Four games last week, four more games this week. There's no rest for the weary as the Detroit Red Wings continue their push for a playoff spot tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets. You wanna talk about too close for comfort? The Blue Jackets being two points behind the Red Wings at the moment I think qualifies very nicely. Tonight would also be a great example of the much-talked-about "four-point game."
- Call-up Landon Ferraro was sent down in the wee hours after Sunday's loss to Minnesota. This is stating the obvious, but it's disappointing he seemed to justify management's decision to delay his NHL debut as long as they did as forward after forward passed him on the depth chart.
- Next up on the waiver-exemption Memorial Tour 2014 is Mitch Callahan. Callahan was called up yesterday in case one of the Red Wings forwards couldn't go today against Columbus, a likely scenario given everything that's happened this season.
- But it looks like the Red Wings won't wait until game time to see who can't go. Cory Emmerton has been re-assigned to Grand Rapids, meaning Callahan is for sure in the lineup tonight. He took the morning skate with Darren Helm and Joakim Andersson.
- Todd Bertuzzi didn't travel with the team to Columbus, but as the last linked Tweet shows, he will be in the lineup tonight. He will likely take his place back on the line with Drew Miller and Luke Glendening.
There's lots of injury updates to go through, so we're taking a commercial break to bring you This Date in Red Wings history. In the wee hours of March 25, 1936, Mud Bruneteau scored a goal for the Red Wings at 16:30 of the sixth overtime to win Game 1 of the semifinal series against the defending Stanley Cup champion Montreal Maroons. You can read (a lot) more about this game from the Montreal Gazette's Hockey Inside Out.
And now back do your regularly scheduled Gameday Updates.
- Injury Watch 2014 tour continues as Pavel Datsyuk skated for the first time in who knows how long yesterday. The timetable for his return is uncertain, but skating is better than not-skating at this point.
Tomas Jurco, out with a broken rib from the Columbus game two weeks ago, is apparently hoping to return Thursday against Montreal. I'm no doctor, nor do I aspire to be one or play one on TV, but that seems like a really fast turnaround time from injury to playing again.
Justin Abdelkader, out with a leg laceration, looks to resume skating on Friday with a target return date of April 2nd against Boston.
- Chuck Pleiness meanwhile has more injury updates on Henrik Zetterberg, Stephen Weiss, and Dan Cleary. It might be a while before we see any of these guys in the lineup.
- The Blue Jackets have gone 2-3-1 since defeating the Red Wings two weeks ago to the day, including a stunning loss at the sticks of the John-Tavares-less New York Islanders.
Battle of the bad, by Bill Roose: Red Wings penalty kill has given up a power play goal in its last five games, going 13 of 18 in that stretch. Meanwhile, the Blue Jackets power play has gone 0 for 36, getting close to a franchise worst 0 for 42. One of these will be the antidote for the other tonight.
- Sergei Bobrovsky gets the start tonight for the Blue Jackets.
- The projected lineup for the Columbus "wait, what the heck is a blue jacket?" Blue Jackets:
FORWARDS Boone "I hardly know her!" Jenner
Ryan "not Jack" Johansen
Nathan "last scored two months ago" Horton
Matt "I like that he fought Rick Nash" Calvert
Brandon "dubie, dubie, du" Dubinsky
Cam "not the diet" Atkinson
R.J. "hold the pickles and the tomato" Umberger
Artem "ars, artis, arti arte" Anisimov
Nick "Foligyes" Foligno
Derek "at least it's not Dorsett" MacKenzie
Mark "you've got a terrible French accent" Letestu
Blake "whom am I gonna crosscheck and get away with tonight?Comeau
DEFENSE Jack "not Ryan" Johnson
Dalton "Confession: I really like the name Dalton" Prout
Fedor "nice hat" Tyutin
James "he's been quiet" Wisniewski
Nick "not Lidstrom" Schultz
GOALTENDING Sergei "at least he's appreciated in Columbus" Bobrovsky
Curtis "Mc-mehhh" McElhinney
Two points are there for the taking. Go get that dinner, go get those two points.