10:00p ET, Jobing.com Arena
TV: Fox Sports Detroit
Radio: 97.1 The Ticket
Coyotes Blog: Five for Howling
It's crunch time. 12 games remaining for the Red Wings and nothing is even close to being set in stone for them as far as the playoffs go. Let's say Detroit needs about 55 point to make the playoffs. That means they have to win 7 of their final 12 games. That's just over .500 pace. It's a number the Red Wings can hit based on their previous 36 games, but there really is no room to slack off now. This team can't being blowing 2-0 leads or fail to show up at all anymore. You have to win. You need 2 points. And if you do lose, you better at least get a charity point here or there. This team has no business dropping points to teams near the very bottom of the Western Conference.
The good news is that Henrik Zetterberg is expected to return to the lineup tonight and bring balance back to
the force the top two lines. The big story though will be whether or not the Red Wings prized "trade deadline acquisition" Danny DeKeyser hits the ice for his first career NHL game. He's gotten in some practice with the team and, if he does play, it will be real interesting to see how he does. Along with all of you readers, I hope like hell he really does perform like a kid that is NHL ready and can play top six minutes immediately. If DeKeyser does play, I imagine Ian White or Jakub Kindl will get the night off. One way or another I think the kid will play tonight or tomorrow. He won't sit out both games.
The Expected Lineup
Johan Franzen - Pavel Datsyuk - Justin Abdelkader
Valtteri Filppula - Henrik Zetterberg - Daniel Cleary
Gustav Nyquist -- Joakim Andersson -- Damien Brunner
Drew Miller - Cory Emmerton - Jordin Tootoo
Niklas Kronwall - Jonathan Ericsson
Brendan Smith - Carlo Colaiacovo
Ian White - Jakub Kindl
Jimmy Howard (starting)
Scratches: Danny DeKeyser and Patrick Eaves
Injuries: Mikael Samuelsson (upper body), Kyle Quincey (cheek), Todd Bertuzzi (back) and Darren Helm (back)
|RED WINGS||THE MATCH-UP||COYOTES|
|18-13-5 (41 pts; 7th in West)||Record||15-15-6 (36 pts; 12th in West)|
|2.56 (19th in NHL)||Goals Per Game||2.61 (18th in NHL)|
|2.56 (12th)||Goals Against Per Game||2.72 (18th)|
|17.6% (17th)||Power Play %||15.3% (23rd)|
|78.6% (24th)||Penalty Kill %||83.1% (9th)|
|2 tied with 11 goals||Goal Leader||Shane Doan (11 goals)|
|Pavel Datsyuk (36 points)||Points Leader||3 tied with 21 points|
- The Red Wings are 64-40-22-3 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Phoenix Coyotes franchise.
- Phoenix has lost 8 of it's last 9 games. Their only victory was the 7-4 ass kicking of the Predators.
- The Wings are 3-2-0 on Thursdays this season.
- The last time these two teams met was March 25. Detroit skated away with a 3-2 win. White, Franzen and Datsyuk were the goal scorers. Gustavsson actually got the win and made a nice save on a penalty shot in the 3rd period.
- Detroit is 6-4-0 in their last 10 games. Phoenix is 2-5-3.
- Howard is 7-0-2 with a 2.23 GAA and .928 SV% in 9 career regular starts against the Coyotes.