WHAT’S ALL THIS THEN?
The Wings play their second half of their back-to-back. This time, it’s the Kings — 10:30pm, Saturday. No word on whether or not Kurt Russell will be in attendance. Fun fact: Goldie Hawn is not, in fact, his mother. She is his girlfriend.
WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA?
Chris Osgood makes his return to the Wings’ net after a lengthy injury. Pray for Mojo.
NOW WHERE WERE WE?
It’s the first matchup of the season for these two squads. The last meeting was February 6th, the first game without one Ville Leino crapping all over the roster, with the Wings falling 4-3.
OH, HI AGAIN / MEMBA ME?!
The Kings are one of the few teams in the league that doesn’t have any former-player connections to the Wings. I’m a lying pirate hooker. As Anne from Kansas reminded me, we acquired Brad Stuart from the Kings for picks. I am shamed. Thanks for the catch!
BEST NAME NOMINEE
Jonathan Quick. It’s like a superhero’s alter ego’s name.
THEIR LAST GAMES
:: Detroit BOOYAH’d the Ducks 4-0 last night.
:: Los Angeles defeated Florida 3-2 on Thursday.
Zetterberg — Datsyuk — Buckets
Thunderchief — Flip — Mulo
Miller — Gator — Scuttles
Draper — Helm — Homer
Lidstrom — Stuart
Rafalski — Shitbox
Cirque — Kronwall
Jakub “Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em” Kindl
Patrick “Must Have Hyperjets On That Thing” Eaves
Mike “What Have We Got On This Thing — A Cuisinart?!” Modano [wrist]
Todd “KEEP FIRING, ASSHOLE!” Bertuzzi
Jiri “I Bet She Gives Great Helmet” Hudler
Chris “Oh Shit, There Goes the Planet” Osgood
Darren “LUDICROUS SPEED — GO!” Helm
Dan “Come Back You Fat Bearded Bitch” Cleary
Justin “They’ve Gone Plaid” Abdelkader
Niklas “That’s Gonna Leave a Mark” Kronwall
Jonathan “Thank You For Pressing the Self-Destruct Button” Ericsson
Tomas “Why Didn’t Somebody Tell Me My Ass Was So Big” Holmstrom
Valtteri “He Shot My Hair That Son of a Bitch” Filppula
Jimmy “I CAN’T BREATHE IN THIS THING” Howard
Derek “Man… We Ain’t Found Shit” Meech
Marian “Not Doing this for Money… Doing it for a SHITLOAD of Money” Hossa
Ville “I Knew It. I’m Surrounded by Assholes” Leino
Kyle “Pizza is Gonna Send Out for YOU” Wellwood
THE FIVE HOLE
1. Playing in his first game since October, Chris Osgood has a tough act to follow less than 24 hours after Jimmy Howard’s shutout of the Ducks. No one will be angry with Ozzie if he fails to goose-egg the Kings, I just hope he doesn’t feel like he has to OUT-perform Tiberius. He just has to give the team a chance to win. And, for the love of God, not allow a goal on the first goddamn shot of the game.
2. Jonathan Ericsson led all skaters last night with a +3. He played a very solid game, as did the rest of the defense. More efforts like that and he’ll shed the Shitbox nickname for good. For what it’s worth, I don’t agree with the folks concerned about the defense being shaky. Allowing a ton of shots doesn’t equal poor defense, you have to realize what kind of shots are being allowed. No one should expect single-digit shots against, and if the goaltender sees 41 shots, that’s better than allowing 20 he doesn’t. That, along with the clearing of rebounds and stepping up to protect the crease, is the very definition of responsible defense.
3. Speaking of the defense, Ruslan Salei is growing on me somethin’ fierce. And I liked him to begin with. There was a play on the kill in the first period of last night’s game where he made a very difficult play (skating a puck out to safety, gaining the line, hitting the brakes hard, and making the most efficient time-effective change possible) look insanely easy. Having played the game for a million years, I promise that was not an easy play — and he made it with the look of “business as usual, shut the fuck up” on his face.
4. It’s nice to see that the antidote to Dan Cleary’s November is not December. He’s got goals in three straight games and tells it exactly like it is during intermission interviews. The Wings were not playing particularly well, but they were getting good bounces and taking advantage of the opportunities they were created for themselves. That’s what good hockey teams do. Good hockey teams also want to improve and aren’t satisfied with dumb-luck goals, which is kind of what the first half of last night’s four were.
5. As of this writing, there was no confirmation of which forward was coming out of the lineup to make way for Kris Draper. St. James (h/t @mserven) said that it’d “likely be Eaves or Miller,” meaning a return to the rotation that saw Eaves in the lineup most recently. I’m excited to see Drapes, one of my favorites of all-time. Reading Khan’s post about Draper’s excitement to return to the game was awesome — he’s so jacked to get back to it, and I’m anxious to see how he comes out of the gate.
WHAT WE LEARNED AGAINST THE DUCKS
You happy now, Teemu?
WUT? REAL LIFE MOGS?