Let's get ready to RUUUMMMBBLLLEEEEEE!!! To your right, weighing in at a combined weight of 4,867 pounds and 699 years of age, we have... The Detroit Red Wings! To your left, weighing in at a combined weight of 5,096 pounds and 703 year of age, we have... The Philadelphia Flyers. Only one team will come away with the win tonight. Who will it be?
Well, well, well, we meet again. It looks like we'll see the Wings lines laid out in the morning skate.
- I guessed in the morning skate that Stephen Weiss would center the top line, now that Emmerton was called up and Bertuzzi is still out. Weiss will indeed be on the top line, with Emmerton centering the 4th. Babcock said after practice that Franzen will start in the middle, but whoever wins faceoffs will get the spot. I think if Weiss looks good, healthy, and keeps winning faceoffs, it's his spot. So far this season, Weiss has won 51.5% of his faceoffs with 303 taken and Franzen has won 58.1% with 62 taken. Weiss will be making the jump from 4th line minutes to top line minutes, but he can handle it and I expect him to step up big time. In a battle for top line center, a showdown between Johan "The Mule" Franzen, and Stephen "Weisserman" Weiss, who will grab the #1 C position by the haunches and hump it into submission? Tune in tonight to find out.
Chuck Pleiness wrote an article today about Stephen Weiss and his promotion to the top line. Apparently Weiss was hurting before he was "injured" but tried to play through it...
"Weisser came here and got hurt and then he got hurt again so here's an opportunity," Babcock said. "I thought he was really starting to play for us on the West Coast trip and then he came back and he was injured. When you're a guy coming in and trying to fit in and probably played when he shouldn't have, and didn't let us know, so he's out for a while and it didn't go as good for him. Bottom line we're in the winning business so we're going to do whatever we can to win."
- The Magic Man Pavel Datsyuk took part in the morning skate today, and said he's symptom free and just needs a few practices to get into game shape. Most of the diggers made it sound like he'll be back soon, but "soon" is very subjective. My guess is that he misses the next 2-3 games. He hasn't lost his sense of humor though, just watch this interview with him after practice where he messes with Helele St. James. It's pure gold.
- Speaking of injured players who practiced today, Todd Bertuzzi, and Danny DeKeyser both participated as well. Huzzah! DeKeyser said he doesn't know if he'll be ready to come off LTIR on December 14th, but he's aiming for a mid to late December return and anticipates being back in time for the Winter Classic. After practice he said:
When I come off IR, I don't know if I will be ready right away."
"My legs aren't really where they were before, and my lungs aren't, either," he said. "I just want to make sure I'm in the best shape I can be so that when I come back, I'm ready to play."
Get well soon Bert and Danny, we need you both.
The first power play unit will be:
Franzen/Weiss - Franzen/Weiss - Abdelkader
Kronwall - Alfredsson
The 2nd unit gives me feelings:
Nyquist - Helm - Tatar
Kindl - Samuelsson
Vincent Lecavalier won't be in the lineup tonight for the Flyers. He's day-to-day with back spasms.
Steve Mason gets the stare in net for the Flyers tonight, so if Ray Emery decides to try to assault Jimmy Howard tonight, Kronwall can Kronwall him while he's trying to climb over the boards.
|Scott Hartnell||Claude Giroux||Jakub Voracek|
|Michael Raffl||Brayden Schenn||Wayne Simmonds|
|Matt Read||Sean Couturier||Steve Downie|
|Zac Rinaldo||Adam Hall||Jay Rosehill|
|Kimmo Timonen||Braydon Coburn|
|Nicklas Grossmann||Mark Streit|
|Luke Schenn||Andrej Meszaros|