12:30p ET, Joe Louis Arena
TV: NBC, NHL Network (Canada)
Radio: 97.1 The Ticket
Blackhawks Blog: Second City Hockey
No matter what happens in this game let's all just remember that the Red Wings signed Danny DeKeyser and the Blackhawks didn't. So we've at least got that going for us. It will be interesting today to see who the fans at the Joe boo since Marian Hossa is out of the lineup. Booing Hossa might be one of the dumbest things our fanbase does. The guy came here on a one year deal to win a Stanley Cup. We didn't get the job done in 2009 and he went elsewhere, got paid, long term security and, in addition, won a Cup. He wasn't a homegrown talent and didn't have a long history with this franchise. He was a rental. A mercenary. He used us and we used him. Booing Hossa is dumb. If you're going to boo someone, well, then boo Patrick Kane. He beats up helpless cab drivers. And to be fair, it's not really us. Our readers are intelligent fans (well most of you at least… the ones not named Greg). It's the bandwagoners and fans that only pay attention to the team casually and during the postseason.
Moving on to the actual game… Detroit has yet to top Chicago this season. That really grinds my gears. I may respect the Blackhawks (outside of Daniel Carcillo and Andrew Shaw), but that doesn't mean I like them or like losing to them. The Wings gave away the last game these two teams played thanks to some dumbass penalties in the final minutes. I would really hate to see the Wings drop a second straight game after doing so well on their west coast trip. Detroit isn't in any immediate danger of dropping out of the top eight teams in the West, but there really isn't a big cushion either. It doesn't matter who the opponent is, points are needed big time. It's time to take advantage of a Hossa-less and Patrick Sharp-less Chicago team.
Johan Franzen is a game time decision and Mikael Samuelsson returns to lineup from an injury. We'll see if Samuelsson can last longer than one game this time around. If both those guys play, Gustav Nyquist and Patrick Eaves will likely be scratched. The lines below might not be exact. Samuelsson's return and Franzen giving it a go might mean the end of the Justin Abdelkader top 6 experiment. It all really depends on what Mike Babcock decides to do with Damien Brunner. The defense will remain the same. Kent Huskins is no longer with the team. Carlo Colaiacovo is on a conditioning stint in Grand Rapids and Danny DeKeyser will be watching from the Leino Lounge.
The Expected Lineup
Johan Franzen - Pavel Datsyuk - Justin Abdelkader
Valtteri Filppula - Henrik Zetterberg - Mikael Samuelsson
Damien Brunner -- Joakim Andersson -- Daniel Cleary
Drew Miller - Cory Emmerton - Jordin Tootoo
Niklas Kronwall - Jonathan Ericsson
Brendan Smith - Brian Lashoff
Ian White - Jakub Kindl
Jimmy Howard (starting)
Scratches: Danny DeKeyser, Carlo Colaiacovo and Patrick Eaves
Injuries: Kyle Quincey (cheek), Todd Bertuzzi (back) and Darren Helm (back)
|BLACKHAWKS||THE MATCH-UP||RED WINGS|
|25-5-3 (53 pts; 1st in West)||Record||17-12-5 (39 pts; 7th in West)|
|3.18 (3rd in NHL)||Goals Per Game||2.59 (18th in NHL)|
|2.12 (2nd)||Goals Against Per Game||2.44 (9th)|
|18.0% (17th)||Power Play %||17.4% (21st)|
|84.5% (7th)||Penalty Kill %||78.9% (24th)|
|Patrick Kane (18 goals)||Goal Leader||Pavel Datsyuk (11 goals)|
|Patrick Kane (42 points)||Points Leader||Pavel Datsyuk (35 points)|
- The Red Wings are 363-264-84-12 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Chicago Blackhawks.
- Chicago has lost three of their last four games.
- The Wings are 3-1-3 on Sundays this season.
- Detroit is 0-0-2 against Chicago this season.
- The last time these two teams met was March 3. Chicago won 2-1 in a shootout. Tomas Tatar scored the Wings lone goal. No one scored in the shootout. This was the game where Detroit tried to stop the Hawks point streak and Ericsson and Kronwall each decided to toss the puck over the glass and give the game to Chicago.
- Detroit is 5-4-1 in their last 10 games. Chicago is 5-5-0.
- Howard is 4-6-4 with a 2.66 GAA and .910 SV% in 15 career regular starts against the Blackhawks.