Skip to content

Mar 1 :: Back to reality

If you missed it, check out the earlier TPL post hunting for goal pledges! Tonight is sponsored by Drew from Nightmare on Helm Street, Jennbikegirl, Ellen from Big Red Machine, Rob from Etched in Cold, and Brad. Each Red Wings goal earns $12 for Children’s Hospital tonight!

In addition, Nurse Nitz is going to drop a $5 bonus on every Red Wings win. Booyah!


The NHL season kicks back up… and in a joke that could only be perpetrated by the National Hockey League and Gary Bettman, the ONLY game of the night features our Detroit Red Wings. They’re in Colorado, puck drop at 9pm Eastern. Two guys that were teammates yesterday (Silver Medalists Brian Rafalski and Peter Stastny) will now faceoff against one another.


1. With only 21 games left in the season, and the Wings on the outside looking in, nearly every game from here on out is a must-win. It’s going to be a climb.
2. Andreas Lilja has been activated from IR. His last NHL game was 366 days ago.
3. As great as the Olympics were, it’s time for NHL hockey again. Perhaps tonight we can begin to wash the bad taste of Jesus H. Crosby out of our mouths with a victory. The break seems to have rehabilitated some banged up bodies, but Valtteri Filppula and Brian Rafalski played through the medal games (with Rafalski being named the tournament’s best defenseman), not to mention Mike Babcock coached the incredible underdogs from north of the border.

The last time the Wings and Avs played, it was New Years Eve. The Wings were 4-2 winners with goals from Datsyuk, Ville “Who?” Leino, and a pair from Darren Helm.
:: Kyle Quincey is a former Red Wing toiling in Denver.
:: Now that Brad May is in Grand Rapids, there are no former Avs in Detroit.
:: Milan Hejduk is the BNN.
–Detroit beat Ottawa 4-1 on February 13th.
–Colorado lost to LA 3-0, also on February 13th.
–Detroit Red Wings :: 28-21-12 (3rd in Central, 10th in West) :: 12-13-7 on the road.
–Colorado Nordiques :: 35-20-6 (2nd in Northwest, 6th in West) :: 20-8-2 at home.
Duchene :: O’Reilly :: Leukerbad :: Stastny :: Wolski :: Cumiskey :: Foote :: Liles :: Anderson
Andreas Lilja is in for the first time in a year and a day. Brian Rafalski is a maybe (being that he played a pretty intense game yesterday…perhaps you heard about it). If he can’t go, Lebda will be in the lineup.

Franzen — Datsyuk — Holmstrom
Cleary — Zetterberg — Bertuzzi
Miller — Filppula — Williams
Draper — Helm — Eaves

Lidstrom — Rafalski
Kronwall — Stuart
Ericsson — Lilja
Howard (starting)
You can thank Chris Hollis for today’s nickname theme, even though he doesn’t know he indirectly caused it… he said that “jailsexed” reminds him of Marvin Gaye. I have absolutely no idea why, but I like Marvin Gaye, so…
Brett “Rockin’ After Midnight” Lebda
Derek “Distant Lover” Meech
Kirk “What Good Am I Without You?” Maltby
1. The break should have done some bodies good, but will the players who were involved in the Olympics be able to keep up the intensity of the last two weeks?
2. At no point this season will the Red Wings have zero bodies on IR. Lilja is off of IR for the first time, but Maltby will be on it for the rest of the season. Allow me to repeat: 82 NHL games with at least one player injured. This has been a trying year, but no one has given up on the playoffs yet, so who is going to assert themselves as catalysts?
3. This is Jimmy Howard’s team to carry… and he’s been the MVP of the Wings so far this season. Tonight’s important because it’ll show if he was just carrying momentum… or if he’s a for-real reliable goaltender.
4. New-look defense with Lilja. Will there be rust?
WHAT WE LEARNED in the Olympics
The Red Wings could learn a few things from Team USA’s play in the Olympics. A strong forecheck, relentless physicality (not the kind Chris Neil brings….the kind Jamie Langenbrunner/Pavel Datsyuk bring).

AV WE COVET (JJ Special)
When I expressed to JJ that the obvious choice today of all days would be Paul Stastny, but we both agreed that he was a bit underwhelming in the tournament — at least when compared to Patrick Kane and Zach Parise. JJ brought the goods:

Honestly, I thought Paul Stastny was probably one of the least effective forwards on the USA roster. If I’m taking an Olympian from those goons, I’d take Ruslan Salei (maybe they’ll give him up in a trade for Bertuzzi? BWAHAHA!)

But, since my brain is permanently set on March 26th, I can’t in good conscience take a member of the former ‘Dique empire. I also can’t in good taste take an actual avalanche, so I’ll go with the next best thing, a mudslide!

Woo, ladies! Half of this thing is going straight to my head and the other half straight to my thighs! Let’s go ride the mechanical bull over at the Saddle Ranch! Yee-haw!

Hockey Photo Credit: Carlos Osorio, AP