The last game before the Wings officially break for the Olympics. So needless to say this game is both a.) important, b.) in the way, and c.)a mix of effort. I think some of the Olympians might play conservatively while the guys that will be watching from the stands like Darren Helm, Brad Stuart, etc. might play their best games of the year with such a big break upcoming.
- Remember when you would play the Ottawa Senators in NHL 95/96/97 because they were horrible and so easy to beat (backhand sweep across the goalmouth!) ? Well, those days are over and the Senators are sitting pretty in the Northeast division. Sens are 9-1-0 in their last 10 and are 13-1 in their last 14. Please, can the Wings get a streak half as good as that going?
- Expect Jimmy Howard to start for the Wings in between the pipes and Brian Elliott at the other end of the ice.
- The Senators are stacked with talent on the offensive side of the puck. Jason Spezza, Daniel Alfredsson, Alexei Kovalev, Mike Fisher and Milan Michalek. The Senators have a pretty even distribution of goals, 6 players over 10 goals and 4 of those over 15.
- Brian Elliott has been rock solid in net for the Sens of late. Yeah, he gave up 5 to the Caps but who doesn't? In that13-1 streak dating back to a January 18 win, Elliott has allowed more than 2 goals only in 2 of the 12 games he started (Pascal Leclaire started the other two).
- Special Teams: Senators power play is clicking at a rate of 15.9%, 27th in the League. Their penalty kill is successful 83.6% of the time, 8th in the league. Detroit's power play has declined to a 17.6% clip (18th in NHL) from a very high rate last year but their penalty kill is up to 82.0% which is good enough for 14th.
- Andreas Lilja was officially recalled yesterday. So how do the Wings have any cap room for him after only waiving Brad May? Kirk Maltby's going to go on long term IR with a nagging shoulder injury it seems. Don't expect Lilja to play tonight against Ottawa though.
- They don't call them the Eurotwins for nothing. Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg have identical points numbers. Both players have 16 goals and 31 assists for a total of 47 points each.
- So even though there's an Olympic Break upcoming, we'll do our best to make posts relevant to the Wings playing in particular games. We'll cover Sweden for sure because of the volume of Wings players and other games will be highlighted. In fact, we'll even run a poll tomorrow on whether or not you'd like game threads for the big games.
- Silver Seven is the SB Nation Ottawa Senators blog. Really good stuff over there.