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Morning Skate: Red Wings at Oilers Preview

Game 15

Dave Sandford

10:00p ET, Rexall Place

Edmonton, AB

TV: Fox Sports Detroit, CBC

Radio: 97.1 The Ticket

Oilers Blog: The Copper & Blue

Happy Darren Helm Returns Day!

It's been 281 days since Helm suited up for an NHL game. Hell, he didn't even finish that game way back in January either. He only played a little over 12 minutes and left early. In fact, Helm has missed 89 of the last 90 Red Wings games.

That's a lot.

Here's to a healthy Helm. And, here's to another win for the Wings on the western Canada road trip. Going 3-for-3 would be massive and another step in the right direction for this club.

The Expected Lineup


Henrik Zetterberg Pavel Datsyuk Todd Bertuzzi
Daniel Cleary Stephen Weiss Daniel Alfredsson
Tomas Tatar Joakim Andersson Justin Abdelkader
Drew Miller Darren Helm Patrick Eaves


Niklas Kronwall Danny DeKeyser
Kyle Quincey Brendan Smith
Jakub Kindl Brian Lashoff


Petr Mrazek (starting)
Jimmy Howard

Scratches: Mikael Samuelsson & Jordin Tootoo

Injuries: Jonas Gustavsson (neck) & Johan Franzen (groin flu)

LTIR: Jonathan Ericsson (shoulder)

NOTE: Franzen left last night's game early due to illness. If he doesn't play tonight, expect Weiss to center the 2nd line. Depending on how quickly Helm gets thrown into the fire, he could center the 3rd line or stay down on the 4th. Andersson would fill the remaining hole. [update 1:00pm - Diggers reporting that Franzen is indeed out]

8-4-2 (18 pts; 3rd in Atlantic) Record 3-9-2 (8 pts; 7th in Pacific)
2.36 (22nd in NHL) Goals Per Game 2.50 (19th in NHL)
2.57 (11th) Goals Against Per Game 3.79 (30th)
18.6% (17th) Power Play % 13.0% (24th)
82.7% (10th) Penalty Kill % 76.0% (26th)
Henrik Zetterberg (7 goals) Goal Leader 2 tied with 4 goals
Pavel Datsyuk (14 points) Points Leader 3 tied with 10 points

Opponent Outlook

Player to Fear: Jordan Eberle. He's a damn good hockey player.

X-Factor: I'm going with Mark Arcobello. I've never heard of him, but he's got 10 assists this season. If Edmonton scores, he could be a factor.

Familiar Faces: No former Red Wings on the Oilers, but Jeff Petry is the son of former Detroit Tigers pitcher Dan Petry. He's also a former Spartan (Go Green today. Suck it, Michigan).

Thumbs up (One Thing to Like About Edmonton): They have a lot of top overall pick talent on their roster

Thumbs down (One Thing to Dislike About Edmonton): Similar to Calgary… it's also in Canada.

Bullets of Knowledge

  • The Red Wings are 59-36-13-11 all-time against the OIlers.

  • Last 10 games: Detroit 6-2-2. Edmonton 2-6-2.

  • The Wings are currently 1-2-1 on Saturdays.

  • Mrazek has never faced the Oilers. He's 1-1-0 with a 2.02 GAA and a .922 SV% in his NHL career.

Prediction: Red Wings win 4-1. Weiss is your player of the game.

NOTE: The WiiM prediction contest is back. Two of our WiiM faithful are undertaking the task of keeping track of all the predictions and you can click on the link above to read all the details. How will it work? Just leave your predictions in the comments of the morning skates before the game starts. Tell us what you think the final score will be, which team you think will win, and who you think the POTG (Player of the game) will be. For example: 4-2 Red Wings, Henrik Zetterberg POTG.

Let's Go Red Wings.