Dec. 15 :: Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.

The Wings and Blues meet for the second of six meetings this season. Wednesday night, 7:30pm, Joe Louis Arena.

The question everyone will be asking is “how will the Red Wings respond to getting their teeth kicked in by the Kings?” and rightfully so. It was the first time this season that they were shut out, and — though I thought they were the better team for two periods — thoroughly gave up in the third. That’s not indicative of the Red Wings, and I’m sure today is a new day in all of their minds. But, if they give up a goal in the first few minutes… it’ll be hard to keep their head on straight.

It’s been a few weeks since we played the Blues, but a week before Thanksgiving, the Wings had their way with The Most Irrelevant Team in National Hockey League History. The final score was 7-3, Jimmy Howard earned his tenth victory of the season, Dan Cleary scored a pair, and Homer, Zetterberg, Abdelkader, Stuart, and Miller filled in the gaps.

It’s a repeat of November 17th’s Back to the Future Pre-Game. Former Wings goaltender Ty Conklin is in St. Louis. Current Wings goaltender Chris Osgood used to be in St. Louis. And, of the players left on the roster, Nikita Nikitin is their Best Name Nominee.

:: Detroit didn’t have a good night on Monday, losing 5-0 to the Kings.
:: St. Louis is also coming off of a loss, a 2-1 overtime affair against the Hurricanes.

By special request, the TPL Glossary is ready to jailsex your eyes
Zetterberg — Datsyuk — Homer
Thunderchief — Flip — Mulo
Buckets — Gator — Scuttles
Miller — Helm — Draper

Lidstrom — Stuart
Rafalski — Ericsson
Kronwall — Ruslan “One Horse Open” Salei (h/t @vtucherov)


Scratches [Thanks to Krononymous for the excellent theme idea]
Jakub “Hey Ash, Where Are We?” Kindl [in Grand Rapids]
Patrick “Well We Just Crossed the Tennessee Border” Eaves

Mike “Well Hello Mr. Fancypants” Modano [wrist]

Honorable Mentions
Todd “We Just Cut Up Our Girlfriend With a Chainsaw” Bertuzzi
Todd “I’ll Swallow Your Soul” Bertuzzi
Jonathan “You Did It Kid” Ericsson
Jiri “You Bastard! Why Are You Torturing Me Like This?!” Hudler
Jiri “Gimme Some Sugar Baby” Hudler
Jiri “You’re Pissing Me Off, You Ugly Son of a Bitch” Hudler
Pavel “Clatto Verata Nicto” Datsyuk
Niklas “See This? This Is My BOOMSTICK” Kronwall
Justin “This Sweet Baby Was Made in Grand Rapids, Michigan” Abdelkader
Nicklas “Hail to the King, Baby” Lidstrom
Brett “Buckle Up Bonehead, You’re Going for a Ride” Lebda
Ville “Honey, You Got Reeeeeeeeeal Ugly” Leino
Andreas “Whoa Whoa Whoa Right There, Spinach Chin” Lilja
Marian “I’ll Spoil Those Good Looks, Back Stabber”
*If there are any that you think I missed, throw them in the comments — the best one will be shared for all to enjoy on the TPL Facebook Page*

1. Yesterday, about 18 hours after the loss, Mike Babcock declared Jimmy Howard the starter for tonight’s game against the Blues. It seems like a no-brainer, being that he’s the starter and these aren’t back-to-back games, but it’s worth noting that had Howard not gotten the reigns (as he may not have been scheduled to), it’d be a long sixty minutes for him sitting on the bench, wondering if he was out  because of the shallacking he took or because it just wasn’t his turn. Playing Howard is the smart move — the only move, really — and I’ll think he’ll bounce back like the pro we’ve all been in awe that he’s becoming.
2. When asked if he had considered started Osgood in front of the home crowd for the opportunity to get win #400, Mike Babcock essentially told a reporter to shut the fuck up. And that’s why we love him. Because that’s a cupcake question, and Mike Babcock’s a curly fry man.
3. Kris Draper comes back into the lineup and Patrick Eaves (allegedly) goes upstairs to the Leino Lounge. Jiri Hudler had one of his better games of the season on Monday, but he still isn’t registering points (obviously…given the shutout). Perhaps its a sign of things to come. Keep an eye on him tonight, as he’s probably getting tired of this rotation thing, too.
4. After dropping a game in which your ass was handed to you on a silver platter, you look to your leadership to set the example and set it early. We all know Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk are more than capable of taking a game over early and never letting go (see: Devils, New Jersey). If I were a betting man, I’d advise you to lay all of your chips on those two gentlemen and Nicklas Lidstrom to come screaming out of the gate because they aren’t at all pleased with Monday.
5. What do you think the odds are that we could get Bruce Campbell to come on TP:60? He’s from Royal Oak… those guys make no secret about how much they love the state of Michigan and Detroit sports. I bet he’s a hell of a Wings fan. Hm…

You know who’s good? Jonathan Quick.

I’ve always admired Andy MacDonald’s speed and ability to finish.