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Morning Skate: Quit Jokinen Around (Hi, JJ!)

Valtteri Filppula shields the puck from the Jokinen monster.
Valtteri Filppula shields the puck from the Jokinen monster.

(I had to, JJ. It's in my contract)

The Red Wings travel to Calgary (hi, Maria!) for the second game of their most recent road trip. Detroit blew a three-goal lead against Edmonton but battled back for a 5-3 win on Tuesday with the help of two Todd Bertuzzi goals. Tonight, they face a Calgary team that's struggled all season to be consistent and after two straight losses, who knows which Calgary team will show up.

The Flames dropped three straight games starting on December 18 against the Wild before winning four in a row. After that four win streak, they lost to the Islanders 5-2 and the Canucks 3-1. That brings us up to tonight's game. Calgary has a very poor penalty kill and power play so the Wings will need to get scoring opportunities while on the man advantage.Also look for the Red Wings to stretch the ice against Kiprusoff who is pretty good at straight on shots, the Wings need to get him moving across the goalmouth.

The last time these two teams faced off, the Wings won in overtime. Henrik Zetterberg pushed the game to OT with a power play goal with under 5 seconds to play and in overtime Nicklas Lidstrom won it for Detroit.

Matchsticks and Gasoline for Calgary Flames coverage on SB Nation.

Analysis and prediction form after the jump.



I can't make a post titled after Jokinen without this can I?


  • Jimmy Howard will start in net for the Red Wings tonight. Howard was originally going to start against the Oilers but coach Mike Babcock changed his mind soon before the game and gave Osgood the start. Wonder if that fires Jimmmy up any?
  • Valtteri Filppula may sit tonight's game with a sore groin, via's Ansar Khan. Patrick Eaves will be in tonight's line-up for sure but whether or not Filppula plays determines if one of the Tatar-Mursak pair will sit. Here's the expected lines if Fil's out, via Khan again:


  • Whoooooo likes scoring Todd Bertuzzi? I do, I do! Good to see Bert back in the goal column after a calendar month without a goal--last scoring on December 4 against the Kings. Maybe he'll continue that against his former team tonight.
  • Brian Rafalski is still without a goal this season. Paging Olympic Rafalski, Olympic Rafalski come in!
  • Jarome Iginla leads the Flames in goals with 16 and points with 35. Surely, he MUST be traded.
  • Ken Daniels time: Dearborn native David Moss! scored a pair of goals against the Islanders. 
  • Question for discussion: Who has stepped up the most so far in Datsyuk's absence? I vote for Hank right now.
  • Score Prediction: 3-2 Detroit in OT.
  • Player of the Game Prediction: Johan Franzen. I mean, eventually this will come true, right? RIGHT?
  • Around the league: The Maple Leafs beat the Blues 6-5 in a SO, Montreal beat the Penguins 2-1, Nashville downed the Kings 5-2, Jamie Langenbrunner is apparently on the way out of New Jersey (lucky him), and Crosby's out for a week with a concussion.