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Morning Skate: They'll be Fallin' Down the Mountain

Worst. Puppet show. Ever.
Worst. Puppet show. Ever.

Mornin' folks.  Let's hope the Wings slept well last night because on this evening, they welcome the Colorado Avalanche to their house for the teams' second meetup of the season.  Colorado took the season series opener in Denver with a 5-4 shootout win.  Denver fans are no doubt hanging their hats on such good regular season success against a team they haven't finished ahead of in the standings for a decade.

Update on the score/player of the game contest: Nobody correctly guessed the 6-2 Detroit score against Edmonton on Thursday, but there's currently a four-way tie for the lead between Onevilklown, SpartanHockey89, mrsunshine, and pzar11 for all having correctly prognosticated Dan Cleary's player of the game honors.  If we had to go with a tiebreaker, it would be SpartanHockey89 in the lead for being the closest to the final score for predicting a 5-2 victory.  Get your guesses in the comments below.  Remember, duplicate guesses are acceptable. This is a season-long thing.  Once the puck drops, your guesses don't count.

Let's go through the jump for a look at tonight's game

The Game
  • The Avalanche played last night and beat Columbus 5-1.  Since Columbus earlier beat St. Louis 8-1, I think that means the Avalanche should be able to beat St. Louis 40-1.  Math isn't my strong suit.
  • Colorado has the league's best ratio of goals for to goals against at 5-on-5 with a 1.76 (DET's is 1.42).  Want to know why they only have 17 points in 15 games?  Look no further than their 2nd-worst PK % of 73.3.  Does the Wings recent 1-for-1 power play performance mean we can expect some special teams goals?
  • Stewart, Hejduk, Stastny, and Duchene all have north of ten points so far on the season with Stewart leading the pack at 18.  Have the kids arrived?  Can they be stopped by our rag-tag defense?
  • Looks like Mike Babcock is going to stick with what works as far as the line combinations the Wings had against Edmonton.  I know it's only one game so far, but what do you think about these lines?  Were Modano's and Cleary's games just too North-American for Jiri Hudler to adjust so soon?

Player that will have the best performance

  • Easy, chicken pick, but I'm going with Datsyuk.  There are things that only experience can teach and Datsyuk has those lessons in spades against the young Colorado forwards.  I'm looking for him to take some guys to school tonight.
  • Get your vote in for player of the game below.  Please bold your pick so it's easier for us to record.  We have old eyes.

Score prediction

  • After a hard-fought win against Phoenix and a walk against Edmonton, I think Detroit might have trouble getting started on time.  I think they'll give up the first goal tonight, but will gut out a 4-2 win with a late empty netter.
  • Get your prediction in below.  Please also bold that, since our eyes still won't have gotten any younger by the time you've read down this far.

Other news and scores

  • The Devils added to the Oilers' woes by beating them 4-3 in OT. Ilya Kovalchuk remembered he's being paid $100 million to score goals and potted the OT game-winner.
  • Pittsburgh beat Tampa Bay 5-1 in a game that had only 36 shots on goal.  I didn't watch it, but that sounds ugly.
  • Florida beat Minnesota 2-1 in a game that got ugly late.
  • Phoenix opened the floodgates on Calgary and Vernon Fiddler scored a hat trick against Calgary for a 5-4 win.  The game wasn't really that close, as it was 5-2 with less than two minutes to play when the Flames made it interesting.
  • The Ducks bested the Stars 4-2.  Rest assured every goal in this game was scored by a player I don't like.
  • Steve Bernier suffered a broken cheekbone when Minnesota's Brent Burns butt-ended him in the face last night. Hockey Wilderness has video of the incident.  Burns said it was accidental; I say it's the reason people get suspended for taking swings at other players with their sticks still in their hands *cough* Malkin *cough*.