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Morning Skate: Edmonton

After a couple of days off, the Red Wings start back up tonight against Edmonton.

  • Jimmy Howard will start in net again tonight, his 17th straight start. King Tiberius has given up 2 or fewer goals in 3 straight games after giving up 4 goals in two straight games. In Jimmy's previous two start's against Edmonton, he surrendered 4 goals and 5 goals +SO loss. Fear not though as he has come a long way since then.
  • Detroit's looking for its 4th straight win and to continue its push for the playoffs. The Red Wings had some great momentum but how will the time off affect them? Will it rejuvenate the team and make them even better or will it kill the momentum?
  • Edmonton is the cellar dweller of the League with an astounding 21-42-7 record for a total of 49 points. Detroit has a 31 point lead on them for eighth spot in the West and the second worst team, Toronto, has an 11 point lead on them. Just about everything that could have gone wrong for Edmonton this season, went wrong.
  • Edmonton's lost 5 straight and 7 of the last 10 in regulation. That would be a big reason behind their -69 goal differential. By comparison the top team, Washington, has a +78.
  • Big Jonathan Ericsson will start for the first time in three games, filling the sixth spot for Brett Lebda. With the Oilers floundering in last place in the League, I think Babcock figured why not start Ericsson to get him time in and maybe build his confidence a bit. Ericsson has a team low -17 in his first full season with Detroit.
  • Pavel Datsyuk is absolutely on fire. The guy has been a completely different player since the Olympic break. Since returning from the Olympics and a demoralizing loss at the hands of his coach Mike Babcock and the Canadian team, Pavel's tallied 9 points (5 G, 4 A). He's scored a goal in 5 of the last 6 games for the Wings and is starting to return to a dominant player.
  • Again, with Datsyuk, he leads the league in takeaways. Datsyuk has 106 on the seasoon. The next closest player, Ryan Kesler, has 73. I don't think there's a gap that big in any category in the league. Pavel's playing himself towards another Selke Trophy.
  • The Oilers won both of the prior meetings: 6-5 SO and a 4-1 win. Hopefully they don't suck the air out of this Detroit team.
  • Edmonton's top goal scorer is Dustin Penner. Penner leads the team in goals and points with 26 goals. and 53 points. Patrick O'Sullivan is a team  and League worst -32 on the ice.
  • Detroit sits one precious, magical point above the Flames for that 8 spot. Detroit needs San Jose to win tonight against Calgary and win themselves against Edmonton to move back to a 3 point lead.
  • 12 games left including today. Chris Hollis, our Motown Wings buddy breaks down the point scenarios
  • The Copper & Blue is your source for Oilers information. C&B is an excellent site, very well written and very insightful.