Before we get to the Oilers pre-game, TPL would like to congratulate prospects Brian Lashoff and Max Nicastro, who have been selected to be on the preliminary roster for the United States World Junior Championship team. Here’s hoping that one — or both — make the team, as it would be a huge honor.
NOW WHERE WERE WE?
The Wings and Oilers met a few days before Halloween, losing 6-5 in a shootout. The Red Wings got goals from Ericsson (3), Bertuzzi (2), Zetterberg (2), Helm (1), and Eaves (1). Jimmy Howard played in his third game in a row (he replaced Osgood seven minutes into the game before), an opportunity he’ll have again vs. the Oilers.
WHAT’S HAPPENED SINCE THEN
After the Edmonton game, Detroit won six of their next seven. Then, they lost five of their next six. They’re currently riding a two-game winning streak. Talk about streaky…
OH, HI AGAIN
Edmonton, despite all of its recent success and its reputation as a popular landing spot for all the top free agents every summer, has no former Red Wings. The last time a once-Red Wing played for the Oilers was 2003-04, when Adam Oates played his final season in the NHL.
Two former Oilers on the current Red Wing roster: Dan(ny) Cleary and Kirk Maltby. Maltby was acquired in a 1996 trade that saw competent defenseman Dan McGillis go the other way.
BEST NAME NOMINEE
Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers. It never ends.
BRAD MAY ALERT
The Oilers have a kid named Ryan O’Marra. You may remember him from this hit (although, the kid from the Czech Republic doesn’t…):
My favorite part of the video is where the commentator goes “aahhhh…BANG!”
DID YOU KNOW…
…the last game between these two squads was the last time Justin Abdelkader was a healthy scratch? Unlike Brad May, Patrick Eaves, Kirk Maltby, and Drew Miller, Gator has played in each of the last 15 games.
THEIR LAST GAMES
–Detroit defeated the Dallas Turcos 4-1 on Monday.
–Edmonton got whooped 7-3 by the Canucks on Saturday. They should be well-rested.
–Detroit Red Wings :: 13-9-4 (4th in Central, 10th in West) :: 8-4-2 at home.
–Edmonton Oilers :: 10-13-4 (4th in Northwest, 14th in West) :: 2-8-2 on the road.
Uh oh. Patrick Eaves will not play his second game in a row, due to a sore left ankle, but the bigger news seems to be that Brian Rafalski is iffy. He left practice, per Khan, and Jakub Kindl will be recalled if Rafalski cannot, in fact, go. In other news, Ville Leino is back on the top line instead of Bertuzzi, similar to the Dallas game. The rest looks familiar:
Leino — Datsyuk — Holmstrom
Bertuzzi — Zetterberg — Cleary
Draper — Helm — Miller
May — Abdelkader — Maltby
Lidstrom — Ericsson
Stuart — Lebda
Meech — Kindl?
Andreas “Post-Concussion Syndrome” Lilja
Johan “Torn Left ACL” Franzen
Valtteri “Broken Right Wrist” Filppula
Jason “Broken Right Fibula” Williams
Niklas “Sprained Left MCL” Kronwall
Patrick “Sore Left Ankle” Eaves
Brian “Stiff Old-Man Back” Rafalski
1. Jeez, man… enough with the injuries. Rafalski makes seven. But, if he can’t go, I’m excited to see what Kindl can do. It seems like a wise time to get him some games, considering he’s on a one-way next season and there is every indication that he’ll be a Red Wing full time in less than a year. Keep your eye on #46.
2. Can Bertuzzi continue his steak of games in which he sucks slightly less than he had been? If he scores again, I will go an entire week without a single ill-spoken word about him. You have my word.
3. In an attempt to continue my good juju predicting goal-droughts ending, here goes Thursday’s baseless claim: Ville Leino scores in this one.
4. Regardless of the bile you feel rising up when hearing “Puck Daddy,” vote for the Red Wings as the team of the decade – which pits the ’02 Cup-winning team against the best teams from all the other sports.
5. Follow Natalie from the Scrappy Octopus on Twitter. Her blog is fantastic, and the tweets are guaranteed to be, as well (especially if we continue talking about Mila Kunis). Countdown to her having more followers than I have in 3…2…
WHAT WE LEARNED vs. the Stars
If Marty Turco was cloned and played for the other 28 teams, too, we’d go 82-0 every season.
OILER WE COVET (aka The JJ Special)
Andrew Cogliano. There aren’t enough of my people on the Red Wings. Come to think of it, there are a bunch of Italians on the Oilers: Cogliano, Stortini, Pisani.