Saturday, December 19th. 3pm (Eastern). Red Wings at Dallas — the closest hockey town to our very own Rob.
WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA?
1. The Red Wings are playing their first game without their newest injured superstar: Henrik Zetterberg.
2. Darren Helm returns to the lineup after missing two.
3. Jimmy Howard gets the start — again.
NOW WHERE WERE WE?
The Wings and Stars last played on November 30th – the first time the teams met after LaRueGate. The Red Wings (like usual) whooped Marty Turco’s ass. The final was 4-1, with goals from Cleary, Bertuzzi, Helm, and Miller. Jimmy Howard played in that game, as well.
WHAT’S HAPPENED SINCE THEN
Oh, ya know…Rafalski got injured, returned; Leino was benched, became needed; Cleary was injured; Helm was injured, and is set to return; Ericsson was injured; Zetterberg was injured. So…”the norm” ’round these parts.
OH, HI AGAIN / MEMBA ME?! / BEST NAME NOMINEE
All of these were covered last time, but here’s a refresher: Doug Janik used to play for the Stars (and 28 other hockey teams), but no former Red Wings are on the current Stars roster. Mark Fistric was my best name nominee.
THEIR LAST GAMES
–Detroit defeated Tampa Bay 3-0 on Thursday.
–Dallas lost 6-5 in overtime against Atlanta on Thursday.
–Detroit Red Wings :: 18-11-5 (3rd in Central, 8th in West) :: 7-5-3 on the road.
–Dallas Lonestars :: 14-9-1 (4th in Pacific, 10th in Wast) :: 7-3-5 at home.
STARS YOU SHOULD KNOW
Fabian Brunnstrom :: Loui Eriksson :: Jere Lehtinen :: Mike Modano :: The Sun :: Brendan Morrow :: James Neal :: Mike Ribeiro :: Brad Richards :: Matt Niskanen :: Marty Turco
Awww yeeeaaahhh, Darren Helm is back in. The rest is the same.
Bertuzzi — Datsyuk — Holmstrom
Leino — Abdelkader — Eaves
Draper — Helm — Miller
May — Newbury — Maltby
Lidstrom — Meech
Rafalski — Janik
Lebda — Stuart
Jonathan “U Got the Look” Ericsson [you’re welcome, mom]
Dan “7” Cleary
Henrik “When Doves Cry” Zetterberg
1. Jimmy Howard starting again after his first shutout. He’s on a hell of a tear, and it’d be swell if he kept that up.
2. Darren Helm might have some rust to shake off, but something tells me he’ll still be going ten thousand miles an hour.
3. Losing Zetterberg hurts — but hopefully it’ll finally light a fire under Pavel Datsyuk’s mishen.
4. Everyone who thought that Patrick Eaves, Justin Abdelkader, and Ville Leino would comprise a second line at any point this season raise your hand. And send me lottery numbers.
5. Todd Bertuzzi something something something. Dark side.
WHAT WE LEARNED vs. the Lightning
Drew Miller could have been a Street Fighter character. HADUKEN!
STAR WE COVET (JJ Special)
I’ve already picked Morrow and Lehtinen. The logical next choice is the resident Italian, so Mike Modano it is.
I'm just glad that the Stars don't have anybody named Rick on their roster. That would make calling out Mark Fistric's name awkward.
This is another "shouldn't lose" game. I'm pulling for a big day from Leino. I'm going to keep pulling for him until he has a two-game stretch like Bert did to get people off his back.
Your comments echo those of Baroque on the Friday Morning Jo post. Everyone's waiting on Leino's explosion, and you can both add me to the list. I would really like to see the kind of production he seemed to be capable of last year in his few games with the big club.
Can you picture that spin-move goal, his first in the NHL? I just don't even remember that version of Ville Leino, though I know it's still in him…
I hope you're both right and this is a big game for Ville.
Pure pleasure perusing purple prose!
Whoa. I had no idea Mike Modano married Willa Ford. I also had no idea she was still alive. I kinda thought my rocking out to "I Wanna Be Bad" was in memorium rather than still being relevant. (I know that either way, it's not cool, but thankfully for me, I'm comfortable being the outcast).
I'm now considering TPL to be not only my go-to place for A+ hockey analysis and humor, but also for pertinent celebrity gossip.