Wednesday, December 23rd. 7:30pm Eastern. Blackhawks visit the Joe for some rematch action. Chief from A2Y has asked, via podcast, that no one boo Marian Hossa, in an effort to put some (more) distance between Red Wings fans and Penguins fans in the class department. I can get on board that train. So long as I’m still allowed to hope Brad Stuart puts him into the fourth row.
WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA?
1. Well, the last one didn’t go so well. That was Sunday.
2. Chicago leads the division that was once Detroit’s bitch.
3. Chicago played last night, but Detroit hasn’t played since Sunday. Maybe it’s an advantage. Silver lining, people.
NOW WHERE WERE WE?
The Wings and Hawks met last on Sunday. The Hawks shutout the Red Wings, 3-0. It was a goddamn nightmare.
WHAT’S HAPPENED SINCE THEN
Kris Newbury’s reign as The Most Fascinating Man on the Planet came to an end, as he was sent back to Grand Rapids. Mattias Ritola was called up to take Newbury’s place. Flip practiced and should be good to go on Saturday.
OH, HI AGAIN / MEMBA ME?! / BEST NAME NOMINEE
None of this has changed from the last time: Hossa and Kopecky are former Wings. Cleary and Williams are former Hawks (but hurt). Dustin Byfuglien and Niklas Hjalmarsson duke it out for the best name.
THEIR LAST GAMES
–Detroit lost to Chicago, 3-0, on Sunday.
–Chicago lost to San Jose at home. Let’s hope they’re EXHAUSTED.
–Detroit Red Wings :: 18-13-5 (3rd in Central) :: 11-6-2 at home.
–Chicago Blackhawks :: 23-9-3 (1st in Central) :: 7-5-2 on the road.
BLACKHAWKS YOU SHOULD KNOW
Dave Bolland (injured) :: Marian Hossa :: Patrick Kane :: Sauk Makataimeshekiakiak :: John Madden :: Patrick Sharp :: Jonathan Toews :: Kris Versteeg :: Cam Barker :: Brian Campbell :: Duncan Keith :: Brent Seabrook
Bertuzzi — Datsyuk — Holmstrom
Leino — Abdelkader — Miller
Ritola — Helm — Eaves
May — Draper — Maltby
Lidstrom — Rafalski
Lebda — Stuart
Meech — Janik
Meech — Janik
Johan “Eight Mules a-Milking” Franzen
Andreas “Seven Lils a-Swimming” Lilja
Valtteri “Six Flips a-Laying” Filppula
Jason “Five Golden Wills” Williams
Niklas “Four Kronwalling Birds” Kronwall
Dan “Three Newfound-Hens” Cleary
Jonathan “Two Turtle Rigs” Ericsson
Henrik “And a Partridge in a Pear Z” Zetterberg
1. Sunday’s effort won’t cut it. Chicago is clearly a superior team, at least right now. If Detroit plays as flat as they did Sunday, they’re screwed.
2. Can Jimmy Howard do better than Ozzie? And by that, I mean, not allowing goals on shots taken from Indiana.
3. Can Mattias Ritola light a fire? He looked decent in his two-game stint a few seasons back, but this call-up is a little different. He’s needed, at least on some level.
4. Marian Hossa was virtually invisible on Sunday. Does he wake up for the booing he’s potentially going to receive at the Joe? And will someone lay him out to appease the hometown folk?
5. The last defenseman to score a goal for the Red Wings was DEREK MEECH on December 17th. But before that, it was Brad Stuart on November 21st. Brutal. This would be a super swell game for Nick to get off the schneid.
WHAT WE LEARNED vs. the Hawks
Yawn. Is it February yet?
HAWK WE COVET (JJ Special)
I thought I’d try something different this time around. I asked one of our dedicated readers, not to mention the guy that this section is named for, J.J. from Kansas to write this game’s selection. And here’s the gold:
Since I can’t have Toews and that realization is slowly dawning on me like when I learned I can’t fight fires, fly jet fighters AND be a secret agent, it’s a tossup between Dustin “Fugly” Byfuglien and Patrick “Destroyer of Nards” Sharp. On one hand, Fugly is that big annoying gritty guy that the Wings seem to be missing, but he doesn’t have nearly the scoring power of the Spear of Testiclese. I’d be happy with either, but I’ll take Sharp. Something about keeping your friends close and your enemies closer appeals here.
Boom. Spear of Testiclese. Make it stick, Red Wings Nation.
Wow, do I really sound like that? I always thought my commenting voice had kind of a Clark Gable quality.
I'm hoping the boos Hossa hears at the Joe aren't too loud, but yeah, I'd take Stuart prematurely knocking him into next year. Actually, I'd prefer it more if he did it to Kane. I realized this morning that if Zetterberg is the Red Wings player I probably don't like as much as I should, then Kane is the one player in the league I don't spend enough time hating on. For all the diving accusations Crosby lives through, I'm amazed nobody calls Kane out on his Louganisesque bullshit.
Kane absolutely dives like Greg. And I'm happy to take over official hating him duties if J.J. is too busy.
In Chicagoland this week hoping to give us a little positive ju-ju. I sense a cooling right now in Wingsland. Nervous it makes me.