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Morning Skate: Hurricane Warning for Detroit

Another team that could easily hand Detroit a loss if they aren't played carefully rolls into Detroit . After that 6-0, demoralizing, nothing going right, mail-it-in night on Long Island, Detroit need to come back strong tonight against a streaking Canes team. Unfortunately, I couldn't think of a good picture to accompany this game. 

  • This will be Jimmy Howard's 10th consecutive start in net tonight. Although he didn't finish out the Islanders game, he still started and was chased after three goals.
  • Speaking of that performance, I feel bad for the guy. He's been one of the most consistent players on the team this year and got hung out to dry by the defense. Two of the three goals he allowed were direct results of defensive mistakes. Should he have stopped them anyway? Yeah, probably so but its hard to blame him for the Brad Stuart whiff of a pass and the puck that was centered from behind the goal should have been defended better.
  • And speaking of Brad Stuart, he too had his worst performance of the year. Like Howard, he's been incredibly reliable this year and the one night that he messes up it comes back to burn the Wings big time. I expect that he will be back to his normal level of reliable play.
  • Jonathan Ericsson is in for tonight's game. Doug Janik sent down to Grand Rapids (According to Bruce MacLeod). Who knows what percentage Big E will be playing at but at least he's back in the line-up.
  • I was about to call the Carolina offense weak at this point but then I looked at things. They only have one fewer goal than the Red Wings do and in the same number of games. Yes, that's right. The Detroit Red Wings, who led the NHL in goals last year, are second to last in that category this year. 
  • Carolina has won three straight games, a big part of that coming from Cam Ward's return to the line-up following that nasty skate blade to leg injury he suffered early in the year. 
  • Canes Country is the best Carolina Hurricanes blog out there and a truly great source for any Carolina information you want to see.
  • Carolina's top scorer: former Detroit player Ray Whitney has 14 goals. The top assist men are Eric Staal and Joni Pitkanen with 20 a piece.

    Detroit and Carolina lines, injuries, analysis and more after the jump.
  • There will be a few familiar faces at The Joe tonight. Former Red Wings on Carolina include: Aaron Ward (he of run mouth incessantly fame), Ray Whitney, and Manny Legace
  • Okay, this has to be mentioned in the post at some point. Over at The Production Line, there was a ridiculous stream of Todd Bertuzzi related "sightings" which was more or less the shady places you could envision seeing Todd. It's definitely hilarious and worth a mention.
  • How can the Red Wings beat the 'Canes? Crash the net and look for rebounds. Cam Ward is starting to get back to the same he was pre-injury but putting excessive pressure could be a way to putting the pucks in the net. Also, play better defense than against the Islanders would help. .
  • Key match-up to watch when the Red Wings are on the attack: Will Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg be able to prove me wrong? I hope. I'd gladly admit that I am wrong if they can put goals on the board. 
  • Key match-up to watch when the Hurricanes are on the attack: Eric Staal and Ray Whitney's line. Staal is a very gifted player with all the skills you could ask for in an elite player. He's got a nasty shot that hopefully doesn't find its way home tonight. 
  • Hurricanes injured: Eric Cole, Chad LaRose, and Sergei Samsonov
  • Hurricanes lines:

    Wallin- Aaron Ward
    Cam Ward will be starting in net for the Hurricanes. Former Red Wing Manny Legace is his back-up.