12/26 :: Happy Boxing Day!

WHAT’S ALL THIS THEN?
Saturday, December 26th, 2009. 7pm. The Red Wings and Blue Jackets meet for the second time this season, but for the first time in Detroit. Oh, and I’ll be there, so…ya know…Todd Bertuzzi is going to be looking for me in the stands.
WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA?
1. Merry Christmas — Val Flip is back.
2. Wings are on a three-game losing streak, matching their season long. Joy to the World.
3. The last time the Wings and Jax played, it was U-G-L-Y. Wings walked away 9-1 winners. Suck it, Ohio.
NOW WHERE WERE WE?
The Wings and Jackets played on November 11th. Jimmy Howard was in net and it was his first win of the season. Detroit got goals from Kronwall (two, in fact), Abdelkader (also with two), Bertuzzi (fluke), Cleary, Datsyuk, Draper, and Leino. You may recall this was the game that seven different goal scorers each scored their third goal of the season. Justin Abdelkader and Ville Leino haven’t scored since.
WHAT’S HAPPENED SINCE THEN
The following players have been injured since the last time these two teams met: Niklas Kronwall, Patrick Eaves, Brian Rafalski, Dan Cleary, Darren Helm, Jonathan Ericsson, and Henrik Zetterberg. Vomit.
OH, HI AGAIN 
There are no former Red Wings on the current incarnation of the Blue Jackets. Which is odd because Columbus has long been Red Wings Lite.

MEMBA ME?! 
Former Blue Jackets Jason Williams and Andy Delmore find themselves on the Wings (or in the system), but neither is available for this game.

BEST NAME NOMINEE
Raffi Torres.
THEIR LAST GAMES
–Detroit lost to Chicago, 3-0 for the second game in a row, on Wednesday.
–Columbus lost to Dallas, 3-1, also on Wednesday.
RECORDS
–Detroit Red Wings :: 18-14-5 (3rd in Central, 10th in West) :: 11-7-2 at home.
–Columbus Blue Jackets :: 14-17-7 (5th in Central, 14th in West) :: 6-11-3 on the road.
JACKETS YOU SHOULD KNOW
Fredrik Modin :: Rick Nash :: RJ Umberger :: Antoine Vermette :: Mike Commodore :: Rusty Klesla :: Thriller :: Steve Mason :: Jan Hejda
EXPECTED LINEUP
As of this writing, I haven’t heard if Brian Rafalski had recovered from his most recent bout with the flu, but if he can’t go, expect Jakub Kindl to be in his place. Likewise, I haven’t seen starting goaltenders listed anywhere.
Bertuzzi — Datsyuk — Holmstrom
Leino — Filppula — Miller
Draper — Helm — Eaves
May — Abdelkader — Maltby
Lidstrom — Rafalski/Kindl
Lebda — Stuart
Meech — Janik
Howard
Osgood
Injuries
Andreas “Lump of Coal” Lilja

Johan “Aunt’s Fruitcake” Franzen
Jason “Homemade Socks” Williams
Niklas “Ugly Santa Sweater” Kronwall
Dan “Yellow Tie” Cleary
Jonathan “Knock-Off Cologne” Ericsson
Henrik “I Got a Rock” Zetterberg
QUICK THOUGHTS
1. The Wings are on a vicious skid. After playing two horrible games against the conference-leading Blackhawks, perhaps they’re ready for a repeat of their last Columbus game, kicking a little ass.
2. Valtteri Filppula is back, baby! Maybe he’ll need some time to shake off the rust, but I expect him to be hungry for some real hockey.
3. It has now been 34 games since Nicklas Lidstrom scored. I’ve got a feeling (much like the feeling I had a half dozen times before) that this is the game he gets off that schneid.
4. I’ll be at the game, so Todd Bertuzzi will score nine times to make me look like an asshole.
5. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Wings goal in the opening minutes, because no one is more frustrated about the lack of offence than the Red Wings themselves.
WHAT WE LEARNED vs. the Hawks
Oh, son of a bitch.
JACKET WE COVET (JJ Special)
Last time, I picked Rick Nash. As we all know, the resident Italian is the second choice, but there aren’t any (Dan LaCosta is a frequent call-up, but not an active member). The final tie-breaker is a name that’s fun to say, so I’ll go with Fedor Tyutin, even though I think he’s one of the worst players ever to play in the NHL.

7 thoughts on “12/26 :: Happy Boxing Day!”

  1. Have fun at the game tonight. Here's to hoping Bertuzzi does, indeed make you look like an asshole. Hell, at this point, I'm only about two hundred more consecutive shutouts away from saying that I'd be ok if the Wings signed Claude Lemieux to a contract if it guaranteed us goals.

  2. Have fun at the Joe tonight. I will be watching it on TV with my Christmas leftovers.

    November 11th… God, that feels like forever ago. That was when I was getting excited about the Wings' ability to score. That was (or was it the game before?) when Bertuzzi couldn't put the puck in the net when the goalie was looking the other direction without a clue. That was when two or three injuries seemed like a lot. What a long way we've come since.

    Would you be really offended if "Bertuzzi scored nine times to make you look like an asshole" given the current scoring struggles the Wings are having? 🙂

  3. Have fun tonight Michael. I hope Bertuzzi makes you like a complete and utter arse… Have you come up with any ideas for your side of the bet yet?

  4. Just reviewed my itinerary from ORD to DFW. First reaction was "damn, 6 PM flight…6 PM game start time…gonna miss this one." …and then I realized I was flying out of Ohare, home of the everlasting flight delay.

    What's the over/under on number of periods I get to see before my delayed flight takes off? I'll start with a full 20 minutes.

  5. Ground delay is at 1 hour now so you look good for a full 40 minutes but I wouldn't bet against the entire game. They've got the Delay Index as "Excessive" as if that's not some how normal there.

    Good luck.

  6. Travel game watching update – flight was delayed, but the "Double Nickel"…aka I-55 heading into Chicago…more than made up for the cushion. Scrapped pre-flight plans to watch the game but…miracle of miracles, the on-flight interwebs are steaming along and I'm watching the game via the Center Ice package. There's something about hearing Mick's soothing tones here in seat 5A that screams "we're officially IN THE FUTURE."

  7. @Rob — thrilled you could check out the game. It was a dandy. How 'bout that Todd.

    @Andy — the photo that I took (that will adorn the post-game) might make a good banner if he hits 20, as suggested by @jennyquarx via Twitter. Although, I'll still try to come up with something better, and feel free to chime in.

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