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Morning Skate: Tale of Two Teams

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After struggling out of the gate with a 1-3-0 start, the San Jose Sharks have gotten back on track.  They're currently on a three game winning streak with wins over New Jersey, Boston, and Nashville.  The Red Wings, on the other hand, are the exact opposite.  After surging out of the gate with a 5-0-0 record, the team has dropped their last two games by scores of 7-1 to Washington and 4-1 to Columbus.  While this is not a make-or-break game -- the two teams are tied with the fewest games played this season with seven -- it's a game that both teams need to win.

Record and statistics aside, is it just me, or do you just want to see the Red Wings kick the crap out of the Sharks tonight?  Two straight embarrassing loses leave a very bitter taste in your mouth.  Add in the fact that it's the Sharks coming to town...the team that's eliminated the Wings from the playoffs the last two season...and I hope the team responds to Babcock's displeasure with their play and they come out flying and crush San Jose.  

Losing is not an option tonight.  The Wings' best players need to be their best players and they need to come out on fire.  

 

Fear The Fin is your SBNation Sharks' blog

Puck drop is just after 7:30p ET.

 

The Expected Lineup

 

Henrik Zetterberg -- Pavel Datsyuk -- Danny Cleary

Valtteri Filppula -- Johan Franzen -- Jiri Hudler

Patrick Eaves-- Darren Helm -- Todd Bertuzzi

Drew Miller -- Justin Abdelkader -- Tomas Holmstrom

 

Nicklas Lidstrom -- Ian White

Niklas Kronwall -- Brad Stuart

Jakub Kindl -- Jonathan Ericsson

 

Jimmy Howard (starting)

Ty Conklin

 

Scratches:  Uncle Mike said Thursday that Fabian Brunnstrom and Cory Emmerton would be today's healthy scratches.  The lines were shuffled in practiced.  The coaching staff is looking to get the offense that has scored only two goals in their last two games back on track.  At the end of the last practice, the defense pairings were shuffled to Lidstrom/Kindl, Kronwall/Ericsson, and Stuart/White.  We'll see which pairings Babcock goes with.

Injuries:  Mike Commodore (knee) and Jan Mursak (ankle)

 

Sharks HOW THEY MATCH UP Red Wings
4-3-0 Record 5-2-0
2.86 (T-10th) Goals Per Game 2.86 (T-10th)
2.43 (12th) Goals Against Per Game 2.57 (16th)
19.2% (T-9th) Power Play % 16.1% (16th)
76.0% (26th) Penalty Kill % 76.9% (T-22nd)
Joe Pavelski (6 goals) Goal Leader Johan Franzen (4 goals)
Joe Pavelski (8 points) Points Leader 2 tied with 7 points

 

 

  • The Red Wings are 49-21-4-1 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Sharks
  • The final four teams from last season -- Boston, Vancouver, San Jose, and Tampa Bay -- have all gotten off to slow starts.  Of the four teams, only the Lightning would be in the playoffs, as the seventh seed, if the season ended today.  The defending Stanley Cup Champion Bruins are currently dead last in the Eastern Conference.  
  • The Shars are 3-1-0 on the road this season compared to 1-2-0 at home.  Detroit, however, is 3-0-0 at home.  Both teams should be at their best tonight.
  • Last season, including the playoffs,  the Wings lost three-in-a-row four times.  Their longest losing streak of the season was four games.

 

Prediction:  Not sure where to go with this one.  I want to believe this team will show up and work hard tonight.  Red Wings win 4-2.  Pavel Datsyuk is your player of the game.

 

Let's Go Red Wings.