Yes, dear reader, the Red Wings will indeed be playing more games after tonight, but it won't be for another 18 days when the Red Wings take on the Canadiens on the 26th. Something about a hockey tournament in another time zone that's taking away our players. I think the last time this happened was in 2010. Oh well.
- The lineup is intact and will stay the same from last game. I feel like this is the first time this season I've been able to make that statement. If you're wondering what this lineup that isn't changing looks like, check out Michelle's Morning Skate.
- The only threat to an intact lineup came from Jonathan Ericsson who took that God-forsaken "maintenance day" monster which has already chewed up some of our players for "maintenance months."
- Stephen Weiss is still on track to come back after the Olympic break. He'll continue skating with the Plymouth Whalers before getting into some games with Grand Rapids closer to the return of NHL hockey.
- Riley Sheahan will be reassigned to Grand Rapids presumably after tonight's game is finished. He'll get into some games instead of not get into some games.
- Luke Glendening unfortunately doesn't have that luxury because he's played too many NHL games. Someone who is more informed than I can explain this in the comments, but he can't be reassigned until NHL skaters resume, well, skating on the 19th.
- The Lightning had an optional morning skate, so news is light, but what news is there is heavy. (What?)
- I mean that the only thing you need to know is that maybe Ben Bishop won't get the start tonight. He's a game-time decision with
Olympic fevera lower-body injury. ("Lower-body injury" according to Khan.)
- NHL DEBUT ALERT! NHL DEBUT ALERT! Vladislav Namestnikov will be making his NHL debut for the Lightning tonight.
- Lightning projected lineup:
FORWARDS Ondrej "M.K." Palat Tyler "T.F" Johnson Martin "thankfully not the Blues kind" St. Louis Alex "Z.D." Killorn Nate "Q.E." Thompson Teddy "D.P." Purcell J.T. "B.J." Brown Nikita "Н.К." Kucherov Vladislav "В.Н." Namestnikov Ryan "S.C." Malone Tom "P.J." Pyatt B.J. "J.T." Crombeen DEFENSE Victor "I'll have his" Hedman Sami "so sorry" Salo Matt "only has half the superfluous e's of Ryane Clowe" Carle Radko "Dark Gas Duo" Gudas Mark "not the horse" Barberio Eric "beer" Brewer GOALTENDING Ben "wishes he were Cardinal" Bishop Cedrick "de-ZHAR-din or day-zhar-DAN?" Desjardins
I don't know what to expect. From this game. From that men's hockey tournament in some place in Russia. Or from the Red Wings 18 days from now. Depending on players' health, salary cap implications, and roster limits, this may be the last time this season we see some of these guys, at least until closer to the playoffs. So savor it now while you can. Savor Glendning streaking in on the forecheck and being a pain in the ass along the boards. Savor Tomas Tatar, Riley Sheahan, and Tomas Jurco as a line making some magic happen with their near-instant chemistry. It might be a while before we see it again.
LET'S GO RED WINGS!!!