Morning Skate: Penguins at Red Wings Preview
7:30p ET, Joe Louis Arena
TV: Fox Sports Detroit, NHL Network (US)
Radio: 97.1 The Ticket
Penguins Blog: PensBurgh
Even with points at a premium, I have this game chalked up as a loss. I'm not trying to be negative here. This isn't a reverse jinx situation either. Unless the Penguins are playing the Flyers, they seem to be a pretty a good team. Yes, I know they have as many, if not more, injuries than the Red Wings, but they're still good. It doesn't really matter to me if their bottom six forwards are all AHLers. They have arguably the two best players in the world in their lineup and their top six makes up for the fact their bottom six is crap. I have a hard time realistically seeing Mike Babcock's crazy band of characters knocking off Sid and Geno.
With that said, crazier things have happened in the past. If the Red Wings could find a way to win, hell, if the they could find a way to get ONE point, it would go a very long way. The Wings got a nice gift last night from Stevie and Flip's Lightning. Tampa topped the Maple Leafs in regulation. I think Toronto has got to be Detroit's target right now in the playoff chase. The Wings are five points back and have three games in hand, plus a head-to-head matchup. Games in hand mean nothing if you don't take advantage of them. Can the Red Wings find a hero tonight?
The Expected Lineup
|Johan Franzen||David Legwand||Daniel Alfredsson|
|Tomas Tatar||Riley Sheahan||Gustav Nyquist|
|Drew Miller||Luke Glendening||Todd Bertuzzi|
|Landon Ferraro||Cory Emmerton||Teemu Pulkkinen|
|Niklas Kronwall||Brendan Smith|
|Kyle Quincey||Danny DeKeyser|
|Brian Lashoff||Jakub Kindl|
|Jimmy Howard (starting)|
Scratches: Adam Almquist
Injuries: Jonathan Ericsson (finger), Justin Abdelkader (cut leg), Tomas Jurco (ribs), Joakim Andersson (foot), Daniel Cleary (knee), Darren Helm (concussion), Pavel Datsyuk (zest), Stephen Weiss (groin), Henrik Zetterberg (back), Mikael Samuelsson (who cares), Jonas Gustavsson (groin) & holy shit this an even longer list than before.
|PENGUINS||THE MATCH-UP||RED WINGS|
|45-19-4 (94 pts; 1st in Metro)||Record||31-24-13 (75 pts; 4th in WC Race)|
|3.07 (5th in NHL)||Goals Per Game||2.54 (19th in NHL)|
|2.44 (6th)||Goals Against Per Game||2.68 (14th)|
|24.0% (2nd)||Power Play %||17.2% (18th)|
|86.3% (2nd)||Penalty Kill %||83.9% (9th)|
|Sidney Crosby (33 goals)||Goal Leader||Gustav Nyquist (19 goals)|
|Sidney Crosby (91 points)||Points Leader||Henrik Zetterberg (48 points)|
Player to Fear: Sidney Crosby
X-Factor: Marc-Andre Fleury
Familiar Faces: Chris Conner (pretty sure he's injured though).
Thumbs up (One Thing to Like About Pittsburgh): 2008
Thumbs down (One Thing to Dislike About Pittsburgh): 2009
Bullets of Knowledge
- The Red Wings are 62-59-16-3 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Penguins./
- Last 10 games: Pittsburgh 5-4-1. Detroit 5-4-1./
- Howard is 2-0-1 with a 1.93 GAA, .939 SV% in 4 career games against Pittsburgh./
Prediction: No fly zone.
Six straight games for the Red Wings, six straight games with an injured player, so who's next?
|All the groins!||152|