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!
WHAT’S ALL THIS THEN?
WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA?
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.
Franzen — Datsyuk — Holmstrom
Cleary — Zetterberg — Bertuzzi
Miller — Filppula — Williams
Draper — Helm — Eaves
Ericsson — Lilja
Derek “Distant Lover” Meech
Kirk “What Good Am I Without You?” Maltby
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?
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!