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Morning Skate: Game 3 - Just Bring It

You smell that? 

No.  It's not The Rock.  It's the beat down currently being prepared by the Red Wings.

Finally...the Red Wings have come back to Detroit.  The team returns  to the Joe to defend home ice and makes this a series.  The first two games out west didn't go so well and you might be thinking, but the Sharks are up 2-0!  IT DOESN'T MATTER if the Sharks are up 2-0!

The Red Wings, you see, are without a doubt, the most electrifying team in ALL of sports and entertainment.  Tonight...Game 3...the Sharks will know their roles and shut their damn mouths.  This series is far from over.  It's just begun.  Todd Bertuzzi is going to take those two Sharks' wins, shine them up real nice, cover them in Octopus slime, turn those sumbitches sidways, and stick them straight up Devin Setoguchi's candy ass!

It's time to layeth the smacketh down and get back in this series. 

San Jose Sharks.


The Expected Lineup

Johan Franzen -- Pavel Datsyuk -- Tomas Holmstrom

Danny Cleary -- Henrik Zetterberg -- Todd Bertuzzi

Jiri Hudler -- Valtteri Filppula -- Justin Abdelkader

Kris Draper -- Darren Helm -- Patrick Eaves


Nicklas Lidstrom -- Brad Stuart

Brian Rafalski -- Jonathan Ericsson

Niklas Kronwall -- Ruslan Salei


Jimmy Howard (starting)

Joey MacDonald


Scratches: Mike Modano, Drew Miller, Jakub Kindl and Chris Osgood

Aces: Brendan Smith, Tomas Tatar, Ilari Filppula, Jan Mursak, Derek Meech, Brian Lashoff, Doug Janik and Jordan Pearce

Some lineup tweaks were expected after two straight losses.  I'm all for Draper returning to the lineup too.  This is a series where speed kills and the Red Wings need all of the speed they can get.  Drapes might be old, but he still has some juice left in the legs, especially after having so much time off.  His play, along side Helm, could go a long way in getting the Wings out of the hole they've dug.  He'll also add some nice veteran leadership to the situation.  Splitting up the Euro Twins is the correct and obvious call.  Spread the wealth.


3.00 (T-6th) GOALS PER GAME 3.33 (T-1st)
2.75 (9th) GOALS AGAINST PER GAME 2.33 (3rd)
11.8 (13th) POWER PLAY % 21.7 (6th)
81.3 (T-8th) PENALTY KILL % 72.4 (14th)
2 tied with 4 goals GOAL LEADER 5 tied with 2 goals
Ryane Clowe (9 points) POINTS LEADER Pavel Datsyuk (8 points)



Key to the Game:  Be discipline.  The Red Wings must stay out of the box tonight.  The margin for error is incredibly slim.  The Wings needs to be aggressive and bring it on the forecheck, but be disciplined while doing it.  No stupid penalties.  No bad boarding calls.  No high sticks.  None of that.  Be aggressive, but do it the right way.

Match-up to Watch: Joe Thornton vs Pavel Datsyuk.  I imagine that even with the line juggling on both teams, these two top guns will be matched up against each other.  Neither guy has been outstanding on the score sheet in this series, but if the Wings want to win this game and series, Datsyuk needs to brush Jumbo Joe-broni (see what I did there?) to the side and take control of this hockey game.  Pav is the most skilled forward out there and the Wings need a mutli-point effort from him tonight.

Hey! I'm Calling You Out: Todd Bertuzzi.  The Wings need you to step up your game.  Be physical (but do it cleanly and stay of out the box) and get on the score sheet.  I feel like if Bert can get going his linemates will get going, and the rest of the team will get rolling too.

For Discussion: The Red Wings are 2-5 in Game 3s since 2009.


Let's Go Red Wings.