the entirety of yesterday's game, but he's also lived to play another as he will remain in the lineup tonight.
Joakim Andersson "expects" to play tonight, returning from a broken foot. Whatever "expects" means, I really have no clue whose place he'll take in the lineup. Our very own J.J. from Kansas has his thoughts from the Morning Skate comments:
No word on who would sit, but Emmerton and Ferraro are the easy choices. Emmerton probably more likely as the center-for-center tradeoff, but I’d probably rather sit Ferraro, who is wholly unimpressive.
- There's no news to report currently, but we should be expecting updates on Pavel Datsyuk and Stephen Weiss this week, as this week marks the "in 3 weeks" mark for Datsyuk and the "in 7-10 days" mark for Weiss.
- It doesn't appear to be fully confirmed yet, but Ilya Bryzalov is tonight's probable starter for the Wild. Here's to hoping he spaces out and lets in a couple softies.
- To the detriment of our entertainment, Wild forward Clayton Stoner didn't make the trip to Detroit.
- The Wild have won just 2 of their last 9 games, although 4 of those 7 losses came past regulation. $98 million investment Zach Parise hasn't scored in their last 5 games.
- The projected lineup for the Minnesota "I already didn't pay attention to them back when we were still in the West" Wild:
FORWARDS DEFENSE Ryan "Choices, man" Suter
Jared "don't you be" Spurgeon
Marco "Polo" Scandella
Jonas "don't taze me" Brodin
Jonathon "Predators, Wild" Blum
Nate "i hardly know her!" Prosser
GOALTENDING Ilya "Humangous Biiiiig" Bryzgalov
Out of Town Scoreboard
Toronto Maple Leafs at New Jersey Devils: Toronto is currently riding a 4-game losing streak, and a stretch of 5 losses in their last 6 games, all in regulation. David Clarkson makes his return to New Jersey, so you know he's going to get every chance to prove he's worth that contra--hahahahahahahahahahaha
That's it for games that we care about. Well, I guess there's also one game left to care about: ours. We're in a playoff spot right now, and the only thing that we can do to make sure we stay there is win. Win and you're in. Win, and we don't have to include this section in Gameday Updates. Win, and if Columbus also wins, enjoy the hilarity of Toronto being out of a playoff spot.