(21-9-4 46 Points)
|Arena: Xcel Energy Center - St. Paul, MN|
|Starting goalie:|| Niklas Backstrom ||Starting goalie:|| Jimmy Howard |
|12-8-3 2.52 GAA ||18-6-2 2.67 GAA |
|SBN Blog:||Hockey Wilderness||Last meeting:||Nov 19: 4-3 MIN (OT) |
The Wings play game two of their four-game road trip tonight in Minnesota before jaunting out to Colorado tomorrow for a "rivalry" game with those chumps in Denver. Best not to overlook Minnesota on the way however. They've won three straight and Niklas Backstrom has only allowed three goals total in those games. Meanwhile, the Wings have given up four goals in four consecutive contests. Even better, while Detroit is starting to worry fans with their slow starts, Minnesota is third-best in the league with a plus-10 first period goal differential.
It's not all doom-and-gloom though. The Wings are at no loss for goal-scoring and the Wild are not particularly good at that with a 25th-ranked 2.48 goals-per-game. Also, if you want to go really myopic and look only at the last 30 minutes of Wings hockey, they played very well, outshooting the Blues 29-11 and outscoring them 2-0. I know it's a lot more involved than just picking 30 minutes out of a game they were down in 4-1, but it's also more involved than looking solely at the December games and seeing a 4-5-2 record. The Wings are a powerhouse and the WIld are not.
Giving love to all the Detroit Deep Diggers (TM Chief), Helene St. James of the Freep has the lineup. The only change is that Jakub Kindl is in taking Ruslan Salei's place in the lineup and pairing next to Niklas Kronwall, leaving the question as to which one is going to be the stay-at-home net-front guy on that pairing. Nothing's wrong with Salei, Babcock just gave him an extra day to spend with his family in California before joining the Wings in Denver tomorrow. Here are the lines and pairings:
Join us in the comments for the game thread.