Is it…yeah…I think…YUP. I can see the playoffs in there.
WHAT’S ALL THIS THEN?
The Red Wings and Blue Jackets faceoff of for the fourth time this season. They’ll play three times over the next five games. So, ya know, get used to them. This one’s puck drop is at 7:30 in the Joe, April Fools Day.
WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA?
1. The Red Wings are riding their best wave of the season: six straight wins. Two points over the next two games and they’ll surpass the Predators and sit pretty at fifth in the conference, preparing to play the Phoenix Coyotes, who will be making their first post-season appearance since 2002. What you call discovery, I call the rape of the natural world.
2. With the Flames winning on Wednesday, the magic number is 98 to clinch a spot. Five points separate a very tumultuous season with a 19th consecutive post-season appearance. Suck it, Devils.
3. James IV is about to break the record for consecutive starts for a rookie Red Wings goaltender. This one’s for Saler: “They were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they SHOULD.”
5 :: Nashville :: 94 points (4 games left)
6 :: Detroit :: 93 points (6 games left)
7 :: Los Angeles :: 90 points (6 games left)
8 :: Colorado :: 89 points (6 games left)
9 :: Calgary :: 87 points (5 games left)
NOW WHERE WERE WE?
The last time the two Central Division foes met was December 28th. It was a 1-0 overtime loss. Most importantly, it gave us our first opportunity to throw some fat babies onto the site, which — obviously — paved the way for half-naked midgets.
OH HI AGAIN / MEMBA ME?! / BEST NAME NOMINEE
Get used to seeing this over and over again in the next two weeks:
:: Jason Williams played in Columbus. Andy Delmore, who was in the Wings organization until he was traded on Deadline Day, was also a Blue Jacket for a time.
:: There are no former Red Wings in Columbus.
:: Their BNN last time around, Raffi Torres, was traded to Buffalo. Meaning that a new nominee must emerge. Sami “His Name Is Robert” Pahlsson.
THEIR LAST GAMES
–Detroit defeated Edmonton, way more dramatically than they should have, 5-4, on Tuesday.
–Columbus defeated Tampa Bay, 3-2, also on Tuesday.
–Detroit Red Wings :: 40-23-13 (3rd in Central, 6th in West) :: 23-10-5 at home.
–Columbus Blue Jackets :: 32-32-13 (5th in Central, 14th in West) :: 12-21-5 on the road.
JACKETS YOU SHOULD KNOW
Franzen — Datsyuk — Holmstrom
Bertuzzi — Zetterberg — Filppula
Miller — Draper — Williams
Eaves — Helm — Meech
Lidstrom — Rafalski
Kronwall — Stuart
Ericsson — Lilja
It’s been a longtime coming, and I’ve even gotten requests for it, so it’s about time for some Jurassic Park.
Brett “More Like a Six Foot Turkey” Lebda
Kirk “I’m Fairly Alarmed Here” Maltby
Dan “I’ll Need a Drop of Blood. YOUR Blood” Cleary
Derek “Dodgson. DODGSON. We’ve got Dodsgon Here!” Meech
Jonathan “That Is One Big Pile Of Shit” Ericsson
Pavel “SHOOOOOOT HERRRR!” Datsyuk
Niklas “That Doesn’t Look Very Scary” Kronwall
Nicklas “You Didn’t Even Know Was There” Lidstrom
Tomas “You’ll Never Get Him Outta Montana” Holmstrom
Jason “He Suffers From a Deplorable Excess of Personality” Williams
Valtteri “I Bring The Scientists. You Bring the Rockstar” Filppula
Darren “Cheetah Speed When They Get Out In the Open” Helm
James “We’re Going to Make a Fortune…” Howard
Chris “It’s Full of Holes!” Osgood
Henrik “Living Biological Attraction So Amazing, It’ll Captivate the Entire Planet” Zetterberg
Johan “Spared No Expense” Franzen
Patrick “Like a Kid That’s Found His Dad’s Gun” Eaves
Brad “Doesn’t Want to be Fed, He Wants to Hunt” Stuart
Andreas “It Could Have Been Worse. A LOT Worse” Lilja
Brian “Ah Ah Ah, You Didn’t Say the Magic Word” Rafalski
Kris “He Can’t See Us If We Don’t Move” Draper
Drew “You’re Not So Bad, I Thought You Were Your Big Brother” Miller
Tomas “Unfertilized Ostrich Egg” Kopecky
Marian “HE LEFT US! HE LEFT US!” Hossa
Jiri “Doyouthinkhesaurus Rex” Hudler
Chris “It’s…It’s a Dinosaur” Chelios
Ansar “He’s Like Me…He’s a Digger” Khan
Todd “You ARE Alive When He Starts to Eat You” Bertuzzi
Todd “I Don’t Care For Lawyers” Bertuzzi
Todd “You Don’t See the Inherent Danger In What You’re Doing?” Bertuzzi
Todd “Causing Blindness, and Eventually Paralysis” Bertuzzi
1. Howard isn’t showing signs of slowing down, but you’d think he’d get a break sooner or later, particularly with the playoff picture no longer in imminent danger. He was rather shaky against Edmonton, so I’d expect him to bounce back and play a strong game. Then, this weekend, they’ll split. Perhaps? Tonight’s game features last year’s Calder winner against this year’s deserving party…
2. For the second game in a row, the Wings are pit against a team that have very little to play for. Not only are the Jackets officially eliminated from contention, they won’t even get a top five pick. So… worst situation imaginable. Escape sans injury, please.
3. It’ll be hard to top a 12-2-1 March, but the stretch run in April is going to be exciting. Columbus, Nashville, Philadelphia, Columbus, Columbus, and Chicago to wrap it up. There’s lots of talk about the Wings possibly catching the Hawks, but they’re 8 up with six games to go (each). It’d be quite a feat (coupled with quite a collapse) for that to become reality.
4. And now I’m…. by myself, talking to myself. That’s – THAT’S – chaos.
WHAT WE LEARNED vs. the Oilers
You’ve bred raptors?
JACKET WE COVET (JJ Special)