Continuing my spate of thinking of opposition players as fodder for bad movie/television references, I’d also take Peter Mueller, just because every time he failed to show up during a game, we could bust out the old Ben Stein thing and go “Mueller?…Mueller?…Mueller?”
“Are you kidding me? If anything, you should have more possessions. You don’t even own a computer”
First things first, Christy Hammond of Winging it in Motown — and formerly of On the Wings and Behind the Jersey — is hanging up her blogging skates and moving onto greener pastures. I’d like to take a real quick second to wish her nothing but the best and thank her for warmly welcoming me to WIM. I can’t wait to see her ’round the water cooler (and by water cooler I mean… comments sections). Go get ’em, Christy.
WHAT’S ALL THIS THEN?
The Red Wings and Phoenix Coyotes meet for the third time this season. Saturday, 8pm, Phoenix.
WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA?
1. Dude, for real. Jimmy Howard is the starting goaltender for the Detroit Red Wings.
2. The Wings put up a great effort against a good team on Thursday. Let’s hope they start 2010 the way they ended 2009.
3. Todd Bertuzzi has gone two whole games without scoring two goals. Psh.
NOW WHERE WERE WE?
The last time these squads met was December 14th at the Joe. The Red Wings skated away with a 3-2 victory, on the heels of goals from (wait for it…) Patrick Eaves, Derek Meech, and Kris Newbury. Say what? Jimmy Howard was in net for that one, too, and Darren Helm was missing his first game with a wrist injury.
WHAT’S HAPPENED SINCE THEN
Ericsson and Zetterberg have gone down with injuries, but Valtteri Filppula has returned. The Wings are 3-3-1 since then, and have been shutout three times. Scheize.
OH, HI AGAIN / MEMBA ME?! / BEST NAME NOMINEE
We covered this a few weeks ago, but here’s a refresher: Robert “Lazy and he Sucks” Lang now plays for the Desert Dogs – as does new acquisition and former Red Wing Anders Eriksson. Brad May and Dan Cleary (neither of whom will be playing in this game) are former Yotes. And the best name nominee is Zbynek Michalek.
THEIR LAST GAMES
–Detroit defeated Colorado, 4-2, on Thursday
–Phoenix lost in a shootout to San Jose, 3-2, also on Thursday. Before that, the Coyotes had won ten straight games at home, a franchise record.
–Detroit Red Wings :: 20-14-6 (3rd in Central, 10th in West) :: 7-7-4 on the road.
–Hamilton BlackBerries :: 25-13-4 (2nd in Pacific, 4th in West) :: 16-5-1 at home.
COYOTES YOU SHOULD KNOW
Brad May is out with a lower body injury (probably in the lady parts). Patrick Eaves is back in. Mattias Ritola is still up. Dan Cleary, Henrik Zetterberg, and Niklas Kronwall are all skating. My back hurts.
Bertuzzi — Datsyuk — Holmstrom
Ritola — Filppula — Miller
Draper — Helm — Eaves
Maltby — Abdelkader — Leino
Lidstrom — Rafalski
Lebda — Stuart
Meech — Janik
Andreas “I Thought Just Having a Friend Couldn’t Be No Crime” Lilja
Johan “Cuz I Have Friends, and That’s a Fact” Franzen
Jason “Like Agnes, Agatha, Jermaine, and Jack” Williams
Niklas “Oh Snap! Guess What I Saw” Kronwall
Dan “Some Fella Tongue Kissin’ My Girl In Her Mouth” Cleary
Jonathan “I Was So In Shock, My Heart Went Down South” Ericsson
Henrik “Oh Baby You, You Got What I Need” Zetterberg
1. Welcome, Twenty Ten. May you bring more happy tidings than 2009 left the Wings. Start the way the ’09 ended, and we’ll love you more than ’09.
2. Flip looks good in his few games back. With Zetterberg close to returning, and Pavel not doing a whole lot to “take over,” will Val take advantage and build on the last game – a strong one – and be the guy against the Coyotes.
3. This game begins a five-game road trip, so if the Wings can get seven or more points out of it, we should all be thrilled. Anaheim, LA, and San Jose won’t be any easier, so a strong game — one that is put to bed rather early to rest some guys — would be super swell.
4. Mattias Ritola came on strong in the second and third periods of Thursday’s game – so if he can start the way he finished, he looks to be quite the player.
5. Jimmy Howard playing his fifth in a row. In his current stretch of back-to-back starts, he’s 2-1-1, with a GAA of 1.73. Eat it, Quick.
WHAT WE LEARNED vs. the Avalanche
It still feels good to beat the Avalanche, and ring in the new year the right way.
YOTE WE COVET (JJ Special)
It was Peter Mueller last time, thanks to his skill set. In the comments of the last Coyotes game, JJ had this to add:
The above quote proves that the sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wastoids, dweebies, dickheads – they all adore him. They think he’s a righteous dude.