Morning Skate: Avalanche at Red Wings Preview

Thank you for everything Nick. Right click on the image and open it in a new tab to see the entire poster, it's amazing. - Josh Mother Frking Howard

Game 62

8:00p ET, Joe Louis Arena

Detroit, MI

TV: Fox Sports Detroit, NHLN

Radio: 97.1 The Ticket

Avalanche Blog: Mile High Hockey

I wish I could say the Avalanche suck asterisk, but they're actually good and winning games and that's disgusting. Sure, tonight the Red Wings will play a game against the Colorado Avalanche, but that's not what tonight is really about. Tonight is about honoring a man who means so much to the organization, to the team, and to the fans; it's about honoring one of the best defensemen to ever play the game, a man who's not only earned my respect as a hockey player, but also as a human being. He's known as The Perfect Human, but his jersey says Lidstrom. Tonight, Nicklas Lidstrom's jersey is officially retired and we'll watch his banner rise the the rafters. During warmups, all the Wings will wear #5 in his honor (Picture of the Dressing room). It's going to be an emotional night.

I hope someone tells Lidstrom that Holland wasn't kidding about asking him to come back and play, because we're without Datsyuk for at least 3 weeks, and very likely the season, Zetterberg is out for at least the rest of the regular season, Helm may have a concussion, and Weiss is having "setbacks" in his sports hernia surgery recovery. David Legwand will make his Red Wings debut as the top line center so Joakim Andersson doesn't have to, and oh god I feel sick.

We're missing a lot of important players, but that Nyquist guy is so hot right now, and the Juroc-Sheahan-Tatar line continued to make us excited every time they're on the ice so... I don't really know what to expect on the ice tonight, I'll be in attendance and a win would be the right thing, for so many reasons.

Since this is a celebration of Lidstrom, feel free to share your favorite Lidstrom memories in the comments. Thanks for everything you've done for us Nick.

The Expected Lineup

Forwards

Johan Franzen David Legwand Gustav Nyquist
Justin Abdelkader Joakim Andersson Daniel Alfredsson
Tomas Tatar Riley Sheahan Tomas Jurco
Drew Miller Luke Glendening Todd Bertuzzi

Defensemen

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

Goaltenders

Jimmy Howard (starting)
Jonas Gustavsson


Scratches: Daniel Cleary

Injuries: Jakub Kindl (knee), Pavel Datsyuk (knee), Henrik Zetterberg (back), Mikael Samuelsson (something) & Stephen Weiss (groin), Darren Helm (possible concussion)

RED WINGS THE MATCH-UP AVALANCHE
28-21-12 (68 pts; 5th in Atantic) Record 40-17-5 (85pts; 3rd in Central)
2.59 ( 18th in NHL) Goals Per Game 3.05 (6th in NHL)
2.64 (15th) Goals Against Per Game 2.63 (14th)
17.7% (17th) Power Play % 21.0% (6th)
83.4% (9th) Penalty Kill % 80.9% (20th)
Henrik Zetterberg (16 goals) Goal Leader Ryan O'Reilly (24 goals)
Henrik Zetterberg (48 points) Points Leader Matt Duchene (56 points)


Opponent Outlook

Player to Fear: Ryan O'Reilly

X-Factor: Nathan MacKinnon

Familiar Faces: Hey, maybe they want Kyle Quincey back?

Thumbs up (One Thing to Like About Colorado): *crickets*

Thumbs down (One Thing to Dislike About Colorado): I can't pick only one.


Bullets of Knowledge

  • The Red Wings are 63-41-5-5 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Avalanche.

  • Last 10 games: Detroit 5-3-2. Colorado 7-3-0.

  • Howard is 7-2-1 with a 2.51 GAA, .909 SV% in 11 career games against Colorado.

Prediction: Lidstrom things.

Let's Go Red Wings!!!
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