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Morning Skate: Red Wings at Jets Preview

Game 16

There wasn't a single picture of the Wings and Jets.
There wasn't a single picture of the Wings and Jets.
Vincent Pugliese

8:00p ET, MTS Centre

Winnipeg, MB

TV: Fox Sports Detroit,

Radio: 97.1 The Ticket

Jets Blog: Arctic Ice Hockey

The Wings are coming off 3 straight wins (on the road no less), and Darren Helm not only played actual hockey, but scored on a breakaway goal on his second shift in eleventybillion months. The Wings played pretty complete games against Vancouver and Edmonton (Calgary doesn't count because I didn't see it) and I've already forgotten the pain of "what 4 game losing skid?".

The Wings have needed scoring from players other than their top line, and that's exactly what we're getting.

Red Wings enforcer, Brendan Smith got hurt after his fight at the end of the Oilers game and Adam Almqvist was called up from Grand Rapids and will make his NHL debut tonight. Smith is having his Ericsson/Kindle year, and is getting far more shit heaped on him than he deserves. That being said, with the defensive depth we have in Grand Rapids (and coming to GR soon), I'm not sure if Smith will be able to afford to take as long to develop as Riggy and Kindl did. Almqvist looked pretty good in the preseason, now it's time to get his feet wet in the big show.

Here's Smith's fight and it's being reported that he has a partially separated (left?) shoulder, the Wings put him on short term IR and he's expected to miss 1-2 weeks. Smith missed 11 games back in February of 2012 with a sprained right shoulder.

The Jets are coming off a brutal home loss to the Blackhawks 5-1 on Sunday. They'll be looking to take out their frustration on the Wings. The lines they'll be facing will probably be as follows, and if the defense pairings are wrong, then it's all J.J.'s fault (if they're correct then I take full credit).

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 Mikael Samuelsson


Niklas Kronwall Danny DeKeyser
Kyle Quincey Jakub Kindl
Brian Lashoff Adam Almqvist


Jimmy Howard (starting)
Petr Mrazek

Scratches: Patrick Eaves & Jordin Tootoo

Injuries: Jonas Gustavsson (neck) & Johan Franzen (got sick when he saw that Joakim Andersson has more goals and points than he does), Brendan Smith (separated shoulder)

LTIR: Jonathan Ericsson (shoulder)

9-4-2 (20 pts; 3rd in Atlantic) Record 5-8-2 (12 pts; 7th in Central)
2.53 (18th in NHL) Goals Per Game 2.20 (24th in NHL)
2.40 (9th) Goals Against Per Game 3.93 (22nd)
18.8% (18th) Power Play % 10.9% (26th)
83.6% (11th) Penalty Kill % 83.6% (12th)
Henrik Zetterberg (7 goals) Goal Leader Bryan Little (7)
Pavel Datsyuk (15 points) Points Leader Bryan Little (11)

Opponent Outlook

Player to Fear: The Jets sit near the bottom of the league in goals scored per game, and Bryan Little leads them in both goals and points.

X-Factor: Will Dustin Bufuglien get the mid-game hunger pangs and start gnawing on Adam Almqvist's tiny legs?

Familiar Faces: Darren Helm is from Winnipeg and he gets to play his second game back, in front of family, friends, and a hometown crown. Bask in the glory Helmer, we all rejoice with your return.

Thumbs Up (One Thing to Like About Winnipeg): Getting to hear Grant Clitsome's name.

Thumbs Down (One Thing to Dislike About Winnipeg): They aren't THE Jets, and it's annoying when digging through stats to have two different teams named the Jets, and Atlanta's stats transfer to these Jets. I don't really care about them either. Booo.

Bullets of Knowledge

  • The Red Wings are 1-0-0 all time against the current manifestation of the Jets and have outscored them 7-1 (Chris Connor scored a goal for the Wings, lol)
  • Last 10 games: Detroit 6-2-2. Winnipeg 3-5-2
  • The Wings are currently 1-0-1 on Mondays
  • In the last 3 games, the Wings have outscored their opponents 11-4
  • In those same 3 games, the Wings have more secondary goals (6) and points (12) than primary goals (4) and points (7).
  • In the last 3 games, the Defense has also significantly increased their point production, tallying 1 goal and 8 assists. They only had 2 goals and 14 assists in the first 12 games of the season.

Prediction: I'm not making a prediction this time, because I swear to Lidstrom that every time I do, it's a jinx. (Hey, it worked last time)

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.