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Red Wings and Stars Renew Acquaintances

God DAMN that’s an ugly uterus-like logo.

It’s actually been quite some time since the Wings met the Stars. On January 29th, 2009, Dallas chased Chris Osgood on its way to a 4-2 victory at the Joe. The Stars scored three goals in the first period, Ty Conklin came in for the second and immediately allowed a fourth goal. The Wings got goals from Marian Hossa and Andreas Lilja.

A week after the Wings game, Dallas dumped Sean Avery. They didn’t qualify for the playoffs, which was a bit of a shocker. Both Co-GM’s were “re-assigned” in favor of Joe Nieuwendyk. Brendan Morrison, Sergei Zubov and Darryl Sydor departed Texas and were replaced by Karlis Skrastins, Warren Peters, and Jeff Woywitka. Yeah, that oughta do it.

Garrett Stafford, former Griffin, plays with the AHL’s uniquely named Texas Stars. So, barring a barrage of call-ups, we won’t meet any former Red Wings property.

Likewise, the only former Star in the Red Wings system is Doug Janik.

It has been 15 games since Nicklas Lidstrom put one in the net. That’s obviously not his main objective, but if he can get going – with Z, Datsyuk and Kronwall keeping up their paces – things will start to feel like they’re back to normal.

–Detroit went 3-0-0 last week, outscoring opponents 19-6 along the way. The most recent game, Saturday vs. Anaheim, was a 7-4 winner, featuring a hat trick from Henrik Zetterberg. Mmm…Arby’s…
–Dallas has been off since Saturday, as well. They lost to the Coyotes, in Phoenix, by a score of 3-2. Expect them to be fully rested. The only sighting of Alex Auld will be when a puck sails into the Stars bench, prompting a pan of not-really-that-frightened faces.

Detroit Red Wings :: 10-5-3 (3rd in Central, 7th in West) :: 7-1-1 at home
The Artists Formerly Known as the Minnesota North Stars :: 8-5-6 (3rd in Pacific, 8th in West) :: 5-3-3 on the road

Chris Osgood is out again, and Daniel Larsson has been recalled for the third time in five days. Jimmy Howard will get his fourth start in a row, and the former Swedish netminder of the year will learn the craft by counting faceoffs. Or something.

Bertuzzi — Datsyuk — Holmstrom
Cleary — Zetterberg — Leino
Draper — Helm — Eaves
Miller — Abdelkader — May

Lidstrom — Rafalski
Kronwall — Stuart
Ericsson — Lebda


Scratches: Derek “Scratch” Meech, Kirk “Recovered” Maltby, Chris “Quote-Unquote Flu” Osgood
Injured: Andreas “Chirotastic” Lilja, Johan “Disabled Mule” Franzen, Valtteri “Blonde Beauty” Filppula, Jason “Fantastic Fibula” Williams

1. Brad Richards is good. Very good. He leads the Stars with 20 points. Relative unknown, but also very good, James Neal leads the team in goals, with 10.
2. I’m Anxious to see which Jimmy Howard shows up: the one that allowed only one goal in back-to-back games, or the other one. Ya know…the one that sucks.
3. I think we should keep letting Niklas Kronwall shoot at will. He’s got a hot hand, USE IT.
4. Is it me, or is the power play INFINITELY better without Jason Williams (or Mikael Samuelsson) on the point?
5. Check out this back-and-forth I did with ESPN Dallas regarding tonight’s tilt.

WHAT WE LEARNED vs. the Ducks
For the second time in three games, we learned that offense should not be used as an excuse for this team’s troubles. We also learned that Jimmy Howard, not unlike his team, is a bit of an enigma. If the right one shows up, the team should be okay against the Stars, who have a great roster but have been underachievers for the last year or so…

Last but not least, we learned that Arby’s curly fries taste better when they’re earned. They may not be free (and ZERO of you sent me or Rob any of yours…) in New York, but it was still yummy.

I love Brendan Morrow. That is all.